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2021 NSW Local Government Elections: Council Update No.4

Bulletin No.4
Issued 17 December 2020

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1. iVote for September 2021 elections

Use of internet voting at the 2021 local government elections

The Minister for Local Government has stated it is the NSW Government’s intention to authorise iVote to be used as an additional voting channel at local government elections that are administered by the NSW Electoral Commission in September 2021.

Before iVote can be used at these elections it will be necessary for legislative amendments to be made and for our existing iVote system to be reconfigured. The Office of Local Government manages amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 and Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 for the NSW Government. In anticipation of the necessary amendments being made in time, however, we have commenced reconfiguring iVote for local government elections, referenda and polls.    

We will provide further information about whether iVote will be available at the September 2021 local government elections if the necessary legislative amendments are made. More information about iVote can be found on our website.

2. Funding for COVID-safe elections

Minister confirms additional funding to conduct safe elections

The Government has announced that it will provide additional funding to the NSW Electoral Commission to help cover the cost of conducting the September 2021 local government elections in a COVID-safe way.

This means that councils will only need to meet the costs that would have been incurred in holding the elections in a non-COVID environment.

3. Sydney Town Hall out for 2021

Multi-area voting at Sydney Town Hall not to take place in 2021 elections

Consideration of COVID-related risks has led the NSW Electoral Commission to reassess the suitability of using Sydney Town Hall as a multi-area venue for pre-poll voting and on the election day.

Due to public health requirements, in particular social distancing, the Commissioner has determined that, to ensure the safety of voters, party workers and election staff, Sydney Town Hall will not be used for the 2021 elections.

For electors voting in the City of Sydney, a number of venues will be located around the CBD. Consideration will be given to the establishment of some multi council pre-poll venues and polling places within the Sydney local government area to allow electors from some surrounding areas to vote in the Sydney CBD.

Finally, all at the NSW Electoral Commission would like to wish you and your staff a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.