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State by-elections: election day and results

Bega, Monaro, Strathfield and Willoughby go to the polls

More than 38 per cent of voters have already had their say in the Bega, Monaro, Strathfield and Willoughby State by-elections, but results will take longer than usual to be announced according to the NSW Electoral Commission. 

So far, 20.28 per cent of postal votes have been returned and 18.15 per cent of people have voted early in person. 

To help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, a postal pack has been provided to every enrolled resident in each district. 

NSW Electoral Commissioner John Schmidt said the count and final declaration of results would take longer than in previous State by-elections due to the extended deadline for the return of postal votes (Friday, 25 February), and the anticipated increase in postal voting volumes. 

“Results will start to be reported on our website from election night, but final results cannot be declared for these by-elections until all the postal votes received by 25 February have been processed. 

“It is currently planned that the results will be announced by Friday, 11 March, however further details will be provided closer to that date,” he said.

Mr Schmidt reminded voters they had until 6pm on election day, Saturday 12 February, to either vote in person or complete their postal vote pack.

“If you are planning to vote by post, make sure you have your vote completed on or before 6pm on election day and return it to us by 6pm Friday, 25 February. Otherwise, your vote cannot be counted.

“Information regarding how to complete postal packs is available on our website and translated into seven languages. Any voters who need assistance in a language other than English can call us via the national Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50. 

“For those planning to vote in person, voting centres are open 8am to 6pm tomorrow and information about voting centre locations and COVID safety measures in place is available at elections.nsw.gov.au.”

"Voting at these by-elections is compulsory for all enrolled residents of the Bega, Monaro, Strathfield and Willoughby districts," he said.

More information about these by-elections can be found at elections.nsw.gov.au.

Early voting figures

Early voting figures, including the number of postal vote packs received, are available on our website:

Results timeline

7 February: Election officials will commence initial scrutiny on returned postal vote certificates.

12 February: Initial counts will start to be reported on election night. These counts will include ballot papers counted in voting centres and early voting centre votes counted in the Election Manager’s office on election night. These will be progressively published on the Commission website.

16 February: Following the scanning of election day authorised rolls, subsequent scrutiny will be undertaken to verify postal votes against voting data to check that any electors who have voted during early voting and on election day have not also lodged a postal vote. This scrutiny is expected to commence Wednesday, 16 February at the Centralised Postal Vote Centre.

Declaration votes including absentee and enrolment votes are expected to be counted, subject to volume.

19 February: Counting of all postal votes already scrutinised and accepted will commence. It is expected that a progressive count will be available that includes as many postal votes as is practicable, dependant on volumes already received.

25 February: Postal votes can be received by the NSW Electoral Commission up until 6pm Friday, 25 February and will continue to be scrutinised and counted. No distribution of preferences can occur until all the postal votes received before 6pm on 25 February have been scrutinised and counted.  

11 March: It is currently planned that the results will be announced by the Electoral Commissioner by Friday, 11 March, following a distribution of preferences in each Election Manager’s office. Further details will be provided closer to that date.

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