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2023 Lachlan Shire Council (D Ward) by-election: Political participants bulletin No.2

Bulletin No.2
Issued 19 May 2023

On this page

1. Election day

Polling places will be open from 8am until 6pm, election day, Saturday 20 May 2023.

2. Scrutineers and candidate workers/volunteers

Role of a candidate and/or party worker/volunteer

Candidate and party workers/volunteers assist candidates and/or political parties to distribute electoral material (including how-to-vote cards) at pre-poll locations prior to election day and polling places on election day. They are not required to complete any appointment forms to engage in this task.

Candidate or party workers/volunteers are allowed to:

  • distribute electoral material outside six metres from the entrance of a polling place, subject to any directions relating to safety and order issued by election officials

  • use the washroom facilities

  • enter the polling place when voting is occurring to discuss safety or order issues with the polling place manager, or to collect or store electoral material (if space permits) when voting is not occurring. A campaign t-shirt may be worn by them when entering a polling place for those purposes.

Role of scrutineers

The role of a scrutineer is to provide assurance for the candidate who has appointed them that the election process is carried out fairly, impartially, and with integrity. A scrutineer’s presence can also provide an additional level of assurance regarding the overall integrity of the election process.

Candidates and registered political parties are entitled to appoint scrutineers to observe all voting and counting processes, at any place where voting is carried out, declaration votes are scrutinised, or ballot papers are counted.

Appointment of scrutineers

A scrutineer must be appointed in writing using the LG.213 Appointment of Scrutineer form. Scrutineers are required to present a completed Appointment of scrutineer form each day at each location they attend. Scrutineers can be appointed by a candidate or a registered political party

Visit our website to view the Scrutineer and party candidate worker guidelines and the Scrutineer policy.

The candidate handbook contains further information regarding scrutineers and candidate workers.

3. Reporting non-compliant electoral material

Reporting allegations about electoral material

Concerns electoral material used or published during the regulated election period is unlawful can be reported in writing by email to candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au. This email will be monitored on election day. Reports should not be made by telephone to the Candidate helpdesk or any other number on election day. 

A report should include a clear image of the electoral material. For electoral material published on the internet, including social media, a URL link or the name of the social media account and a screenshot should be provided. An emailed report will be acknowledged and managed in accordance with our policies, which are published on our website. The focus on election day will be on remediating identified issues.

Concerns about electoral material displayed or distributed at polling places on election day may also be raised directly with polling place managers.

4. Telephone assisted voting

Telephone assisted voting was made available for electors who are blind or have low vision on 18 and 19 May 2023.

5. Counting and Results

Count locations

The location and opening hours of the Returning Officer office and the NSW Electoral Commission can be found on the NSW Electoral Commission website.

Postal vote scrutiny

The close of receipt of postal vote certificate envelopes is 6pm, Friday 2 June 2023.

The scrutiny of all postal vote certificate envelopes to determine whether the postal vote is to be admitted to the count and the extraction of ballot papers from the accepted postal vote certificate envelopes will be conducted at the NSW Electoral Commission, 231 Elizabeth Street, Sydney in accordance with the below timelines.

Candidates who wish to appoint a scrutineer to observe count activities at the NSW Electoral Commission head office should contact the Candidate helpdesk on 1300 022 011 or email candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au.

Postal Vote Certificate Scrutiny timeline

  Postal Vote Extraction and Count timeline

  • Friday 19 May at 10am

  • Tuesday 30 May at 10am

  • Friday 2 June at 10am and 6:05pm (close of receipt postal votes is 6pm)

  • 9am, Monday 22 May (Progressive Count 1)

Note: Telephone voting ballot papers (if any issued) will also be counted on this day.

  • 6:15pm Friday 2 June (Progressive Count 2)

Scrutiny of other declaration votes

Other declaration votes are:

  • Enrolment (including Name Not on Roll)

  • Name Already Marked as Voted (NAMAV).

The scrutiny of the above declaration vote envelopes will be conducted at the Returning Officer’s office. This includes:

  • scrutiny to determine whether the declaration vote is to be admitted to the count

  • extraction of ballot papers from the accepted declaration vote envelopes.

Declaration Vote Certificate Scrutiny timeline

‘Enrolment’ (including Name Not on Roll) and ‘Name Already Marked as Voted’

  Declaration Vote Extraction and Count timeline

  • 11am, Monday 22 May – pre-poll and polling place declaration votes 
  • 2pm, Monday 22 May

Election night counting

Initial Counts will be conducted on election night from 6pm to approximately 10:30pm at the following venues:

  • each polling place – for all ordinary ballot papers, and

  • the Returning Officer’s office – for all ordinary ballot papers from pre-poll voting offices.

Each Initial Count result will be published on the NSW Electoral Commission website as soon as practicable after completion.

The Sunday following election day

No vote counting will occur on the Sunday following election day.

From Monday following election day

Initial Counts

Postal votes, declaration votes and telephone votes will be counted in accordance with the schedule above.

Telephone voting ballot papers will be counted, and results included with the postal vote reports and published on the NSW Electoral Commission website.

The NSW Electoral Commission website will continue to be updated with Initial Count results until the last Initial Count is completed (typically the final Postal Initial Count after the close of receipt of postal vote certificates).

Check Counts

The Check Counts will commence on the Monday following election day and will complete Friday 2 June 2023 after the close of receipt of postal vote certificates.

A Check Count verifies the polling place counts conducted on election night. Every ballot paper from polling places, pre-poll voting offices, postal voting and telephone assisted voting will undergo a check count. The Check Count is a manual process which consists of re-checking the ballot papers and ascertaining the first preference for each candidate and the final number of informal votes.

Votes from polling places, pre-poll voting and declaration votes offices will undergo initial and check counts at the Returning Officer’s office.

The telephone assisted votes and postal votes Check Counts will be conducted at the NSW Electoral Commissions office, 231 Elizabeth Street Sydney.