2022 NSW Local government elections: Political participants bulletin No.3
Issued 19 July 2022
On this page
1. Reminder registration of electoral material closes
Registration of electoral material closes at 5pm Friday, 22 July 2022.
Register your electoral material using our Registration of Electoral Material System. Registered electoral material will be displayed on the NSW Electoral Commission website from Monday, 18 July 2022.
All electoral material distributed on election day by political parties, groups, candidates and any other persons or organisations must be registered. This includes any material that is handed out or available for collection by the public.
The following types of electoral material do not need to be registered:
posters or placards, and
any items distributed outside of election day
2. Reminder postal vote applications close
Postal vote applications close at 5pm Monday, 25 July 2022.
Electors can apply online, over the telephone or by completing a paper form available on our website. Our online and telephone application system will cease operating at 5pm and any applications in progress at that time cannot be accepted.
Paper application forms received after this time also cannot be accepted.
3. Registration as a third-party campaigner under electoral funding laws
A third-party campaigner is a person or entity (other than a political party, candidate, group, elected member, or associated entity) that incurs more than $2,000 in electoral expenditure for an election in a local government area between 6 June 2022 and election day, 30 July 2022.
Third-party campaigners must register for an election in a local government area or ward before paying for more than $2,000 in electoral expenditure.
Electoral expenditure incurred by a third-party campaigner is expenditure that has the dominant purpose of promoting or opposing a political party or candidate or influencing the vote at an election.
Applications for registration as a third-party campaigner close on Monday, 25 July 2022
Use this form to apply to register as a third-party campaigner: EF.735 Application to register a third-party campaigner and notice of appointment of official agent.
When registering, a third-party campaigner must appoint an official agent, who is responsible for the management and disclosure of the third-party campaigner’s political donations and electoral expenditure. This includes operating the campaign account on behalf of the third-party campaigner.
The details of registered third-party campaigners and official agents are included in publicly available registers on our website. Once registered, third-party campaigners and official agents whose registered details change must notify us within 30 days by submitting this form: EF.740 Notice of change in registered particulars.
More information about registering as a third-party campaigner. Enquiries about being registered may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. End of financial year disclosures are due
Registered candidates and groups, current councillors and mayors, political parties and their associated entities, and third-party campaigners must disclose their political donations and electoral expenditure to the NSW Electoral Commission.Disclosures must be received by the relevant deadline:
Political donation disclosures for the half-yearly period 1 January to 30 June 2022 are due by Thursday, 28 July 2022.
Electoral expenditure disclosures for the annual period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 are due by Thursday, 22 September 2022.
Disclosures must be lodged even if no political donations were made or received during the half-yearly period and/or no electoral expenditure was incurred during the annual period.
5. Caps on political donations and indirect campaign contributions for the 2022-23 financial year
Political donations and indirect campaign contributions are capped at NSW local government elections. Political parties, elected members, candidates, groups, associated entities, and third-party campaigners must not accept a political donation that exceeds the applicable donation cap. It is also unlawful to make or accept an unlawful indirect campaign contribution.
The caps have been adjusted for inflation for the 2022-23 financial year. The applicable caps commencing 1 July 2022 are:
Political donation or indirect campaign contribution made to or for benefit of:
A registered party or group of candidates
An unregistered party (or party registered for less than 12 months), elected member, candidate, third-party campaigner, or associated entity
6. Pre-poll voting commences
Pre-poll voting commenced at 9am Monday, 18 July 2022 and will close at 5pm Friday, 29 July 2022. Visit the Elections page for details of pre-poll voting office locations.
7. Telephone assisted voting
Telephone Assisted Voting will be available for electors who are blind or have low vision. Applications and voting will commence at 9am Monday, 25 July 2022. Applications close 5pm Friday, 29 July 2022. Telephone Assisted Voting closes at 1pm on Election Day 30 July 2022.
8. Scrutineers and candidate workers
Candidates and parties may wish to appoint scrutineers who will represent them at any location where polling is carried out, declaration envelopes are scrutinised, ballot papers are extracted or scrutinised, or votes are counted. Please refer to the Scrutineer Policy on our website for further information.
Scrutineers must be appointed in writing by completing an Appointment of Scrutineer - LG.213 available on the website. Scrutineers must complete the declaration on that form each time they wish to attend a scrutineering location.
Candidate workers act on behalf of candidates and/or political parties to distribute electoral material (such as how-to-vote cards) at pre-poll voting locations prior to election day and polling places on election day.
Candidate workers are not required to complete any appointment form to engage in these tasks unless they also wish to act as a scrutineer.
9. COVID-19 Safety Protocol for Scrutineers
The Electoral Commission acknowledges the importance of scrutineering in ensuring confidence in the electoral process. However, for the safe conduct of these elections, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the following procedures should be followed:
Scrutineers should maintain 1.5m physical distancing, wherever practicable, from any other person in attendance at an election venue at all times which shall be maintained by way of:
Scrutineers refraining from shaking hands or attempting to do so, - Scrutineers only inspecting ballot papers when the relevant election official has stepped away to allow the scrutineer to step closer, and not returning until the scrutineer has again moved away 1.5m, and
Scrutineers being permitted reasonable use of their own devices within an election venue to assist them to see electoral officials undertake their voting or counting duties better where it is not practicable to stand only 1.5m away
Scrutineers are advised to wear a mask at all times in election venues and comply with all hand hygiene directions from staff of the NSW Electoral Commission
In attending an election venue, scrutineers acknowledge that they are visitors to NSW Electoral Commission workplaces and have responsibilities under work health and safety laws to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of their actions causing harm to other persons on the premises, including NSW Electoral Commission staff and other scrutineers.
People who are sick should not attend an election venue to scrutineer.
The COVID-19 safety plan, which includes more details about the safety measures expected to be followed by scrutineers and other election participants can be viewed here.
10. How to report non-complying electoral material
If you have concerns that electoral material used or published during the regulated election period is, or was unlawful, a report may be made in writing by emailing email@example.com.
A report about non-complying electoral material should include a copy of the electoral material. For electoral material published on the internet, a URL link or the name of a social media account and a screenshot should be provided.
While all reports of non-compliance will be acknowledged, it may not be possible to provide details to the reporter about what action has been or will be taken in response. The NSW Electoral Commission is only authorised to disclose information about compliance matters and enforcement actions in limited circumstances, where authorised or permitted by law.
- proportionality: any action decided upon by the NSW Electoral Commission will be proportionate to the seriousness of potential breaches of the law and the surrounding circumstances
- prioritisation: complaints are prioritised according to a number of considerations, including but not limited to legislative timeframes and the known or foreseeable impact of potential breaches of the law
- use of resources: decisions are made about allegations, including potential investigation and enforcement action, in a way that uses the resources of the NSW Electoral Commission appropriately.
11. Candidate information webinars
The slides presented during the candidate information webinars along with the questions and answers have been published under Step 1 of the six steps to being a candidate.
12. Further information / candidate helpdesk
Further information regarding the local government elections including key dates can be found on the NSW Electoral Commission website or by contacting the Candidate Helpdesk on 1300 022 011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.