Australians with COVID-19 will be able to vote in the federal election after last-minute changes to laws expanding telephone voting services.
The Australian Electoral Commission made the changes on Friday after concerns thousands of coronavirus-infected people would be locked out from voting in Saturday's general election.
There were worries many COVID-19 positive Australians may have missed the deadline for postal voting, leaving them without an option to cast their ballot.
The announcement came as NSW reported 10,084 positive COVID-19 cases in the latest reporting period, with 12,556 new infections reported in Victoria.
Ten people lost their lives with the virus in NSW, and 23 in Victoria.
Special Minister of State Ben Morton said voters who had tested positive for COVID-19 after 6pm on May 13 would be able to access telephone voting.
Telephone voting registration will be available until 4pm on Saturday.
"It is important that every Australian who is enrolled and entitled to vote, be able to exercise their democratic right and this change ensures that," Mr Morton said.
AEC Commissioner Tom Rogers said telephone voting was a two-step process that involved getting a registration number then calling in to vote.
He urged people using the service to be prepared when they called and to expect delays because staff would in some cases be "effectively reading out the ballot paper".
"If people need the entire ballot paper read out, there will be queues, but it will ensure everyone can vote," he told ABC television.
Meanwhile, NSW's Health Care Complaints Commission wants to see tighter regulation around medical misinformation in the wake of the pandemic.
Commissioner Sue Dawson pointed to the current laws that limited action from the federal Therapeutic Goods Administration, which can only crack down on false benefits being spruiked by dodgy operators.
"It's arguable those powers never contemplated a situation where political materials, in particular, might deprecate a public health initiative," Ms Dawson told a state parliamentary committee.
"It's fair to say there are regulatory limitations."
LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA:
NSW: 10,084 cases, 10 deaths, 1226 in hospital with 16 in ICU
VICTORIA: 12,556 cases, 23 deaths, 514 in hospital with 35 in ICU
NT: 290 cases, one death, 23 in hospital with two in ICU
TASMANIA: 967 cases, no deaths, 44 in hospital with one in ICU
SA: 3901 cases, four deaths, 218 in hospital with 13 in ICU
WA: 15,205 cases, five deaths, 304 in hospital with 11 in ICU.
Australian Associated Press
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