Voting is compulsory in Local Government elections.

Ballot papers

Following the declaration of the candidates for each vacancy, where an election is contested a draw will be undertaken to determine the order in which the candidates’ names will appear on the ballot paper.

Political affiliations, if any, are not printed on local government ballot papers.

Early voting

Voters who are unable to vote on election day,  may be eligible to vote at an early voting centre. The locations and opening times of early voting centres will be listed on this website at the time of an election.

Early voting commences as soon as possible after the close of nominations and operates during normal office hours except on the day immediately before election day when it finishes at a time determined by the returning officer.

Postal voting

An application for a postal vote can be received by the returning officer any time in the three months before an election.

The mail out of ballot material ceases at 6:00 pm:

  • 4 days before election day to overseas addresses, and
  • 2 days before election day to addresses within Australia.

After the public declaration of nominations and the draw to determine the order of candidate names on the ballot paper, ballot papers are printed.  Ballot material is then forwarded, as soon as possible, to any electors applying for postal vote material. 

Registered postal voters (RPV's), are automatically sent ballot papers and are not required to lodge a new application for each election.

In order to be admitted to the count, a postal vote must be completed before 6:00 pm on eleciton day.  It must also be either:

  • delivered to a voting centre before 6:00 pm on eleciton day, OR
  • received by the Commission before 6:00 pm on the Friday following election day.
Note: There are requirements for the completion of postal voting ballot papers and signing and witnessing of declaration envelopes. See qualifications of witness and duties of witness below.
 

Qualification of Witness

An authorised witness can be:

  • Within Australia or an external Territory – a person enrolled on the Commonwealth electoral roll, or
  • overseas - a person who is at least 18 years.

Duties of a witness

  • Be satisfied as to the identity of the applicant and that the statements contained in the application are true, and
  • See the applicant sign the application.

Mobile voting

Mobile voting is conducted over a number of days leading up to election day in hospitals, nursing homes, hostels and correctional centres as well as at remote locations. Small teams of electoral officials travel to the locations scheduled to be visited.

Mobile voting services operate according to advertised dates and times to allow electors to vote during the 12 days before election day and up to 6:00 pm on election day itself.

The voting times for mobile voting vary according to the number of electors to be serviced. Wherever possible, itineraries for mobile voting teams are drawn up taking into account elector movements and any identified voting times and dates for the locations concerned.

Voting locations and times will be posted on this website at the time of an election.locations and times will be posted on this website at the time of an election.

Election day voting centres

Election day voting centres are appointed in locations where significant numbers of electors are enrolled and a full day of voting is appropriate.  Voting centres on election day open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

A list of election day voting centres will be available from this website at election time.

Absent voting

If an elector attends a voting centre outside their local government area, they will cast an absent vote which is placed in an envelope and counted after election day. 

Assistance to voters

Where an elector requires assistance with marking his/her ballot paper, assistance can be provided by a person nominated by the voter or by a voting official.

Voting officials who speak languages other than English are often avalable to assist in the voting centre.