Local Government Elections 2018

Tips about marking your ballot paper for local government elections

Q. Can I use a pen to mark my ballot paper?


You can use a pen, pencil or felt pen when marking your ballot paper, as long as your numbers are clear.

We supply pencils in polling places because they last well between elections and can always be sharpened.

Q. Why are there two sets of instructions?


Section 289 of the Local Government Act 1993, requires the council ballot papers to contain two instructions:

  • The first directs you to provide a preference for each candidate
  • The second informs you of the minimum number of consecutive preferences required to cast a formal vote.

Q. Why should I mark more than the minimum number of preferences?


The more preferences you mark, the longer your ballot paper can stay in the count.

Here's a real-life example:

At the 2009 Launceston City Mayor election between three candidates, the result was decided by three votes.

399 ballot papers could not be included in the final decision because they did not show a second preference - they droppped out of the count once the first preference was used. If some or all of these electors had recorded a second preference, the margin or result could have been very different.

Q. Can I cross out, or write numbers outside the squares?


Yes you can. Under section 300(2) of the Local Government Act 1993, a ballot paper can be counted if the elector’s intention is clear.

In other words, as long as the electoral official or returning officer can identify which candidate has been given each of your preferences the ballot paper can be included in the count.

Q. Do you have a large field of candidates?


Completing your ballot paper when there is a large field of candidates can be difficult.

One handy tip is to use the information booklet as a place to make notes or even give a 'grade' for each candidate as you read. This may help you decide how to allocate your preferences.

Where can I lodge my postal ballot?

As time runs out, you may want to take your vote to one of these locations, during their normal business hours:

Council Office Additional location
Break O'Day Council office
32-34 Geroges Bay Esplanade, St Helens
Brighton Council office
1 Tivoli Road, Old Beach
Burnie City Council office
80 Wilson St, Burnie
Central Highlands Council office
6 Tarleton St, Hamilton
Circular Head Council office
33 Goldie St, Smithton
Clarence City Counci office
38 Bligh St, Rosny Park
Derwent Valley Council office
Circle St, New Norfolk
Devonport City Council office
paranaple centre, level 2, 137 Rooke St, Devonport
Dorset Council office
3 Ellenor St, Scottsdale
Flinders Council office
4 Davies St, Whitemark, Flinders Island
George Town Council office
16-18 Anne St, George Town
Glamorgan-Spring Bay Council office
9 Melbourne St, Triabunna
Hobart City Council centre
16 Elizabeth St, Hobart
Hobart City Council
Town Hall, Macquarie St, Hobart
Huon Valley Council office
40 Main St, Huonville
Kentish Council office
69 High St, Sheffield
King Island Council office
10 George St, King Island
Kingborough Council office
15 Channel Highway, Kingston
Bruny Island Service Centre
3893 Main Rd, Alonnah
Latrobe Council office
170 Gilbert St, Latrobe
Launceston City Council office
Town Hall, 18-28 St John St, Launceston
Meander Valley Council office
26 Lyall St, Westbury
Northern Midlands Council office
13 Smith St, Longford
Sorell Council office
47 Cole St, Sorell
Southern Midlands Council office
71 High St, Oatlands
Kempton Service Centre
85 Main St, Kempton
Tasman Council office
1713 Main Rd, Nubeena
Waratah-Wynyard Council office
21 Saunders St, Wynyard
Waratah Service Centre
Smith St, Waratah
West Coast Council office
11 Sticht St, Queenstown
West Tamar Council office
6 West St, Beachonsfield
2-4 Eden St, Riverside
Tasmanian Electoral Commission office
Level 3, 169 Main Rd, Moonah

envelope image

Ballot Pack

Between the 8th and 12th of October, keep your eye on the mailbox for your ballot pack

envelope image

Local government elections in Tasmania are a full postal ballot.

This means there is a 'polling period', rather than one polling day as for State Parliamentary elections. Every elector receives their very own postal ballot pack at their enrolled postal address. You then have around 3 weeks to complete and post your vote back to the returning officer for your council. The polling period for the 2018 elections is from the week of the 8th October to 10am Tuesday 30 October 2018.

When voting, be aware that successful candidates for mayor and deputy mayor must also be elected as councillors to be able to accept the office of mayor or deputy mayor.

'Ballot of Power'

Watch this animation about postal voting in Tasmanian local government elections.

The story of your ballot pack:



Following the announcement of candidates at 12 noon Tuesday 25 September, postal ballot packs are prepared, printed and packed for posting to electors.



All electors will receive postal ballot packs in their letterboxes approximately two weeks after the announcement of candidates. Delivery will be during the course of the week commencing Monday 8 October.

The postal ballot pack contains:

  • ballot papers;
  • a booklet containing candidate statements and voting instructions;
  • 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)


Vote + Post back

Electors have around three weeks (including three weekends) to complete their ballot paper and return it by 10am Tuesday 30 October so that it can be included in the count.

To have their vote counted electors must:

  • mark their preferences on each ballot paper;
  • place the completed ballot paper(s) 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.

The close of polling is 10am Tuesday 30 October.

Related information


Progressive results for all councils...

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Your Candidates

Candidates have been announced...

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Information for Candidates

Handbook + other information...

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Important Dates

The election calendar - enrolment close, nomination period, polling period...

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Local government areas

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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What Happens at Election?

The elections begin with the enrolment period and the issue of the ...

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Previous Elections

Results of previous elections.
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