Who is eligible to be a candidate?

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

For a Local Government election a candidate must be on the electoral roll for an address within the council area.  

Details of candidate eligibility criteria can be found at candidate forms and handbooks.

How is a candidate nominated?

Candidates must submit a correctly completed nomination form, along with a photograph in the prescribed form and for Legislative Assembly elections only, the required deposit. 

Who can nominate candidates?

A person may be nominated for election for a division as a party candidate of a registered party for the division or as a candidate who is nominated by six electors enrolled in that division.

For a Local Government (Council) election the 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 nominees 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 nominees must be enrolled for an address within the ward for which the candidate is standing.

When can nominations be made?

A person seeking election at a Legislative Assembly election or Local Government election 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.

Nominations for Local Government elections may be lodged at the NTEC offices 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?

A photograph in the prescribed form must be submitted with the nomination form. See your candidates handbook for requirements.

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

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 1st preference votes which is more than one-fifth of the total of the 1st preference votes polled by the elected candidate.

No deposit is required for candidates lodging a nomination form for Local Government 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 noon on nomination day.

What happens if a candidate dies?

In a Legislative Assembly election, if any candidate dies on or before polling day or the successful candidate dies after polling day but before the poll is declared, the election is deemed to have failed, deposits are returned to all candidates and a fresh election will be held.

When do nominations become public? 

As soon as possible after the close of nominations, candidate names are publically declared. The declaration is made at the Commission's office in Darwin for Legislative Assembly elections or designated regional offices for a Local Government (Council) election. 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 names of candidates have been declared.

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 polling and the count of ballot papers. These observers are called scrutineers.

During polling

Scrutineers are entitled to observe all procedures undertaken by polling officials including the assisted voting procedures. They may challenge the right of any elector to vote but the officer in charge of the polling place has the final decision as to whether the elector is given a ballot paper. During polling only one scrutineer for each candidate is entitled to enter and remain in the polling place 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?

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

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

For more information go to financial disclosure.