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State by-elections - Postal voting COVID measure

Bega, Monaro, Strathfield and Willoughby districts to vote 12 February

Voters in four NSW districts will vote in by-elections on Saturday, 12 February 2022 to return members of the Legislative Assembly of the New South Wales Parliament.

As a COVID-19 safety measure, the NSW Government has empowered the NSW Electoral Commissioner to determine that all electors in these districts are entitled to vote by post.

John Schmidt, NSW Electoral Commissioner said postal voting packs would be sent to every voter enrolled in those districts, and voting in person would start from Monday, 31 January.

“To help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, postal voting will be open to everyone on the electoral roll in these districts, and postal voting packs will be automatically sent to them.

“Voters can choose to vote via post, or in person at our voting centres. People using postal voting are encouraged to make sure they follow the instructions in the pack to complete their postal vote before 6pm, Saturday, 12 February, and get their ballot papers back to us by the cut-off for accepting postal votes on Friday, 25 February,” he said.

All voting centres will be run in line with COVID-safe election guidelines including wearing of masks for staff and voters, physical distancing, single-use pens, queue management and QR code check in. Signage and staff will direct attendees to check in using the Service NSW app and comply with NSW Health advice on physical distancing.

Voters are encouraged to visit elections.nsw.gov.au for the most up-to-date information and should keep up to date with the latest NSW Health advice.

Candidate nominations

Following the issue of the writs today, candidate nominations for these elections are now open and close at 12 noon on Thursday, 27 January 2022. Late or incomplete nominations cannot be accepted.

Ballot paper draw

The draw to determine the order of candidates’ names on the ballot paper will occur at each election manager’s office at 8:30am on Friday, 28 January 2022.

Further information about the State by-elections is available at elections.nsw.gov.au.

Voting options

Voters can vote in person early or on election day or vote by post. Postal voting packs will be sent to all people on the electoral roll as a COVID-19 safety measure. Voting is compulsory at these by-elections.

Postal ballots must be completed on or before election day and received by the NSW Electoral Commission by Friday, 25 February 2022.

Early voting (pre-poll) will be available to all voters at these elections as an additional COVID-19 safety measure.

Early voting opens on Monday, 31 January 2022 and closes at 5pm on Friday, 11 February 2022.

iVote will not be available to voters at these elections.

Telephone voting will be available to voters who are blind or have low vision only.

Voting on election day

Voting centres will be open from 8am - 6pm on Saturday, 12 February 2022.

Counting and results

The count and final declaration of results for these by-elections will take longer than in previous elections due to the extended deadline for the return of postal votes (25 February 2022), and the anticipated increase in postal voting volumes. Results cannot be declared for a by-election until after all votes have been received and counted.  

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