Full postal ballots
Tasmanian Local Government elections are conducted by postal ballot. Election material (including the ballot paper) is personally mailed directly to each elector. The elector then has a brief period of time to complete her/his ballot paper before returning their vote in the post (as a postal vote).
For a Full Postal Ballot, every elector is automatically sent a postal ballot pack. This differs from a State or Federal election where an elector needs to apply for a postal vote if they can't go to a polling place on polling day.
Who is to be elected?
At the 2014 local government elections, there are 263 councillor positions up for election. Following the recent changes to the Local Government Act 1993, mayors and deputy mayors are elected for four year terms and all councillors will retire and become eligible for re-election at the same time. Refer to the candidate information booklet for more details.
Successful candidates for mayor and deputy mayor must be also elected as councillors to be able to accept the office of mayor or deputy mayor.
When do the elections begin?
The local government elections commence with the issue of the Notice of Election. The Notice of Election states:
The Notice is issued and advertised prominently on the seventh Saturday prior to the close of polling. At the 2014 elections, the Notice of Election will be advertised on Saturday 13 September.
A returning officer for each council election is appointed by the Electoral Commissioner to undertake important election duties, such as accepting nominations, receiving returned postal votes and conducting the count.
The returning officer may appoint an electoral officer for each council to assist in conducting the poll. The electoral officer is a representative of the returning officer at the council and can receive nominations on behalf of the returning officer and issue supplementary postal votes.
Close of the roll
At the close of the roll, an election roll is produced for each council. The roll includes the names of all people who are eligible to vote at the election.
The roll for the local government elections closes at 6pm on the Thursday after the Notice of Election is issued. At the 2014 local government elections, the roll will close at 6pm Thursday 18 September.
The election roll for local government elections is generated from two sources:
Go to 'Voting at local government elections' for more information.
Candidate nomination forms must be lodged, posted or faxed so as to be received by the returning officer before the nomination period closes. As part of the nomination form, candidates may provide a short statement and a recent photo which will accompany the ballot papers sent to electors.
At the 2014 local government elections, nominations may be received from Monday 15 September until noon Monday 29 September.
Go to the candidate information page for more details.
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 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’ and is also used for Tasmanian Parliamentary elections.
Postal ballot packs
Following the announcement of candidates, postal ballot packs are prepared, printed and packed for posting to more than 360,000 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:
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:
If electors can’t get it in the post in time, they can drop it in to the relevant council or the office of the returning officer before the 10am deadline.
Close of the Poll
Australia Post sort all returned postal votes by council before delivering them to the returning officers.
To ensure that each elector only votes once, the elector’s roll number on each returned postal vote is entered into a database. Checks are undertaken to identify any duplicate roll numbers.
Following the close of the poll, the final returned postal votes are included in the database and checked before any declaration envelopes can be opened.
The day the poll closes is a very busy day with over 500 casual staff employed at different times of the day across different locations around the state. Following the close of the poll, two major processes take place:
Close of poll processes will take place in Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Devonport.
Removing ballot papers from envelopes
The process of removing ballot papers involves:
With over 200,000 postal votes expected to be returned, the process for removing ballot papers is expected to require around 1,900 work hours. The aim is to complete this process within 5 hours so that staff can be refreshed and areas prepared for conducting the count.
Counting the votes
The counting of first preference votes occurs simultaneously for all councils from 6pm. During the evening, progressive figures will be provided at the election tally room in Hobart, at the counting centres and on the TEC website.
By the end of the night many mayoral and deputy mayoral results will be known and a at least half the councillor ballot papers will have been counted.
Over the following days, all ballot papers are rechecked and the Hare Clark distribution of preferences is undertaken for all councillor elections.
Looking for a detailed explanation of Hare-Clark? Read more (will open in a new tab).
Or enjoy this animation - a light-hearted look at the Hare-Clark electoral system, created for the recent State Election.
The final elements of the elections
The elections for a council conclude when the returning officer issues the Certificate of Election. The Certificate of Election is the formal notice of all elected candidates for that council. The Certificates of Election will be published once scrutinies for all councils have been completed.
Once the Certificate of Election has been issued, all candidates have 45 days to lodge an electoral advertising return with the Electoral Commission.
Progressive results...Learn more
Handbook + other information...
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Candidates have been announced...Learn more
Services to help you have your say in the local government elections.Learn more
The election calendar - enrolment close, nomination period, polling period...Learn more
Map of Tasmania's local government (municipal) boundaries.
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Check your enrolment, update your details, or enrol to vote...
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