Who is eligible to be a candidate?

Legislative Assembly elections:

For a Legislative Assembly election a candidate must be entitled to be on the electoral roll for an address within the Northern Territory.

Local Government (Council) elections:

For Local Government (Council) elections a candidate must be on the electoral roll for an address within the council area.  

Details of candidate eligibility criteria can be found in the relevant candidate handbook.

How is a candidate nominated?

Legislative Assembly elections:

Candidates must submit a correctly completed nomination form, along with a photograph in the prescribed format with the required deposit. 

Local Government (Council) elections:

Candidates must submit a correctly completed nomination form, along with a photograph in the prescribed format.

Who can nominate candidates?

Legislative Assembly elections:

A person may be nominated as a candidate for election for a division only by:

(a) if the person is nominated as the party candidate of a registered party for the division - the registerd officer of that party

or

(b) otherwise - six electors entitled to vote at the election in the division.

Local Government (Council) elections:

A candidate must be nominated by at least three other persons eligible to vote at the election.

  • If the candidate is standing for principal member or for an ordinary council member position in a council which is not divided into wards, the nominators of the candidate must be enrolled for an address within the council area.

  • If the candidate is standing for an ordinary council member position in a council which is divided into wards, the nominators of the candidate must be enrolled for an address within the ward for which the candidate is standing.

When can nominations be made?

Legislative Assembly elections:

A candidate must lodge a correctly completed nomination form before the close of nominations for that election.

Nomination forms for Legislative Assembly elections must be lodged at the NTEC offices in Darwin or Alice Springs.

Local Government (Council) elections:

A candidate must lodge a correctly completed nomination form before the close of nominations for that election.

Nominations forms for Local Government (Council) elections must be lodged at the NTEC offices in Darwin or Alice Springs. or with a deputy returning officer (if appointed for the election or by-election) at temporary NTEC offices in regional centres (if established for that election).

What are the requirements for the candidate's photograph?

Legislative Assembly elections:

A photograph in the prescribed format must be submitted with the nomination form. Refer to the candidate handbook for requirements.

Local Government (Council) elections:

A photograph in the prescribed format must be submitted with the nomination form. Refer to the candidate handbook for requirements.

How much is the deposit and when is the deposit returned?

Legislative Assembly elections:

Candidates at Legislative Assembly elections must lodge a deposit of $200 in cash or a bank cheque with their nomination form. The deposit will be refunded if the candidate:

  • is elected, or
  • obtains a total number of first preference votes which is more than one-fifth of the total of the first preference votes received by the elected candidate.
Local Government (Council) elections:

No deposit is required for candidates lodging a nomination form for Local Government (Council) elections.

How does a candidate withdraw his/her nomination?

A candidate may withdraw from an election by giving notice, in writing, on the approved form to the Commission before 12:00 noon on the day nominations close.

When do nominations become public? 

Legislative Assembly elections:

As soon as possible after the close of nominations, candidate names are publically declared. The declaration is made at the NTEC offices in Darwin or Alice Springs. No information about candidates may be provided until the close of nominations.

If more candidates are nominated than there are vacancies an election is required and the draw for positions on ballot papers then takes place. If only the required number of nominations is received, the candidate(s) are declared as duly elected. If there are less candidates than vacancies the election for the unfilled vacancies fails and a supplementary or by-election is required.

The list of candidates (with their authorised contact details) is shown on dedicated election web pages on the NTEC website as soon as possible after the declaration of nominations.

Local Government (Council) elections:

As soon as possible after the close of nominations, candidate names are publically declared. The declaration is made at designated regional offices and the NTEC offices in Darwin or Alice Springs. No information about candidates may be provided until the close of nominations.

If more candidates are nominated than there are vacancies an election is required and the draw for positions on ballot papers then takes place. If only the required number of nominations is received, the candidate(s) are declared as duly elected. If there are less candidates than vacancies the election for the unfilled vacancies fails and a supplementary or by-election is required.

The list of candidates (with their authorised contact details) is shown on dedicated election web pages on the NTEC website as soon as possible after the declaration of nominations.

How are candidates' names listed on the ballot papers?

Candidates' names are printed on the ballot paper in order determined by lot after the declaration of nominations.

There is provision for each candidate's photograph to be printed on the ballot paper.

What is the role of scrutineers?

Candidates may appoint persons to act as observers on their behalf during the voting period and at counting centres. These observers are called scrutineers.

Candidates must submit the relevant scrutineer appointment form to the officer-in-charge of the voting/counting centre.

  • Scrutineer appointment form: Legislative Assembly elections
  • Scrutineer appointment form: Local Government (Council) elections
  • During voting period

    Scrutineers are entitled to observe all procedures undertaken by electoral officials including the assisted voting procedures. They may challenge the right of any elector to vote but the officer-in-charge of the voting centre/location has the final decision as to whether the elector is given a ballot paper. During the election period only one scrutineer for each candidate is entitled to enter and remain in the voting centre/location at any time.

    During vote counting

    A candidate may appoint a scrutineer at all locations where votes are being counted. Each candidate is entitled to appoint one scrutineer per counting table. Scrutineers may challenge the formality of any ballot paper; however, the Electoral Commissioner has the final decision on whether to admit or reject any ballot paper.

    Are there any campaign funding or disclosure provisions?

    Legislative Assembly elections:

    Candidates are required to lodge a financial disclosure return after every Legislative Assembly election.

    More information: financial disclosure.

    Local Government (Council) elections:

    There is no requirement to disclose campaign expenditure or donations received for a Local Government (Council) election.