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2024 NSW Local Government elections: Council update No.2

2 November 2023

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1. Duration of pre-poll voting period

A legislative amendment made in November 2022 shortened the early voting period for the 2023 NSW State election from two weeks to one week. As a result of the increasing number of early voters, a significant number of additional early voting centres were needed.

Councils were recently surveyed about whether the same one-week pre-poll period should be adopted at the 2024 ordinary elections. Responses were collated and provided to the Minister for Local Government for consideration, along with our estimate of the cost implications of changing the pre-poll period. For your information, the results of the survey showed 37 per cent of councils in favour of a one-week pre-poll period and 63 per cent favour a two-week pre-poll period.

The NSW Electoral Commission will liaise with councils further regarding the duration of early voting.

2. Assistance sought to increase accessible venues within your council area

The NSW Electoral Commission is focusing on venue accessibility for the 2024 ordinary elections. Our aim is to ensure that as many voting venues as possible are fully wheelchair accessible for electors with mobility issues. To that end, we’re looking for councils to help with converting venues with minor access issues into fully accessible venues – even for venues not owned by councils.

This doesn’t mean that all venues must have expensive/extensive modifications before the election. However, some modifications may be possible, or you may be able to assist by identifying local providers of accessibility equipment or services.

3. Election webinar series

A series of webinars will be held for councils and election participants in the lead-up to the 2024 NSW Local Government elections. The first webinar for council staff was held on Thursday, 26 October 2023, covering the following topics:

  • introduction to the elections
  • key election dates
  • election venues
  • Constitutional referenda and council polls
  • electoral rolls
  • communications to councils
  • countback elections
  • upcoming council and candidate webinars.

A recording of the webinar is available on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website.

Information about each upcoming webinar will be published on the Electoral Commission’s website and in our regular communications to councils.

4. Recruitment campaign for Returning Officers

The NSW Electoral Commission is recruiting Returning Officers to help deliver one of the biggest events in New South Wales: your elections in September 2024.

There are a number of opportunities across districts/regions in New South Wales.

It’s important we get enough applicants to fill positions in every Local Government Area. Can you help us promote these opportunities through your council networks?

View the application.

Applications close Sunday, 12 November 2023.

5. Council information

The Electoral Commission has created a webpage to assist councils in the lead up to the Local Government elections.

The webpage will be updated with information specific to councils including:

  • key dates
  • a communication resources hub
  • council information webinars
  • forms and fact sheets.

Councils are encouraged to visit the page regularly for updates and resources.

6. Follow us!

To assist councils with their own election awareness, the Electoral Commission encourages you to follow our social media channels. The NSW Electoral Commission is active on Facebook, X (Twitter), YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn

Social media will form an important part of our approach to raising awareness of the elections and support electors and candidates with key information. Help us to spread the word by sharing posts relevant to your communities.

If you have any questions about the election or the contents of this election update, please email councilelections@elections.nsw.gov.au.