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City of Ryde (West Ward) Local government by-election: Political participants bulletin No. 3

Bulletin No. 3 Issued 30 September 2022

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1. Reminder registration of electoral material closes

Registration of electoral material closes at 5pm Friday, 7 October 2022.
 
Register your material using the LG.212 Application to register electoral material form which is available on our website. Applicants should complete the form and email the completed form and a copy of the electoral material to candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au.
 
Registered electoral material will be displayed on the NSW Electoral Commission website from Tuesday, 4 October 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 corflutes displayed on election day or pre poll voting days

  • any items distributed outside of election day. 

2. Registration as a third-party campaigner under electoral funding laws

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.

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 the election between 10 August 2022 and election day, 15 October 2022.

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, 10 October 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 also 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 a 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 published on our website.  Once registered, third-party campaigners and official agents whose registered details change must notify us within 30 days by submitting the following 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 fdc@elections.nsw.gov.au.

3. 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 applicable caps for the 2022-23 financial year that commenced 1 July 2022 are:

Political donation or indirect campaign contribution made to or for the benefit of:

Cap amount

A registered party or group of candidates

$7,000

An unregistered party (or party registered for less than 12 months), elected member, candidate, third-party campaigner, or associated entity

$3,300

More information about the caps on political donations and indirect campaign contributions.

4. Pre-poll voting commences

Pre-poll voting commences at 9am Tuesday, 4 October 2022 and will close at 5pm Friday, 14 October 2022. Visit the election event page for details of the pre-poll voting office location.

5. Reminder postal vote applications close

Postal vote applications close at 5pm Monday, 10 October 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 5pm also cannot be accepted. 

6. Telephone Assisted Voting

Telephone Assisted Voting will be available for electors who are blind or have low vision. Applications and voting will commence at 9 am Monday, 10 October 2022. Applications close 5pm Friday, 14 October 2022. Telephone Assisted Voting closes at 1pm on Election Day 15 October 2022.

7. 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 a LG.213 Appointment of Scrutineer form 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 the pre-poll voting location 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.

8. COVID-19 safety for scrutineers

Taking into account the most recent changes to NSW Health advice about the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support the safe conduct of this election, 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. 

  • 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 includes more details about the safety measures expected to be followed by scrutineers and other election participants.

9. 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 candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au.

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.

The NSW Electoral Commission acts in accordance with its Compliance and Enforcement Policy and Procedures when reviewing reports of non-complying electoral material. Relevant principles include:

  • 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.

10. Candidate information webinars

The presentation from our candidate information webinar and answers to frequently asked questions have been published under Step 1 of the Six steps to being a candidate.

11. Further information / candidate helpdesk

Further information regarding the election including key dates can be found on the NSW Electoral Commission website or by contacting the Candidate Helpdesk on 1300 022 011 or candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au