A plan to significantly reduce the number of voting stations on ACT election day could result in long lines and excessive wait times outside the ballot box, the government has warned.
The ACT Electoral Commission has proposed a number of changes to the staging of October's election to combat the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a special report presented to Speaker Joy Burch earlier this month, the commission recommended a major expansion of pre-polling, alongside a significant reduction in the number of voting stations on election day.
The measures are aimed at preventing large gatherings at voting stations.
The ACT government has backed the expansion of pre-polling, introducing laws to the Legislation Assembly on Thursday which would allow every eligible voter to cast their ballot early.
The legislation - which would only apply to the 2020 election - would also give people who are deaf or have a physical disability the option of voting via telephone, as well as allow Canberrans overseas to vote electronically.
But in its response to the commission's report, the government warned that plans to slash the number of voting locations on polling day from about 80 to 15 could lead to what the commission was hoping to avoid - gatherings outside booths.
The government said there was a risk of "excessive demand" on polling stations if a planned campaign to encourage Canberrans to cast their vote before October 17 didn't work.
Given only 31 per cent of people voted early at the 2019 federal election, the government said the ACT Electoral Commission would need to run a communications and advertising campaign of "significant scale", which would include letter-boxing every household.
Such a campaign has never been attempted, the government said, which meant it was unclear how successful it might be in changing voters' habits.
A situation in which there were "long lines and excessive wait times" due to a limited number of polling stations would create a risk to both public health and the integrity of the electoral process.
While acknowledging the risks weren't extreme, the government said there should be a "low tolerance" given the importance of the electoral process.
It said in the report that it would consult with the ACT Electoral Commission on increasing the number of voting stations on October 17.
ACT Electoral Commissioner Damian Cantwell said he had taken the government's comments on board and would respond "in the very near future".