18-43 – Council decisions on the administration of the September 2020 elections
What’s new or changing?
- Under section 296AA of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act), councils must make a decision on how their September 2020 ordinary elections are to be administered no later than 11 March 2019.
- Each council must resolve either:
o to enter into an election arrangement with the NSW Electoral Commissioner (NSWEC) to administer all the council’s elections, polls and constitutional referenda or
o that the council’s elections are to be administered by the general manager of the council.
- If a council fails to resolve to engage the NSWEC to administer its elections by 11 March 2019, it will be required to administer its own elections.
What this will mean for your council
- Councils should start preparing now, if they have not already done so, to make a decision by March on the administration of their next ordinary election.
- A council should only resolve to administer its own elections if it is confident that it has the capacity to do so. The attached FAQ contains information to assist councils to assess whether they have the capacity to administer their own elections.
- If a council is proposing to engage the NSWEC to administer its elections, it should resolve to do so as soon as possible and notify the NSWEC.
- Where councils resolve to engage the NSWEC to administer their elections, polls and referenda they should use the model resolution suggested in the attached FAQ.
- Where councils resolve to administer the elections themselves, they must specify the following information in their resolution:
o whether the general manager intends to administer elections personally or to engage an electoral services provider,
o if the general manager intends to administer elections personally, whether the general manager has identified any persons to be appointed as the returning officer and substitute returning officer and, if so, their names,
Strengthening local government
o if the general manager intends to engage an electoral services provider, whether the general manager has identified an electoral services provider and, if so, the name of that provider.
Where to go for further information
- Further information to support councils’ decision making on the administration of their September 2020 ordinary elections is contained in the FAQ attached to this circular.
- Contact OLG’s Council Governance Team by telephone on 02 4428 4100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact the NSW Electoral Commission by telephone on 02 9290 5999.