For candidates in this year's Legislative Council election for the seat of Rosevears it has not been the campaign they were expecting.
The elections for Rosevears and the Southern seat of Huon were due to be held on Saturday, May 2, but were deferred due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Attorney General Elise Archer announced last week the elections would be able to go ahead on August 1 after getting the all clear from Public Health authorities.
But in the meantime candidates have been forced to get creative in their bid to be the next member for Rosevears.
Speaking before the revised election date was announced, Former Channel 7 news presenter and Liberal candidate Jo Palmer said her campaign was certainly longer than she expected it to be.
"I had to firmly close the door on my previous career in a newsroom before I was able to put my hand up for this," Ms Palmer said.
"I know that I made the right decision and I have loved the opportunity to be even more connected with my community.
"Even though personally it's difficult, it's hard to live with uncertainty, everyone is in the same boat.
"This is the same uncertainty business people are feeling, that individuals are feeling, kids who are supposed to be at university, so are year 12 kids who are supposed to be having the best year of their life - the priority must be keeping our state safe."
Ms Palmer said she stopped officially campaigning when health became the priority but has instead spent time reaching out to those who may need to someone to talk to.
"One of the most beautiful phone conversations I had was with a lovely lady who was quite elderly and she was feeling just so down about the fact she hadn't been able to have her hair done. She was scared to go back to the hairdresser," Ms Palmer said.
Ms Palmer said she talked the lady through how she could safely attend an appointment by practicing social distancing and the woman then went on to have a haircut.
"I felt really honored people rang me and I was able to just have a chat with them and talk them through that," she said.
Put on pause
Union organiser and Labor candidate Jess Greene said her campaign was also put on pause as she had been flat-out supporting union members in the public service through the pandemic.
She said she had also been connecting online with small business owners and sole traders to help them navigate through the different grants and supports available to them.
"I've launched into more of a digital campaign and been contacting people online more than I anticipated because my preference early on in the campaign was to meet people on the doors," Ms Greene said.
"I ran a small business survey online. Normally in an election I could do a street walk and talk to the businesses but I had to do it electronically instead.
"That's what people were expecting - they didn't want us in their face in that moment.
"It's forced us all to get a little creative and to adapt just like we've all had to in our own lives because of COVID."
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Speaking before the August 1 election date was set, Ms Greene said she would prefer to see the election put off until it was safe to hold it in the usual manner, not by a postal vote.
"Postal voting doesn't always have a high return rate which is a risk because voter turn-out in the Legislative Council is always lower than the House of Assembly," she said.
Social worker and Greens candidate Jack Davenport said he changed his messaging in past months to take into account the changing situation with COVID-19.
"Nothing is going to change my viewpoint that the climate crisis is the biggest issue this country is facing but clearly for many people at the moment their major concerns are around the virus itself, their jobs, their incomes, their businesses," Mr Davenport said.
"It's about being more sensitive to that change in focus for them in the immediate term.
"The Gorge development was more of an issue a few months ago whereas now it's jobs and economy."
Mr Davenport said one of the challenges with trying to connect with voters through social media such as Facebook was although it could be used to communicate a message, there was guesswork around if that message resonated with people.
"Usually it is a lot easier to get a sense of what people want to talk about in person," he said.
Former Bass Liberal MHA and independent candidate David Fry said this campaign experience, having been a candidate before, was completely different.
"Whilst things do change a little, this has been quite different because we've never come across something like this before," he said.
Mr Fry said he had done some online campaigning but was his preference was to get back out and talk to people in the community.
"Really it's just been getting information out on Facebook and trying to keep in contact with people and community groups as best possible," Mr Fry said.
"There's not an awful lot else you could legitimately do [under the COVID restrictions] without risking breaking the rules.
"You just had to do the best that you could."
Speaking before the August election date was announced, Mr Fry said the longer the election was delayed, the longer people were not being allowed their democratic right to elect members.
"I still think a postal vote would be a good idea, however with restrictions starting to ease I would imagine a proper vote would be able to happen in the next month or two," Mr Fry said.
Going old school
City of Launceston councillor and independent candidate Janie Finlay said she had been connecting with the community through the crisis digitally but also by going old school and picking up the phone.
"Definitely that online presence has been important but there are so many people in the community in Rosevears who aren't online, a lot of older members of the community, that really enjoy that very traditional way of engaging by picking up the phone," Ms Finlay said.
"It has been very different and the priority for Tasmania has been in the first phase to support people through the health crisis and now absolutely support people through the recovery out of what will be a long-term economic challenge in a really respectful way.
"It's been really important to me as a candidate to maintain momentum and connection in the community."
Speaking before a new election date was set, Ms Finlay also said it was important democracy was maintained as the state recovered and that the elections should be held as soon as safely possible.
"It's important that we prioritise the range of difference challenges before us at the moment, whether that be in community, in business or in the governance of the state, but there is no doubt a strongly independent and actively functioning upper house can support the role of the state government as it looks to recover and rebuild," she said.
Required to self-isolate
Launceston businesswoman and independent candidate Vivienne Gale said she had barely kicked off her campaign when she went into self-isolation.
Ms Gale said she and her husband chose to isolate due to her husband's susceptibility to the virus.
"The fact I wasn't able to get any signs up or do any door-knocking was really difficult because that's how people get to know you," she said.
From her home, she has been keeping virtually connected with various charity committees she is involved with, worked towards completing her Masters in Law and has started campaigning online.
"I'm embracing technology now in the fact I've done a video on Instagram and put one ad out on Facebook," she said.
"For most people that would be really easy, kids do it all the time, but for someone like me it's a bit difficult."
She said her preference would be to meet voters through door-knocking at a time when it was safe to do so.
Spending cap unchanged
Despite this campaign period being drawn out for months longer than the norm, Ms Archer said the government was not considering amending legislation to alter the expenditure limit for the elections.
Tasmanian Electoral Commission commissioner Andrew Hawkey confirmed there had been no changes to the spending cap for candidates this year.
Each candidate is allowed to spend up to $17,000 from January 1, 2020, until the day of the election.
All six candidates said they did not think the expenditure cap needed to be reviewed in light of the pandemic delaying the election by several months.
Ms Palmer said this was not a priority and the government had bigger issues to get on top of.
"It doesn't cost anything to knock on someone's door and say hi," she said.
Ms Greene said campaigning was about meeting people, not spending lots of money.
Mr Davenport said the spending cap was already high for a campaign of this nature.
Ms Finlay said during this time everyone was having to adapt their finances.
"We've all got to be clever at how we respond at a personal level in our home budget or whether you own a small business, similarly in the way you run a campaign you look to adapt to the current realities," Ms Finlay said.
Mr Fry said he did not think anyone making a fuss about the spending cap would make a jot of difference.
Ms Gale said she did not think the cap needed to be amended but noted she spent a significant amount of money posting campaign brochures, a cost she would not have incurred if she had been able to distribute them while door-knocking as planned.