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Do it all again: community candidates slam Electoral Commission

Community groups which had done all the legwork for the postponed September 4 council elections will be reeling today because they will have to go back to the drawing board and do it all again.

The elections will now be held on December 4 and the Electoral Commission has just announced that the nomination process and electoral material will have to be done again from scratch.

The decision won’t hurt the major parties, which have the administrative resources to roll with the punches, but for independent candidates and community groups seeking election it means countless hours devoted to doing something they had already done.

As one put it to South West Voice in Macarthur this morning: “It’s very disheartening to hear that the Electoral Commission can make us do all this hard work again’’.

“I am honestly appalled, not just for my team, but all the other candidates in the Campbelltown LGA who were working hard to be prepared for this local election,’’ he said.

“We have committed ourselves and were prepared in doing all the hard work, devoting many hours to be ready for an election on September 4.

Council elections will be held on December 4, after they were postponed for the second time, which will be five years and three months since the last poll in September 2016, pictured here.

“Having your team selected, doing all the meetings, and nomination forms for each candidate prepared and sent. 

“Running around tirelessly sending election advertising material to the Electoral Commission for approval and then being knocked back, so you do it all again.

“Spend time and funds on advertising material, printing corflutes, signs and electoral material such as how to vote pamphlets.

“And now get told to just re-do it all,’’ he said.

On its website, the commission has posted that the Electoral Commissioner has determined that, to ensure the integrity of nomination data for the elections, “any nomination or grouping that had been created for the 4 September election date either using the NSW Electoral Commission’s nomination online management system (NOMS); or using a paper nomination form, will need to be redone, including new NOMS user accounts created for the 4 December 2021 elections’’.

“Please note that any nomination or grouping forms previously prepared in NOMS are no longer accessible,’’ it said.

“We anticipate that NOMS will be available again in early October to restart the nomination process online.

“The reasons for this decision include:

  • the eligibility of a person to be nominated, or a person to nominate a candidate, may change by the new roll closing date (25 October 2021) for the election
  • the registered officer of a party may change by the time of the election
  • information provided on the candidate information sheet, which is in the form of a statutory declaration, may not be current at the time of the election
  • candidates whose nominations are currently in the system may no longer wish to be candidates.
  • Parties and candidates using paper forms will also be required to use new forms (yet to be approved by the Electoral Commissioner) for the December election for these reasons,’’ the Commission said.

3 Responses to Do it all again: community candidates slam Electoral Commission

  1. Peter Harle August 18, 2021 at 6:07 pm #

    No surprise really, typical of the Government and the Minister for Local Government, once again candidates of community groups are disadvantage by the major parties and their comparative enormous resources. Sure there may be changes in candidates and their information, simply accept those changes, but for those that have not changed accept them as they are. While they are at it, make it on line and postal voting only and spread it over a week. No need to come to a polling place in person. Surely with the current technology that should be easy and far less costly for everyone concerned.

    • Ellie Robertson August 23, 2021 at 11:17 am #

      Absolutely agree! I think there’s political strategies behind not doing that though! Disadvantaging independent candidates could be exactly what they want

  2. pat August 23, 2021 at 8:56 pm #

    it would be a good idea for some of the older councillors to move over and leave space for younger more community-minded youngsters to take over, climate change, urban heat and safe evacuations at times of bushfire are being ignored by some of our existing representatives too old to understand the health and welfare of our children and grandchildren must be before profit from development.
    I am nearer to 80 than I would like to be

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