What happens at local government elections – After polling

Introduction | Calling the election | Polling period| After polling

Close of the poll

Australia Post sort all returned postal votes by council before delivering them to the returning officers.

To ensure that each elector only votes once, the elector’s roll number on each returned postal vote is entered into a database.  Checks are undertaken to identify any duplicate roll numbers.

Following the close of the poll, the final returned postal votes are included in the database and checked before any declaration envelopes can be opened.

The day the poll closes is a very busy day with over 500 casual staff employed at different times of the day across different locations around the state.  Following the close of the poll, two major processes take place:

  • removing ballot papers from envelopes for counting; and
  • counting first preference votes.

Close of poll processes will take place in Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Devonport.

Removing ballot papers from envelopes

The process of removing ballot papers involves:

  • Checking signatures and removing the declaration flap;
  • Slicing open the declaration envelope;
  • Removing the ballot paper from the declaration envelope;
  • Unfolding the ballot papers; and
  • Separating the ballot papers for the individual elections.

With over 200,000 postal votes expected to be returned, the process for removing ballot papers is expected to require around 1,900 work hours.  The aim is to complete this process within 5 hours so that staff can be refreshed and areas prepared for conducting the count.

Counting the votes

The counting of first preference votes occurs simultaneously for all councils from 6pm. During the evening, progressive figures will be provided at the election tally room in Hobart, at the counting centres and on the TEC website (www.tec.tas.gov.au). 

By the end of the night many mayoral and deputy mayoral results will be known and a at least half the councillor ballot papers will have been counted.

Over the following days, all ballot papers are rechecked and the Hare Clark distribution of preferences is undertaken for all councillor elections.

Go to Tasmania’s Hare Clark electoral system for further details of the distribution of preferences.

The final elements of the elections

The elections conclude when the returning officer issues the Certificate of Election. The Certificate of Election is the formal notice of all elected candidates.  The Electoral Commissioner publishes the Certificate in the daily newspapers once all scrutinies have been completed.

Once the Certificate of Election has been issued, all candidates have 45 days to lodge an electoral advertising return with the Electoral Commission.

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