Council vacancy: Countback timetable released

Council Chambers.jpg

The NSW Electoral Commission has released the timetable for the countback election currently underway to fill the casual vacancy on Council created by Cr John Last’s recent resignation from Snowy Monaro Regional Council.

A Returning Officer was appointed on Monday 1 August 2022, with casual vacancy notices issued and candidate applications to be issued Friday 12 August. Applications will close Monday 22 August, with the declaration of eligible candidates following on Wednesday 24 August 2022.

The count will occur on Friday 28 August 2022, with results expected to be published that same day.

This information and ongoing updates is available at: www.elections.nsw.gov.au/Elections/Local-government-elections/snowy-monaro-countback-election

When a Councillor vacates their seat it creates what is referred to as a ‘casual vacancy’. The NSW Electoral Commission outlines the process for filling a casual vacancy through a countback process as follows:

  • NSW Electoral Commission appoints a returning officer to oversee the countback
  • Unelected candidates from the 2021 Snowy Monaro Local Government Election will be contacted to see if they are interested in being included in the countback
  • Interested candidates submit a formal application within ten days of receiving notice
  • The countback is performed no more than 49 days after the vacancy occurred

The countback election uses the same ballot papers and count system as the original election. The countback election is run with the vacating councillor’s preferences reallocated. Each ballot paper with that candidate as a preference is allocated to the candidate with the next highest preference.

The first newly elected candidate (not already a sitting councillor) will be the candidate to be elected. If the newly elected candidate is not someone who applied to be considered, the election count is run again, redistributing that person’s votes to see who will be elected next.

Eligible candidates and Council are then notified of the result.

At a countback election, a sitting councillor cannot be unelected, and non-eligible candidates cannot be elected.

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