Briefing Session for Intending Candidates November 2014 Council Elections Topics include • the election timetable • who is eligible to be a candidate • nomination procedures • the publication of electoral material, • illegal practices and complaints Other Topics • the mail-out and return of voting material • the appointment of scrutineers • arrangements for the scrutiny and count • the vote counting system • results and candidate returns Election Timetable • roll close Friday 8 August 2014 • nominations period Tuesday 2 September – noon, Tuesday 16 September 2014 • mail-out of voting material Monday 20 - Friday 24 October 2014 • close of voting Friday 5pm 7 November 2014 • scrutiny and count from 9am Saturday 8 November 2014 Who can nominate? • Australian citizen or • anyone on council between 5 May 1997 and 1 January 2000 and are • an elector for the area or • designated person of a body corporate or group named on council voters roll or • person or designated person of body corporate or group whose name omitted from roll in error Page 10 of the Candidate Handbook Who cannot nominate? • a member of an Australian Parliament • a member of council staff • an undischarged bankrupt or person benefiting from insolvent debtor legislation • a person sentenced to imprisonment and is likely to serve the sentence or remainder of the sentence Page 10 of the Candidate Handbook Nominations • close 12 noon 16 September 2014 • 3 different nomination forms – LG 3 for an elector in their own right – LG 4 for the designated person of a body corporate – LG 5 for the designated person of a group Allow time for confirmation of nomination • allow time to lodge the nomination • if the nomination is unsatisfactory at the close of nominations, it will be invalid • opportunities for corrections and amendments can be given only until nominations close Profiles • compulsory, must lodge at same time as nomination form • must be signed and dated • 150 words maximum • include contact details for the candidate – either a street address (not a post office box unless accompanied with), an email address or a phone number Page 13 of the Candidate Handbook Profiles (cont’d) • contain the statement – I take responsibility for the content of the profile • cannot be inaccurate or misleading • lodge written consent if reference to another candidate • no dot points, underlining, capitals, different fonts Photographs • optional – black and white or colour • head and shoulders only • taken in last 12 months • endorsed by candidate on the back • photos in electronic format will not be accepted Page 15 of the Candidate Handbook Following nominations close • draw for position of names on ballot paper – 4pm on the day nomination close • letter to candidates advising of results of draw – confirmation of dates for mail-out and scrutiny and count – legislative framework relating to election material, illegal practices and campaign returns – scrutineer authority forms and campaign donations return Page 17 of the Candidate Handbook Publication of Candidate Statements • LGA have enabled candidates to publish a hyperlink to an external webpage or site about yourself and your candidacy • Information relating to this will be included in nomination kit • Candidates have 7 days to submit their website address – 12 noon, Tuesday 23 September Candidate Statement – Instruction to candidates contained within Nomination Kit Information from council to assist with campaigning • information on the council area and activities, services, issues • election signage provisions • voters roll (not electronic) Page 18 of the Candidate Handbook Electoral material – key points • must contain name, address of: – person authorising material – printer/producer • cannot be inaccurate/misleading • consider mail-out of voting packs 20 October to 24 October, when campaigning • candidate’s responsibility to ensure material complies with law Page 18 of the Candidate Handbook Illegal practices • bribery, intimidation, violence • candidate/scrutineer assisting a person to vote or obtain voting papers • disclosing how another person has voted • dishonestly influencing/trying to influence the result of an election or poll • exercising a vote to which you are not entitled • opening an envelope containing a vote (unless you are an electoral official). Page 18 of the Candidate Handbook Complaints from candidates • must be in writing and addressed to the returning officer • provide copies of alleged offending material, details of locations where notices are fixed • will be recorded as received and notification of the receipt of complaint will be issued • complaints will be examined during the election period • handled according to complaints protocol Page 20 of the Candidate Handbook Mail-out of voting packs • voting packs mail-out Monday 20 October to Friday 24 October containing: – – – – postal voting guide ballot paper/s candidate profile brochure ballot paper envelope containing a declaration flap for elector to sign – reply paid envelope Page 22 of the Candidate Handbook Return of voting material • close of voting – 5pm, Friday 7 November 2014 • returned material is processed daily • ballot paper envelope must be signed • material delivered personally to the council will be stored in ballot boxes Scrutineers • candidates cannot observe election proceedings, must authorise a scrutineer by completing a scrutineer form (four copies will be forwarded after close of nominations) • scrutineers can observe the processing of returned voting material and the scrutiny and count of ballot papers • scrutineers cannot assist an elector, obtain voting material for another person or touch ballot papers Page 23 of the Candidate Handbook Scrutineers (cont’d) • no more than 2 scrutineers per candidate at the same time • address queries to officer in charge, observe scrutineering protocol • illegal offences apply to both candidates AND scrutineers. Scrutiny • voting closes 5pm Friday 7 November 2014 • scrutiny commences at 9am Saturday 8 November 2014 • candidates will be advised of location and time • declaration flap removed before envelope opened to ensure vote secrecy • process – remove declaration flaps from ballot paper envelopes and extract ballot papers before commencing count Page 25 of the Candidate Handbook Counts • Saturday 8 November 2014 - commence with mayoral count, then continue with councillor counts • 9 am Sunday 9 November 2014 - resume counting to finalise any incomplete counts • all counts to 1st preferences will be conducted locally • complex counts will be transferred to a central processing centre (CPC) Voting • preferential vote – must mark preferences on the ballot paper for at least the number of candidates to be elected eg – mayoral election, must mark at least 1 preference on the ballot paper – 3 vacancies, must mark at 1, 2 and 3 Page 25 of the Candidate Handbook Vote Counting • votes are counted using the proportional representation (PR) system • in most instances a candidate must obtain a quota of votes to be elected Quota from: • 1st preference votes or • combination of 1st preference votes and votes transferred from either elected or excluded candidate/s • final vacancy, 2 candidates remaining in count, neither with quota – candidate with largest number of votes is elected Explanation of the voting system • Refer – Candidate Handbook Page 29 • Visit – www.ecsa.sa.gov.au/flash.htm ‘how your vote counts’ • Read – ‘Proportional Representation (PR) Count Processes and Examples on the ECSA website Conclusion of election • provisional declaration following conclusion of each election • 72 hours for request for a recount • results? Visit www.lga.sa.gov.au/electionresults • ECSA will forward a letter to each candidate to advise election results Queries and Questions Queries after this meeting? 1. Check the Candidate Handbook 2. Look at the ‘Profile and Photograph Requirements’ brochure 3. Read the Legislative Framework relating to Illegal practices sent after nominations close 4. Contact the ECSA Deputy Returning Officer Questions ?