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Time to enrol

Saturday, 30th July, 2016

By Daniel Stringer

The deadline for voters to register for the upcoming local government election is only days away, and the returning officer is encouraging all locals to have their say. 

Pat Flowers is taking on the role of returning officer for the first time and is busy preparing for when the votes are cast on September 10. 

On Monday nominations will open to candidates for positions on council, officially marking the beginning of the campaign. Monday also marks the cut off for people wishing to join the electoral roll and cast their vote.

Mrs Flowers says that it is vital for everyone to enroll in order to avoid missing the opportunity for a say on the outcome. 

“At the moment we are looking at approximately 12,000 people that are enrolled to vote. 

“My message to people who are yet to enroll would be to hurry up. Make your opinion count, don’t just go about the streets grumbling and groaning about the issues if you are not prepared to vote someone in that is going to do something about it.”

At the recent federal election there were problems with long waiting times at some polling booths, which is something that Pat and her team are hoping to avoid in September. 

“We are getting all the stationary equipment organised and are starting to finalise staff.

“We will make sure we have enough staff to cover each polling booth and hopefully there are no issues and no complaints regarding overcrowding. 

“We will endeavor to have a very smooth running and not too many people having to wait.”

One of the ways they hope to combat large queues is through pre-polling, which will open on August 29.  Pat says that pre-polling is always very popular during council elections and that she expects a majority of voters to use those facilities. 

Pat is now in the process of hiring staff to work at the election in positions such as office assistants, polling booth supervisors and vote counters. Anyone wishing to apply for these positions should inquire through the NSW electoral commission website.

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