Slide 1 - Penrith City Council

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					Local Government Elections 2008
   Saturday 13 September 2008

   Candidate Information Sessions

The information provided in this presentation is based on
legislation contained in the Local Government Act 1993 and
the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005.

Proposed amendments to the Act and the Regulation are
presently under consideration, which may alter some of the
information being provided.

Until such time as the amendments are finalised the NSWEC is
unable to present information relating to the amending

You should regularly visit the NSWEC website for updated information relating to
the enactment of the legislation.
1. The NSWEC

   Required by law to conduct Council elections,
    referendums & polls
   Ensure independence, fairness & impartiality
   Appoint & train returning officers
   Appoint polling places, pre poll centres
   Provide information to parties, candidates &
   Establish & manage
     – candidate help desk 1300 135 736
     – elector enquiry centre
   NSWEC does not provide legal advice to candidates

2. Reference Websites

3. Election Timetable

   Monday 21 July enrolment advertising campaign begins

   Monday 4 August
     – close of rolls 6.00pm
     – accept nominations

   Wednesday 13 August 5.00pm close nominations
     – nomination forms & deposit with returning officer

3. Election Timetable (cont’d)

   Friday 15 August nomination day
     – groupings close 12 noon
     – withdrawal of candidate nomination by 11.00am

   Friday 15 August to 5.00pm Monday 25 August
     – registration of electoral material

   Saturday 13 September election day

   Registration of political parties closed 13 August 2007

4. Electoral Rolls

   Residential roll is State/Commonwealth roll – compulsory

   Non-residential roll comprises:
     – owners
     – occupiers
     – rate-paying lessees
     – enrolment not compulsory
     – details

4. Electoral Rolls (cont’d)

   Non-residential roll applications:
     – to Council General Manager
     – roll prepared by General Manager
     – integrated into roll by NSWEC

   List of electors available to candidates from 18 August
     – from returning officer
     – for ward or area being contested
     – available in soft or hard copy
     – contains name and address, no DOB
     – strict conditions regarding use

5. Council Areas & Elections

   Councils can be undivided areas or divided (wards)
   Some councils will share a Returning Officer
   Councillors elected for 4 year term
   Mayor elected by the electors - 4 year term
   Mayor elected by councillors - 1 year term
   Some councils have Constitutional Referendums or Polls
   Compulsory voting in:
     – mayor and councillor elections
     – constitutional referendums
   Voting in polls is optional
   No absent voting

6. Who Can Be A Candidate

   On roll in council area on 4 August 2008
   Check your enrolment
   Not disqualified from holding civic office
   Onus on candidate to ensure eligibility
   Can be candidate for councillor & mayor in same area
     – can’t be elected to both
   Can nominate for more than one ward
     – must withdraw all but one
   Can be candidate in more than one council area & can be
    elected Mayor or Councillor to more than one council

7. The Nomination Forms

   Must nominate on prescribed form

   Comprises:
     – nomination form
     – election funding registration
     – candidate information sheet
     – statistics form

   Nomination by 2 electors (proposers) from ward or council

   Option to show “Independent” next to name

   Nomination by Registered Political Party
7. The Nomination Forms (cont’d)

   Option to show registered party name or abbreviation

   Option to show how given name will appear on ballot paper

   If contesting a ward, must be proposed by electors from that

   Nomination forms are confidential documents

   Candidate contact details only released with consent of

8. Candidate Information Sheet

   Completion and lodgement compulsory for every candidate

   Statutory Declaration

   Provides voters with information about yourself e.g.
     – occupation
     – trade, professional qualifications
     – membership of organisations
     – Policies

   Available for public inspection up to and on election day

9. Nomination Deposit

   Deposit $125 for individual candidates

   Capped at $625 for group of 6 or more

   Cash, bank or building society cheque only

   No personal cheques, no EFTPOS

   Nomination rejected if deposit not received

   Deposit refunded in certain circumstances
10. Nominating

   Can only nominate to returning officer where standing as

   Deliver, post, or fax nomination forms

   Delivery can be by any person

   Deliver or post deposit

   Ensure nomination forms fully & correctly completed

10. Nominating (cont’d)

   Responsibility for timely lodgement rests with candidate

   If nomination defective:
     – person delivering forms advised
     – otherwise candidate informed
     – forms returned

   Corrected forms re-lodged by 5.00pm Wednesday 13

   Suggest don’t leave until “last minute”

11. Nominating – Councils in Regions

   Nomination must be received by Region’s returning officer

   Options - can lodge nomination with local council or with
    returning officer

   Lodging nomination with local council:
     – lodgement can be by any person
     – council faxes nomination to returning officer
     – candidate requests copy of fax confirmation report
     – council will accept deposit and issue receipt

11. Nominating – Councils in Regions

   Nominating to returning officer:
     – deliver, post, or fax nomination forms
     – delivery can be by any person
     – deliver or post deposit
   Ensure nomination forms fully & correctly completed
   Responsibility for timely lodgement rests with candidate
   If nomination defective:
     – person delivering forms advised
     – otherwise candidate informed
     – forms returned
   Corrected forms re-lodged by 5.00pm Wednesday 13 August
   Suggest don’t leave until “last minute”

12. Withdrawal of Nomination

   Must be notification signed by candidate

   RPP cannot withdraw a candidate

   Must be received by returning officer by 11.00am Friday 15

   If in a group all must agree to withdrawal

13. Forming a Group - Councillor

   Two or more candidates can form a group
   Do not need to be RPP to form group
   Groups can be:
     – single party or composite party
     – “Independents”
     – “Independents”/other
     – non “Independent”
   On prescribed form
   Signed by all candidates to signify order
   Must be with returning officer by noon Friday 15 August
   Grouping can be withdrawn – by noon Friday 15 August
   RPP cannot withdraw group

14. Requesting A Group Voting
    Square (GVS)

   GVS allows electors to vote “above-the-line”

   Request GVS on grouping form

   To qualify for GVS:
     – if contesting a ward - need at least as many candidates
       in the group as there are councillors to be elected;
     – if contesting a council area with no wards - need at
       least half as many candidates in the group as there are
       councillors to be elected

   Ballot paper must have at least two GVS

15. Ungrouped Candidates

   Candidates not in groups are “ungrouped”

   Listed in single column at right hand side of ballot paper

   Nothing on ballot paper to identify as a “group”

   Cannot vote “above-the-line” for ungrouped candidates

   Can be nominated by RPP and show party name

   Can request “Independent”

16. Ballot Paper Formats

   Mayor

   Councillor - no groups

   Councillor - groups but no GVS

   Councillor - with GVS

   “Directions for Voting” will tell voters to vote:
     – for number to be elected if voting for individual
        candidates; or
     – in at least 1 GVS

Mayoral ballot paper

Councillor ballot paper with no groups

Councillor ballot paper with groups
but no group voting squares

Councillor ballot paper with group
voting squares

17. After Close of Nominations

   After Close of Nominations - Wednesday
    - Returning officer confirms all nominations with NSWEC

   On Nomination Day – Friday
    - Returning officer:
       - can receive requests to group until noon
       - formally announces names of candidates
       - conducts draws for positions on ballot paper

   Record of draw available to candidates

   Election uncontested if only required number of candidates,
    or less

18. Postal Voting

   Applications available from:
     – returning officers
     – local councils

   Applications to returning officer

   Accepted by fax

19. Pre Poll Voting

   Pre poll centres appointed by NSWEC

   With returning officer during two weeks before election day

   Some additional locations –various times

   In “Regions” will be at each council office

   Locations and times from returning officer or

   Voting procedure requires completion of application envelope

   Electoral material can be distributed subject to requirements
    of legislation
20. Declared Institutions

   Appointed by NSWEC

   Nursing homes, retirement villages, some hospitals

   Voting for patients & residents only

   Locations and times from returning officer

   Contact returning officer to arrange scrutineers

   Electoral material can’t be distributed during visits
21. Campaigning

   Can be by newspaper, leaflet, posters, radio, TV
   No “official” campaigning period
   All material must show name & address of authoriser &
   Can be by any person or organisation
   Electoral material cannot:
     – use directions intended or likely to mislead
     – contain untrue or incorrect information
   Owner’s permission required to place posters on private

21. Campaigning (cont’d)

   Permission of electricity provider required to use power poles
   Maximum size of posters 8,
   Posters cannot be joined to create a message or image
   No posters on land, property owned by or under control of:
     –   Crown
     –   government agencies
     –   local council
     –   county council
   No cut off for advertising in electronic media
   Electoral material to be distributed on election day must be

22. Registration of Electoral Material
    for Election Day

   Applies to election day only
   Candidates, parties, groups must register for Election Funding
    purposes when nominating
   Apply to register electoral material by Monday 25 August
   Applications to returning officer
   Posters do not require registration
   Non-candidates, organisations can distribute electoral material
    if it has been registered with Returning Officer
   Samples of material required with application
   Can register multiple versions

22. Registration of Electoral Material
    for Election Day (cont’d)

   Must meet criteria for registration:
     – authoriser and printer details
     – show preferences for at least the number of candidates to
       be elected
     – show preferences in GVS for at least 2 groups
     – show preferences for candidates in own group before
     – not misleading, offensive, obscene
     – show groups and candidates in ballot paper order
   Certificate of registration issued
   Remains confidential until election day
   Available for inspection on election day

23. Scrutineers

   Can be any person on electoral roll

   Appointed by candidate or by any candidate in a group

   Can scrutineer for more than one candidate

   Candidate can’t scrutineer in any election in same council area

   Each candidate or group can have 1 scrutineer at:
     – each table issuing votes at pre poll centres or polling places
     – each table where votes are counted at polling places or returning
       officer’s office
     – each work station where ballot papers are data entered

23. Scrutineers (cont’d)

   Separate appointments for each venue

   Primary role of scrutineer:
     – represent interests of candidates & groups
     – ensure fairness & impartiality

   Conduct of scrutineers:
     – must obey lawful directions by election officials
     – cannot be disruptive
     – should be co-operative
     – should address issues with returning officer or polling
       place manager
     – offences under legislation

24. Counting the Votes on Election

   Mayor and Councillor
     – 1st preference

   Referendums and Poll
     – Yes/No

   Results telephoned to returning officer

   Entered into Election Management Application (EMA)

   Posted on

   Ballot papers returned to returning officer
25. System of Election

   Mayor
     – optional preferential
     – same as Legislative Assembly
     – absolute majority 50% + 1

   Councillor
     – optional preferential where 2 elected
     – proportional representation where 3 or more elected
     – similar to NSW Upper House
     – “quota” required for election

26. Check Counting on Election

   Returning officers will undertake check counts

   Process depends on ballot paper format

   Will include election day, postal, pre poll and declared
    institution ballot papers

   Scrutineering

   Results updated following check counts on

27. Distribution of Preferences

   by returning officer
     – not before 9.00am Tuesday 16 September
     – mayoral election first
     – then councillors
     – use software to count mayor & councillor
     – returning officer will advise of counting arrangements
     – candidates advised of election results then on

28. Distribution of Preferences

   at Riverwood Counting Centre
     – Riverwood Business Park,
       Unit 11, 100 Belmore Road, Riverwood
     – 200 data entry operators
     – data entry to commence Tuesday 16 September
     – 2 x 8 hour shifts daily
     – pre-determined order available
     – candidates advised of election results then on

29. Recounts

   Electoral Commissioner can direct
     – no cost to candidate

   Candidates can request but must:
     – be to returning officer
     – be in writing
     – give reasons
     – be within 24 hours of count result
     – include deposit

30. Declaration of Results

   Electoral Commissioner approves returning officer declaring

   Declaration signed by returning officer showing:
     – votes for each candidate
     – candidates elected

   Results published

   Displayed at council

31. Complaints Handling by NSWEC

   Complaints to returning officer in first instance

   Will attempt to resolve with alleged offender

   Unresolved issues referred to NSWEC by returning officer for

   NSWEC may refer alleged offences to police

   Complainants can commence legal proceedings

32. Public Scrutiny of Candidates

   Offences in Local Government (General) Regulation 2005
   Relate broadly to
     – scrutineer/candidate behaviour
     – election advertising
   Responsibility of candidates to comply
   Public perception of candidate behaviour
   Impact on electors
   Reflects on office of councillor
   Administrative Decisions Tribunal
     – can order dismissal from civic office
     – based on irregularity in a person’s election
     – may award costs
     – can appeal ADT decision to Supreme Court

33. Election Funding

   Changes foreshadowed to EF legislation

   Will affect candidates’ election funding and disclosure

   Changes to be legislated

   Strongly suggest keep accurate records of all donations

   Watch EFA website

34. Registration of Candidates and

   Candidates and groups who register for the election can
    register electoral material

   To register
     – candidates complete EF Registration form available from
       your Returning Officer
     – groups complete EF Registration available from your
       Returning Officer

   No public funding for local government elections

35. Appointing an Official Agent

   Candidates and groups can appoint an official agent

   Appoint by completing the EF Registration form available from
    your Returning Officer

   Agent maintains election campaign records

   Responsible for lodging election funding declaration

36. Lodging a Declaration

   Each candidate and group (or agent) must lodge declaration
    of political contributions received and electoral expenditure

   Nil returns required

   Due date for lodging declarations 12 January 2009

37. Further Information

   “Election Funding Guide for Candidates and Groups for Local
    Government Elections”

   Forms and Guide available from


   Keep all records relating to your election campaign

   Issue receipts to donors

   Keep all invoices or receipts related to expenditure

   Keep samples of all advertising and printed material

   Enquiries or to request receipt books
                  1300 135 736

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