Latest News

How to vote at the Clarence Valley Council election

On election day, this Saturday September 10, polling places are open from 8am to 6pm.

People who are not on the roll in NSW, or are enrolled at an old address, can update their details when they vote.
They should bring their driver’s licence or NSW Photo Card – showing a current address – and citizenship details if they were born overseas.
People unable to vote on election day, can vote early at pre-poll voting centres, located at the Grafton council chambers and the Maclean civic hall.
Pre-poll voting is available until 6pm Friday September 9.
Voting is compulsory for all enrolled electors in areas having elections. The fine for not voting is $55.

How the votes are counted

In the Clarence Valley Council election, electors must number at least five squares to cast a valid vote – that is, an elector must number its preferences from 1 to 5, for example, so as to have voted for at least half the number of candidates standing for election. Electors can show more choices after that, if they want. There are 39,107 electors registered to vote in the Clarence Valley LGA. Each councillor is elected through a proportional voting system, which counts formal votes.

“To be elected a candidate generally must gain a quota of the formal votes,” the Electoral Commission of NSW’s website states.

“The quota cannot be worked out until the total number of formal first preference votes is known.

“Once the first preference count has taken place and informal ballot papers are removed the quota is calculated”:
A quota equals the total number of formal votes, divided by one more than the number of vacancies – 10 in the case of the Clarence Valley (plus one vote). For example, if there are 36,000 formal votes and nine vacancies to be filled, the quota is 36,000 formal votes divided by 10 (plus one vote), which means a candidate needs 3,601 votes to be elected.

“The count is conducted by distributing votes according to the choices shown on the ballot paper,” the Electoral Commission of NSW’s website states.

“When candidates reach a quota and are elected, their surplus or extra votes above the quota are distributed to the remaining candidates.

“Candidates with the lowest number of votes are then excluded and their ballot papers are redistributed according to the next choice shown.

“This process continues until all the vacancies are filled.

“Candidates can also be elected if the remaining number of candidates in the count equals the number of vacant positions still to be filled.”
Get to know your councillors before you vote, for a full roundup of candidates views see pages 14 – 17.