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NSW council election: How to vote in Saturday’s local election

Here’s all you need to know about the local government elections taking place across NSW.

Millions of residents across New South Wales will be heading along to the voting booths on Saturday for the long-delayed local council elections.

Although scheduled for 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the date to be pushed back to September this year, and then moved again amid concerns around the state’s Delta outbreak a few months ago.

But on Saturday, December 4, 124 councils will be holding elections for more than five million people to select their representatives, with many also holding elections for the position of mayor.

In the closely watched City of Sydney poll, Lord Mayor Clover Moore, will be looking to extend her 17-year reign.

Residents in New South Wales will head to the voting booths on Saturday for a local council election.
Residents in New South Wales will head to the voting booths on Saturday for a local council election. Credit: DEAN LEWINS/AAPIMAGE

Ms Moore, who was first elected in 2004, is the longest-serving lord mayor in the city’s history.

However she faces stiff competition from five competitors - all of them women.

It is the first time the city has hosted an all-female field in the race for the top job.

Voting is compulsory in NSW, and residents who do not vote in Saturday’s election will cop a $55 fine in the mail.

Additional fees of up to $65 will also be issued if the initial fine isn’t paid within 28 days and going to court to fight the penalty could cost you even more.

Unhelpfully, the NSW electoral commission’s system - iVote - crashed on Saturday morning.

“Voting via iVote is currently unavailable,” the commission said on Twitter.

“We’re investigating the issue and will resolve it as soon as possible.

“We regret any inconvenience caused.”

How to vote

To vote in Saturday’s election you must be enrolled and eligible, and your details must also be up to date.

You can check your enrolment status, register to vote and update your details on the NSW Elections website.

Applications to enroll in Saturday’s election closed in October.

However, if you are not enrolled to vote but are eligible, you can still vote on the day.

In NSW, you can enroll at a voting centre in your council area by completing a declaration vote, as long as you have a valid form of ID.

To vote in Saturday’s election you must be enrolled and eligible, and your details must also be up to date.
To vote in Saturday’s election you must be enrolled and eligible, and your details must also be up to date. Credit: Dean Lewins/AAP

Voting in person is the most popular way to vote in NSW, however, there are other ways to vote for those who can’t attend a voting centre on the day.

Eligible residents can vote in person at a local voting centre, which can be found on the NSW Elections website.

If you won’t be within your council area on the day and can’t vote in person you can apply to vote online at Ivote. However you must have made your application by 1pm on Saturday.

Early postal votes have now closed.

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