New South Wales Consolidated Regulations

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT (GENERAL) REGULATION 2005 - SCHEDULE 9

SCHEDULE 9 – Election of members of county councils

(Clause 396)

Part 1 - General

1 When elections to be held

(1) The first ordinary election of members of a county council is to be held within 2 months of its establishment.
(2) Subsequent ordinary elections are to be held within 2 months after each ordinary election of councillors under Part 4 of Chapter 10 of the Act.
(3) A by-election to fill an office vacated by a member is to be held within 2 months after the occurrence of the vacancy.
(4) No such by-election is to be held if the vacancy occurs after an ordinary election of councillors under Chapter 10 of the Act and before an ordinary election of members of a county council.

2 Notification of vacancy

(1) The general manager of a county council must give notice of the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of a member of the county council to the Director-General and to the general managers of the councils of the areas part or all of which constitute the county council electorate in which the vacancy has occurred.
(2) The general manager is to do that within 7 days of the occurrence of the vacancy.

Part 2 - Single area electorate

3 Application of Part

This Part applies to the election of one or more members of a county council by the councillors of one constituent council, where the electorate comprises the whole or part of the area of that council only.

4 Returning officer

The general manager of the constituent council (or a person appointed by that general manager) is the returning officer.

5 Nomination

(1) A councillor of the constituent council may be nominated for election as a member of the county council.
(2) The nomination:
(a) may be made without notice by any councillor of the council, and
(b) is to be in writing delivered or sent to the returning officer, and
(c) is not valid unless the nominee has indicated consent to the nomination in writing.
(3) The returning officer is to announce the names of the nominees at a council meeting.

6 Election

(1) If the number of candidates nominated is not more than the number of vacancies to be filled, those candidates are to be declared elected.
(2) If there are more candidates nominated than the number to be elected, an election is to be determined by preferential ballot. The ballot is to be conducted by the preparation, marking and counting of ballot-papers in the presence of the council.

7 Ballot-papers and voting

(1) The ballot-papers are to contain the names of all the candidates. The councillors are to mark their votes by placing the figures 1, 2 and so on against the various names so as to indicate the order of their preference for at least the number of candidates to be elected.
(2) The formality of a ballot-paper under this Part is to be determined in accordance with clause 345 of this Regulation as if it were a ballot-paper referred to in that clause.
(3) An informal ballot-paper is to be rejected at the scrutiny of votes.

8 Count

The votes are to be counted in accordance with Schedule 4 of this Regulation.

9 Result

The result of the election (including the names of the candidates elected as members) is:

(a) to be declared to the councillors by the returning officer at the council meeting where the election is held, and
(b) to be delivered or sent to the general manager of the county council and the Director-General.

Part 3 - Joint electorate

Division 1 - Preliminary

10 Application of Part

This Part applies to the joint election of one or more members of a county council by the councillors of two or more constituent councils, where the electorate comprises the whole or parts of those councils' areas.

11 Definitions

In this Part:

"close of nominations" , in relation to an election, means the time and date for the close of nominations in the election, fixed by a notification under clause 14 of this Schedule.

"close of the ballot" , in relation to an election, means the time and date for the close of the ballot in the election, fixed by a notification under clause 14 of this Schedule.

"general manager" means the general manager of the county council in respect of which an election is being held.

"qualified elector" , in relation to a county council electorate, means a councillor of a constituent council within that electorate in the county council's area of operations.

Division 2 - Calling of election

12 Preferential system

An election under this Part is to be by the optional preferential system.

13 Returning officer

The returning officer is to be the general manager or a person appointed by the general manager (or, if no general manager has been appointed, a person appointed by the Minister).

14 Calling of election

(1) The returning officer must, as soon as practicable after an ordinary election of councillors or as soon as practicable after being notified in writing of circumstances requiring that an election be held under clause 1 (1) or (3) of this Schedule, cause to be given to each of the qualified electors a notification:
(a) stating that an election is to be held, and
(b) inviting nominations, and
(c) fixing the close of nominations, and
(d) fixing the close of the ballot.
(2) The close of nominations is to be not less than 21 days nor more than 35 days after an ordinary election of councillors or after the returning officer is notified in writing of circumstances requiring that an election be held under clause 1 (1) or (3) of this Schedule.
(3) The close of the ballot is to be not less than 21 days after the close of nominations.

Division 3 - Nominations

15 Nominations for elected member

(1) A nomination of a candidate at an election must contain the full names, full residential addresses and signatures of not less than 2 nominators, each being a qualified elector for the county council electorate in respect of which the election is to be held.
(2) The nomination must also contain the full name and full residential address of the nominee and a statement signed by the nominee that the nominee consents to the nomination.
(3) The returning officer must reject a nomination not made in accordance with this clause or a nomination received by the returning officer after the close of nominations.

16 Withdrawal of nomination

A candidate may withdraw from an election by notice in writing delivered to the returning officer at any time before the close of nominations.

17 Uncontested election

If, by the close of nominations, the number of candidates is not greater than the number of vacancies, those candidates are elected.

18 Contested election

If, by the close of nominations, the number of candidates is greater than the number of vacancies, a ballot is to be held.

Division 4 - The ballot

19 Printing of ballot-papers, directions to voters etc

(1) If a ballot is to be held, the returning officer:
(a) must determine the order in which the candidates' names are to be listed on the ballot-paper by means of a ballot held in accordance with the procedure set out in clause 303 of this Regulation, and
(b) must cause sufficient ballot-papers to be printed so that a ballot-paper can be forwarded to each qualified elector.
(2) The ballot-paper must contain:
(a) the names of the candidates, arranged in the order determined in accordance with subclause (1) (a), with a small square opposite each name, and
(b) if, in the opinion of the returning officer, the names of 2 or more candidates are so similar as to cause confusion, such other matter as will, in the opinion of the returning officer, distinguish between those candidates, and
(c) the directions as to the manner in which the vote is to be recorded, and the ballot-paper returned to the returning officer, required by subclause (3) or (4) and such other directions as the returning officer considers appropriate.
(3) If only 1 candidate is to be elected, the directions to voters must include directions to the effect that:
(a) the voter must record a vote for at least one candidate by placing the number "1" in the square opposite the name of the candidate for whom the voter wishes to give his or her first preference, and
(b) the voter may vote for additional candidates by placing consecutive numbers, beginning with the number "2", in the squares opposite the names of those additional candidates in the order of the voter's preferences for them.
(4) If 2 or more candidates are to be elected, the directions to voters must include directions to the effect that:
(a) the voter must record a vote for at least the number of candidates which corresponds to the number of vacancies to be filled by placing the sequence of numbers corresponding to the number of vacancies to be filled in the squares opposite the names of the candidates in the order of the voter's preferences for them, and
(b) the voter may vote for additional candidates by placing consecutive numbers, beginning with the number corresponding to the number of vacancies to be filled, plus one, in the squares opposite the names of those additional candidates in the order of the voter's preferences for them.

20 Distribution of ballot-papers

The returning officer must forward to each qualified elector:

(a) a ballot-paper initialled by the returning officer or a person authorised by the returning officer in that behalf, and
(b) an unsealed envelope addressed to the returning officer and bearing on the back the words "Name and address of voter" and "Signature of voter", together with appropriate spaces for the insertion of the name, address and signature.

21 Duplicate ballot-papers

(1) If any person to whom a ballot-paper has been forwarded satisfies the returning officer by statutory declaration:
(a) that the ballot-paper has been spoilt, lost or destroyed, and
(b) that the person has not already voted at the election to which the ballot-paper relates,
the returning officer may, at any time before the close of the ballot, forward to the voter a new ballot-paper and envelope.
(2) The returning officer must maintain a record of all ballot-papers forwarded to voters under this clause.

22 Recording of vote

A qualified elector who wishes to vote at the election:

(a) must record his or her vote on the ballot-paper in accordance with the directions shown on it, and
(b) must place the completed ballot-paper (folded so that the vote cannot be seen) in the envelope addressed to the returning officer and forwarded with the ballot-paper, and
(c) must seal the envelope, and
(d) must state his or her full name and full address on, and sign, the back of the envelope, and
(e) must return the envelope to the returning officer so as to be received by the returning officer before the close of the ballot.

Division 5 - The scrutiny

23 Receipt of ballot-papers

(1) In any ballot, the returning officer must reject any envelope purporting to contain a ballot-paper if the envelope:
(a) is received after the close of the ballot, or
(b) is unsealed,
without opening the envelope or inspecting the ballot-paper.
(2) On receipt, before the close of the ballot, of an envelope purporting to contain a ballot-paper, the returning officer must examine the name on the back of the envelope and:
(a) if satisfied that a person of that name is a qualified elector, must accept the ballot-paper in that envelope for scrutiny without opening the envelope, or
(b) if not so satisfied, or if a name, address or signature does not appear on the back of the envelope, must reject any ballot-paper in the envelope without opening the envelope.
(3) If it appears to the returning officer that the signature appearing on the back of any envelope referred to in subclause (2) is not the signature of the person whose name and address appear on the back of the envelope, the returning officer may make such inquiries as the returning officer thinks fit and if, after making those inquiries, the returning officer is satisfied that the signature is not the signature of that person, must reject any ballot-paper in the envelope without opening the envelope.

24 Ascertaining result of ballot

The result of the ballot is to be ascertained by the returning officer as soon as practicable after the close of the ballot.

25 Scrutineers

Each candidate is entitled to appoint, by notice in writing, a scrutineer to represent the candidate at the scrutiny of votes in accordance with section 90 of the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912 .

26 Scrutiny of votes

(1) At the scrutiny of votes, a ballot-paper must be rejected if it is informal.
(2) The formality of a ballot-paper under this Part is to be determined in accordance with clause 345 of this Regulation as if it were a ballot-paper referred to in that clause.
(3) The scrutiny of votes in a ballot is to be conducted as follows:
(a) the returning officer is to produce, unopened, the envelopes containing the ballot-papers accepted for scrutiny, other than any envelope (purporting to contain a ballot-paper) rejected under clause 23 (3) of this Schedule,
(b) the returning officer is then to open each such envelope, extract the ballot-paper and, without unfolding it, place it in a securely fastened ballot-box,
(c) when the ballot-papers from all such envelopes have been placed in the ballot-box, the returning officer is then to unfasten the ballot-box and remove the ballot-papers,
(d) the returning officer is then to examine each ballot-paper and reject those which are informal,
(e) the returning officer is then to proceed to count the votes and ascertain the result of the election in accordance with Schedule 4 of this Regulation.

27 Notification of result of election

As soon as practicable after candidates have been elected, the returning officer must notify the candidates, the general manager of each council participating in the joint election, the general manager of the county council and the Director-General in writing of the names of the candidates who have been declared elected.

Division 6 - Miscellaneous

28 Voting not compulsory

Voting at an election of members of a county council under this Part is not compulsory.

29 Electoral roll

(1) For the purpose of preparing a roll of qualified electors for the purposes of this Part, the returning officer may (by notice in writing sent to the general managers of the councils participating in the joint election of the county council) require the general managers to furnish to the returning officer, within such time as may be specified in the notice, a list of the councillors for the time being of those councils.
(2) A general manager of a council to whom such a notice is sent must comply with the requirements of the notice.

30 Death of candidate

If a candidate for election as a member of a county council dies after the close of nominations and before the day when the poll at a contested election closes, the election fails in respect of the electorate for which the candidate is nominated.

31 Validity of elections

(1) An election is not invalid just because:
(a) there was a formal defect or error in or relating to the election, if the election was held substantially in accordance with this Regulation, or
(b) there was a defect in the appointment of the returning officer.
(2) A proclamation of the Governor to the effect that a specified irregularity does not invalidate an election is conclusive as to the matter stated in the proclamation.

32 Lapsed or void election

(1) If an election for the office of member of a county council is not held when it is due, fails or is later declared void:
(a) the holder of the office at the time when the election should have been held or when the election failed (or, in the case of a void election, if there is no such holder, the candidate purporting to have been elected at the void election), holds the office as if duly elected until an election is held under paragraph (b), and
(b) the returning officer is to hold another election as if a casual vacancy had occurred in the office.
(2) An election held for the purposes of this clause is as valid as it would have been if it had been held at the time originally appointed for the purpose.

33 Security of election materials

(1) The returning officer, after the election has been declared, is to parcel the marked and unmarked ballot-papers, copies of the roll, and other papers used in the election.
(2) The returning officer is to seal, endorse and sign each parcel, and to allow any scrutineers entitled to be present to do the same to each parcel.
(3) The returning officer is to forward the parcels to the general manager.
(4) The general manager is to have the parcels kept securely for 6 months, and then destroyed.

34 Decision of returning officer final

If the returning officer is permitted or required by this Part to make a decision on any matter relating to the taking of a ballot in an election, the decision of the returning officer on that matter is final.

35 Delegation of returning officer's functions

The returning officer may delegate to any member of staff of the county council any of the returning officer's functions under this Part.

36 Costs of election to be borne by the county council

The costs of conducting an election under this Part are to be borne by the county council.



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