Tasmanian Local Government elections are conducted by postal ballot. Election material (including the ballot paper) is personally mailed directly to each elector. The elector then has a brief period of time to complete her/his ballot paper before returning their vote in the post (as a postal vote).
For a Full Postal Ballot, every elector is automatically sent a postal ballot pack. This differs from a State or Federal election where an elector needs to apply for a postal vote if they can't go to a polling place on polling day.
Successful candidates for mayor and deputy mayor must also be elected as councillors to be able to accept the office of mayor or deputy mayor.
Notice of election
The local government elections commence with the issue of the Notice of Election, that states:
The Notice is issued and advertised prominently on the seventh Saturday prior to the close of polling.
A returning officer for each council election is appointed by the Electoral Commissioner to undertake important election duties, such as accepting nominations, receiving returned postal votes and conducting the count.
The returning officer may appoint an electoral officer for each council to assist in conducting the poll. The electoral officer is a representative of the returning officer at the council and can receive nominations on behalf of the returning officer and issue supplementary postal votes.
Close of the roll
At the close of the roll, an election roll is produced for each council containing the names of all people who are eligible to vote at the election.
The roll for the local government elections closes at 6pm on the Thursday after the Notice of Election is issued.
The election roll for local government elections is generated from two sources:
Go to 'Voting at local government elections' for more information.
Candidate nomination forms must be lodged, posted or faxed so as to be received by the returning officer before the nomination period closes. Candidates may also provide a short statement and a recent photo which will accompany the ballot papers sent to electors.
Go to the candidate information page for more details.
Announcement of Candidates
Twenty-four hours after the close of nominations, the returning officer announces the names of candidates whose nominations have been accepted. Once all candidates have been announced the returning officer conducts the draw for positions of candidate names on the first ballot paper rotation.
Candidate names on local government ballot papers are rotated so that each candidate name appears an equal number of times at the top, the bottom and in other positions on the ballot paper. This process is known as ‘Robson rotation’ and is also used for Tasmanian Parliamentary elections.
Postal ballot packs
After the announcement of candidates, postal ballot packs are prepared, printed and packed for mailout commencing two weeks after the announcement.
All electors will receive postal ballot packs in their letterboxes over the period of a week. The postal ballot pack contains:
If electors do not receive their postal ballot packs, or need a replacement, they can visit their council or contact the TEC and request a supplementary postal ballot pack.
Electors have around three weeks (including three weekends) to complete their ballot paper and return it so that it can be included in the count.
To have their vote counted electors must:
If electors can’t get it in the post in time, they can drop it in to the relevant council or the office of the returning officer before the 10am deadline.
Australia Post sort all returned postal votes by council before delivering them to the returning officers.
Declaration envelopes are removed from outer envelopes.
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.
Declaration strips are removed from envelopes and the still-sealed ballot papers envelopes are securely stored until the close of the poll.
Close of the Poll
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.
Removing ballot papers from envelopes
The process of removing ballot papers involves:
Counting the votes
From 3pm, counting of mayor and deputy mayor first preferences for all councils begins. During the evening, progressive figures will be provided at the election tally rooms in Hobart and Launceston, at the counting centres in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport and on the TEC website and smartphone app.
By the end of the night many mayoral and deputy mayoral results will be known.
Over the following days, all ballot papers are rechecked and the Hare Clark distribution of preferences continues for all councillor elections.
Looking for a detailed explanation of Hare-Clark? Read more (will open in a new tab).
Or enjoy this animation - a light-hearted look at the Hare-Clark electoral system, created for the recent State Election.
The final elements of the elections
The elections for a council conclude when the returning officer issues the Certificate of Election. The Certificate of Election is the formal notice of all elected candidates for that council. The Certificates of Election will be published once scrutinies for all councils 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.
Progressive results for all councils...Learn more
Candidates have been announced...Learn more
Handbook + other information...Learn more
How to have your say in the local government elections.Learn more
The election calendar - enrolment close, nomination period, polling period...Learn more
Map of Tasmania's local government (municipal) boundaries.
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Check your enrolment, update your details, or enrol to vote...Learn more
Results of previous elections.
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