If you’re considering nominating as a candidate for the 2021 NSW Local Government elections, the NSW Electoral Commission has prepared this document for you! It provides general guidance about the process of nominating, and candidates’ obligations and responsibilities. Prospective candidates should seek their own independent legal advice if they are unsure whether they are eligible to run for public office in a local council or how the law applies to their specific circumstances.
Nominate as a Mayor or Councillor
To nominate as a Mayor or Councillor you must lodge a nomination form, either by delivering it to the Returning Officer or by using the Electoral Commission’s online nomination system.
Nominating incorporates the following:
- Part A – Candidate details
- Part B – Nominator details
- Part C – Candidate information sheet
- Part D – Statistical information sheet and
- A nomination deposit.
Grouping of Councillor candidates on the ballot paper
Two or more Councillor candidates may form a group on the ballot paper, and where eligible, request a group voting square (box above the line) be printed on the ballot paper for the group.
In addition to lodging the nomination form listed above, these candidates must also lodge a Request to form a group form.
All candidates must pay a nomination deposit of $125 each to the NSW Electoral Commission.
Where candidates also lodge a Request to form a group, the deposit is capped at $625 for a group of five candidates or more.
If using the online nominations system, the deposit must be paid by either MasterCard or VISA.
If using paper nomination forms, the nomination deposit must be paid by cash or bank or building society cheque.
Start your nomination now
The NSW Electoral Commission’s online nominations system is now available at elections.nsw.gov.au
You can start the process of nominating online now.
Alternatively, paper nomination forms are available by calling the Commission’s candidate helpdesk on 1300 022 011.
Lodge your nomination
Nominations can be lodged online from Monday 26 July and close 12 noon, Wednesday 4 August. Late nominations will not be accepted.
However, if using paper nomination forms, you must lodge your nomination and deposit with the Returning Officer for the council area in which you intend to stand as a candidate. Returning Officer office locations can be found at elections.nsw.gov.au/lge21
Registration for electoral funding purposes
NSW has strict laws that regulate the election campaign finances of political parties, candidates and groups at the election. These include requirements to operate a campaign account, and to record and disclose political donations and electoral expenditure. In addition, there are caps on political donations and electoral expenditure.
Prior to being nominated, candidates and groups can separately apply to the NSW Electoral Commission to be registered for electoral funding regulation purposes. Only once successfully registered is a candidate or group allowed to accept political donations and pay for electoral expenditure.
Forms for applying to be registered as a candidate or group are available on the Commission’s website. Online registration is also now available.
Applications for electoral funding purposes close on Wednesday 4 August 2021.
From 5 August 2021, all nominated candidates will be deemed to be registered and all will take on significant legal obligations for record-keeping and making disclosures. Even already-registered candidates who decide not to nominate will have some ongoing electoral funding law obligations.