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2023 NSW State election: Political participants bulletin No.7

Issued 13 February 2023

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1. Nominations

The nomination lodgement period for the 2023 NSW State election commences Monday, 27 February 2023 and closes 12 noon, Wednesday, 8 March 2023.

A reminder that the Nomination Online Management System (NOMS) is available now. Candidates and parties are encouraged to prepare their nomination forms through NOMS prior to the commencement of the lodgement period on Monday, 27 February.

Nominations drop-in sessions

The NSW Electoral Commission is holding a series of drop-in sessions via Microsoft Teams for potential candidates and registered political parties who will be using NOMS. 

These sessions are informal and provide an opportunity to ask any questions about the general use of NOMS, and the nominations process.

The first session is 2pm to 3pm tomorrow, Tuesday, 14 February 2023 and will continue on a weekly basis through the nomination period each Tuesday afternoon until Tuesday, 7 March 2023

There is no requirement to register for these sessions.

If an individual has a question specific to their circumstances or would require personal details to be provided, we ask that you contact the Candidate Helpdesk directly on 1300 022 011 or email candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au.

Nomination deposits

The nomination deposit must be paid at the time of lodging a nomination.

A nomination deposit of $250 is required for each candidate nominating for the Legislative Assembly, and a deposit of $500 is required for each candidate nominating for the Legislative Council. The nomination deposit is capped at $5,000 for a Legislative Council group of between 10 and 21 candidates.

When the nomination is lodged through NOMS, the nomination deposit can be paid electronically by Visa or Mastercard. If the nomination is lodged in person the deposit must be paid in cash, by bank cheque or credit union or building society cheque made out to the NSW Electoral Commission.

Nomination deposits can be paid from any account of the candidate or political party. Nomination deposits are not electoral expenditure and cannot be reimbursed from the Election Campaigns Fund.

2. Community education resources

The NSW Electoral Commission has developed a range of resources to help raise awareness about the election and to support access to voting.  These resources include videos on enrolling and voting, translated information in 24 community languages, a series of Auslan video explainers, fact sheets, social media content, and more.

We encourage political participants to use these resources to raise awareness about the election by:

  • sharing the resources with campaign staff, volunteers, your community and networks

  • including the resources and suggested newsletter content in your own communications and social media platforms

  • distributing factsheets and other printable content in your organisation or at your community centre

  • sharing the Community Education Resources webpage with individuals and organisations in your network.

View Community education resources for the 2023 NSW State election.

3. Stop and Consider voter awareness campaign

False information about elections circulating in the community has the capacity to negatively impact confidence in the electoral process and the results of elections. The NSW Electoral Commission is running a ‘Stop and Consider’ awareness campaign ahead of the 2023 NSW State election, encouraging voters to consider what they see, hear and read about the election online.

The Stop and Consider campaign will run across digital and print media in NSW, starting today until April. The campaign will advise voters what to look out for and to reinforce the independent role of the NSW Electoral Commission.

More information about the Stop and Consider campaign.

4. Electoral expenditure for your election campaign

It is important that political participants are aware of, and comply with, their electoral funding obligations regarding electoral expenditure.

Electoral expenditure is expenditure to promote or oppose a political party or candidate or influence the vote at an election. Electoral expenditure of a third-party campaigner includes only the expenditure which is incurred for the dominant purpose of promoting or opposing a party or the election of a candidate or candidates, or influencing the voting at an election.

Electoral expenditure incurred in connection with the election is capped from 1 October 2022 to the end of election day. The caps apply to electoral expenditure of political parties and their associated entities, candidates, groups of candidates, and third-party campaigners.

Electoral expenditure must be disclosed to the NSW Electoral Commission each year after 30 June. Even if no electoral expenditure was incurred in the annual period, a ‘Nil’ disclosure must still be submitted.

Visit our website for more information about electoral expenditure and the caps that apply.

Electoral expenditure in connection with the federal Voice to Parliament referendum

Participants in the state election should be aware that expenditure incurred during the election period in respect of material that references the Voice referendum may be subject to NSW electoral funding and electoral material rules.

Unlike the exclusion that applies under NSW law for expenditure incurred substantially for federal elections, the Electoral Funding Act 2018 (the Electoral Funding Act) does not exclude, under s 7, expenditure incurred in relation to a referendum.

For NSW parties and their associated entities, candidates, groups and elected members, any expenditure incurred on advertising or other material that mentions the Voice referendum up to the State election day and which includes the name or a representation of a NSW party or candidate is considered to be electoral expenditure, on the basis that it is expenditure:

… for or in connection with promoting or opposing, directly or indirectly, a party or the election of a candidate or candidates or for the purpose of influencing, directly or indirectly, the voting at an election (section 7(1) Electoral Funding Act)

For a third-party campaigner, only expenditure for the dominant purpose of influencing the voting at the state election is “electoral expenditure”. Third-party campaigners may refer to Guideline 20 issued by the NSW Electoral Commission under section 152 of the Electoral Funding Act for further information about the dominant purpose test.

All electoral expenditure incurred by state election participants:

  • must be paid from the relevant state campaign account;

  • will count towards the relevant electoral expenditure caps; and

  • must be disclosed in the participant’s annual electoral expenditure disclosure.

All electoral material printed, published, distributed or displayed during the regulated period for the State election must include the required authorisation. Electoral material also needs to be registered with the NSW Electoral Commissioner, under the NSW Electoral Act 2017, if it is to be distributed on election day.

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at fdc@elections.nsw.gov.au.

Political parties and third-party campaigners

Further guidance about the differences between third-party campaigners and political parties (including unregistered parties), which is relevant for electoral funding purposes, is available on our website.

Visit the NSW Electoral Commission for more information on political parties and more information on third-party campaigners.

5. Postal vote applications

We appreciate everyone’s efforts sending elector’s postal vote applications to the NSW Electoral Commission as quickly and efficiently as possible.

To assist those that are scanning and emailing applications to us, please note the following tips:

  • scan and send the application page only (i.e. do not scan double sided)

  • send scanned images in batches rather than one application per email

  • the postal vote application email inbox allows attachments of up to 20MB, which is the size of a PDF containing approximately 30-40 applications

  • email applications to pva@elections.nsw.gov.au daily.

6. COVID-19 safety plan for elections

The NSW Electoral Commission COVID-19 safety plan for elections is available on our website.

7. Candidate and participant information webinars

The next webinar will provide an overview of electoral material, compliance and voting. It will be held at 11am, Thursday, 2 March 2023 and will cover the following topics:

  • electoral material requirements (including how-to-vote cards)

  • registration of electoral material for distribution on election day

  • registration of candidates and groups

  • candidate workers and scrutineers

  • early voting

  • postal voting

  • telephone assisted voting for electors who are blind or have low vision

  • compliance with electoral material laws

  • compliance with election funding laws

  • counting and results timeline.

Register your attendance for the webinar and find more information about the webinar series.

If you are unable to attend, please note that webinars are recorded and published on the NSW Electoral Commission website.