Council awaits new election date

Kempsey Shire Council

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The voters of Kemspey will learn in the coming weeks the date of this year’s Local Government by-election.

The NSW Supreme Court wrapped up proceedings on Thursday that approved the application by the NSW Electoral Commission to void the result of the local government election in three shires, including Kempsey, requiring a by-election be held.

Council is now waiting on the Electoral Commission to confirm the date for the by-election, in which all 8 Councillor roles will be reelected.

The 8 Councillors declared elected following the election in December last year will remain in the role until the day of the election.

The Kempsey Mayoral election was not materially impacted and the election of Kempsey Shire Mayor Leo Hauville was not challenged by the Electoral Commission. As such he will remain in office until the next local government election in 2024.

The Court ruled in March to void the Councillor election result, at the teime emphasising that there was no wrongdoing on the part of the candidates who were named as defendants and noting that they regrettably would bear the burden of the failure of the iVote system.

The NSW Electoral Commission revealed in December that some users of their iVote system were unable to gain access to the system to vote in the local government elections due to technical issues in the process run by the commission.

In the case of Kempsey Shire Council there were 34 electors who were approved by the Electoral Commission but were unable to vote and did not vote by other means. Analysis of the potential outcome of those 34 votes is what promoted John Schmidt, the Electoral Commissioner to seek a declaration that our Councillor election be declared void.

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