|The 2020 local government elections begin this week with ballot packs being mailed from tomorrow to over 4.33 million voters across the state.
Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately is encouraging people to vote as early as possible.
“With the elections being conducted by post, voters must complete and return their ballot material as soon as possible to make sure their vote is received in time,” Mr Gately said.
Voters should complete and return their ballot material as soon as they receive it. Completed ballot papers must be in the mail or hand-delivered to the election office by 6pm Friday 23rd October. For Hindmarsh, the election office is located at the Jeparit Memorial Hall.
Local mail clearance times vary so voters should check their local mail clearance times to make sure their vote is in the mail on time.
Should it become necessary, however, the VEC has been provided with the authority to extend the postal voting timeline to ensure that voter participation and election results are not affected by postal delays.
“The authority provided to me by the regulatory amendments allows me – if required – to mitigate the impact that any possible delays could have on the integrity of the elections,” Mr Gately said last week.
“I will not risk voters being deprived of the right to vote. This action doesn’t mean the timelines will change, just that they may be changed if there is any evidence that delays in the postal network are impacting the integrity of the elections.”
Voters who haven’t received a ballot pack by Friday 16th October should call their election office to arrange a replacement. Contact details for election offices are available on the VEC website at vec.vic.gov.au.
Voting is compulsory for voters who were on the State roll for this election at 4pm Friday 28th August and Council-enrolled voters are encouraged to vote. State-enrolled voters who don’t vote may be fined.
For wards and councils where, at the close of nominations, the number of candidates is the same as the number of vacancies, voting will not be required, and candidates will be elected unopposed. Voters in uncontested wards will be informed they will not be required to vote.
As at the close of nominations, an insufficient number of candidates nominated to fill the vacancies for East Ward in Hindmarsh Shire Council.
A by-election to fill the vacancy in East Ward (Dimboola) in Hindmarsh Shire Council will be held at a later date.
The other two wards in Hindmarsh – North Ward (Jeparit and Rainbow) and West Ward (Nhill) – will both need to vote. A list of candidates is available at this link.