Thirty nine Returning Officers will open their doors to the public today as the countdown towards the 2016 NSW Local Council elections begins. Around half the councils in NSW are having elections on Saturday, 10 September. “The Returning Officers are fully trained, many with previous experience in the role, and are responsible for running the 76 council elections across NSW being managed by the NSW Electoral Commission”, said Acting NSW Electoral Commissioner Linda Franklin. “Because the majority of councils having elections are located outside the Sydney metropolitan area, most of our staff are based in regional and rural NSW. “Returning Officers will be busy preparing for the candidate nomination process, handling enrolment enquires, recruiting and conducting training for office staff as well as election day staff, setting up pre-poll voting centres and visiting declared institutions in preparation for voting. “Now is the time for people to enrol or check their enrolment details, and to find out if their council is holding an election on 10 September,” Ms Franklin said. Returning Officers will be accepting nominations from Monday, 1 August. Nominations will close at 12 noon Wednesday, 10 August. Further information can be obtained at the Returning Officers facility at the Grafton Council Chambers.