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The federal government has confirmed it will back an Australian Electoral Commission recommendation to extend phone voting eligibility less than 24 hours before polls open tomorrow.

A loophole in the original regulations could have seen thousands of COVID-positive voters left unable to cast their ballot.

Originally, only people who tested positive to COVID-19 after 6pm on Tuesday this week could be eligible for phone voting.

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Close up of a woman using her smartphone indoors. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

People who tested positive to the virus before that deadline, but did not register for a postal vote before applications closed on 6pm this Wednesday, would be unable to cast a phone ballot.

This meant potentially thousands of voters could be left in isolation on Saturday with no way of participating in the democratic process.

However, this morning, the AEC has recommended that phone voting eligibility be extended to anybody who tested positive to COVID-19 from last Friday.

“There has been a lot of discussion about the telephone voting service provision and we not only understand people’s passion for democratic participation but live and breathe it every day,” Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said.

Special Minister for State Ben Morton had pledged to act on the AEC’s recommendation as soon as it was received.

The backflip followed Kooyong candidate Monique Ryan’s announcement she would take the Commonwealth to court over the original loophole today.

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Ryan, a teal Independent challenging Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, said she would demand Morton take action to ensure COVID-positive voters could have their voice heard.

Last night, she said her appeal for donations for the court challenge had raised $126,000 from donors.

Nine.com.au has contacted Ryan’s office for comment.

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