What happens at local government elections – Polling period
Introduction| Calling the election| Polling period | After polling
Announcement of candidates
Twenty-four hours after the close of nominations, the returning officer announces the names of candidates whose nominations have been accepted. Once all candidates have been announced the returning officer conducts the draw for positions of candidate names on the first ballot paper rotation.
Candidate names on local government and Tasmanian Parliamentary ballot papers are rotated so that each candidate name appears an equal number of times at the top, the bottom and in other positions on the ballot paper. This process is known as ‘Robson rotation’.
Postal ballot packs
Following the announcement of candidates, postal ballot packs are prepared, printed and packed for posting to more than 350,000 electors around Tasmania.
All electors will receive postal ballot packs in their letterboxes over a four-day period in mid October. The postal ballot pack contains:
- ballot papers;
- voting instructions and candidate statements;
- a ballot paper envelope (this envelope must be signed by the elector to ensure ballot security); and
- a reply paid envelope for returning your ballot paper envelope which contains your completed ballot paper (voting won’t even cost a stamp)
If electors do not receive their postal ballot packs, or need a replacement, they can contact the Tasmanian Electoral Commission and request a supplementary postal ballot pack to be sent out.
Return of postal votes
Electors have around two weeks (including two weekends) to complete their ballot paper and return it so that it can be included in the count.
To have their vote counted electors must:
- mark their preferences on the ballot paper;
- place the completed ballot paper in the ballot paper envelope (the envelope that has the elector’s name printed on it) and seal it;
- sign the ballot paper envelope in the box next to the elector’s name;
- place the ballot paper envelope in the reply paid envelope and seal it; and
- put the reply paid envelope in the post (no stamp required) so that it reaches the returning officer before the close of polling.
At the 2011 local government elections, the returning officer must receive the returned postal vote by 10am Tuesday 25 October 2011.
If electors can’t get it in the post in time, they can drop it in to the council or the office of the returning officer before the 10am deadline.
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