Every Vote Counts – Time to vote with Local Government Elections on December 4

The community forum to meet the candidates at Lemon Tree Passage with Councillor Steve Tucker, Candidate for Central Ward Bill Doran, East Ward Council Candidate and Mayoral Candidate Leah Anderson, Central Ward Greens Candidate Caitlyn Spiller, Incumbent Mayor and Mayoral Candidate Ryan Palmer and Central Ward Labor Candidate Jason Wells, listening to a passionate community advocate Fran Corner.

 

MANY Port Stephens residents have attended community forums and meetings where they have been able to listen to the candidates speak about what they wish to deliver for the community.

With Council elections fast approaching there are options for voters to consider.

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Firstly, who will they vote for to deliver on their priorities for the community and secondly, will they vote above or below the line?

Voting above the line supports groups, either aligned with a political party or a group of independents that are planning to work together and who will have set preferences for their votes.

For Councillors you can vote below the line or for a group above the line.

If the first person in the group is voted in, their extra votes automatically flow on to the second candidate on their ticket.

You can also number 2 and 3 above the line for your preferences after your number 1, and in the event your number 1 group does not get enough votes or exceeds their vote quota, their excess votes will be distributed to another group that you preferenced once that group’s votes are exhausted.

However to complicate matters, one group can preference another group, therefore if a group doesn’t get enough votes to be elected all their votes can flow on to an entirely different group.

This may mean that you vote for a party that you recognise and support at State or Federal level but that your votes will be forwarded on to another group or party electing different candidates to Council with your vote.

For the Mayoral vote there are two options, incumbent Mayor Ryan Palmer is seeking to return to office and Leah Anderson is also seeking election for the position of Port Stephens Mayor.

On this form you simply have to select the candidate that you would prefer to lead and deliver on your concerns for the community until the next Council election.

Pre-Polling will commence on 22 November 2021 and close on 3 December 2021.

You can Pre-poll at the Election Office at Shop 6-8, 42 William Street, Raymond Terrace and at All Saints Anglican Church 25 Church Street, Nelson Bay.

On most days there will be candidates present at pre-polling who will be happy to speak with you.

Of course you can still vote on 4 December and support your local community by buying a democracy sausage sandwich while you are there.

Voting at the local government election is compulsory for Australian citizens.

You can check your enrollment status and where you are enrolled to vote.

Not voting may incur a $55 fine issued by the NSW Electoral Commission.

Whoever you decide to support make sure you complete both your forms as per the instructions to make your votes for the future of Port Stephens count.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

 

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