With the local government elections on Saturday 4 December fast approaching, Bega Valley Shire residents wishing to vote early can do so in person, by postal vote or via a new technology-assisted voting facility called iVote.
Bega Valley Shire Council Acting CEO, Anthony McMahon said the NSW Electoral Commission has options to help make voting as smooth as possible.
“There will be about 17 polling locations around the shire on election day, but if you can’t get to a voting centre on the day, there are three other ways you can lodge your ballot.
“If you prefer to vote in person, you can vote early at one of five pre-poll locations. Three of these locations – the Returning Office at 31-33 Parker Street Bega; Grace Church at 14 Church Street Bega; and Twyford Hall in Merimbula – will open on 22 November.
“Two further locations – the Bermagui Community Centre and Eden Library – will open on 1 December. All pre-polling locations close on Friday 3 December.
“You can also apply for a postal vote, or if you’re eligible, apply to use iVote instead.
“Voters in the Bega Valley Shire should be aware that this year, they will also be asked to vote on whether we should have a popularly elected Mayor from 2024.”
Postal vote applications are open until 29 November. The eligibility for postal voting has been expanded for the 2021 local government elections.
The iVote system enables voting online or over the telephone if you:
are blind or have low vision
are unable to vote without assistance or have difficulty voting at a polling place because you have a disability or have difficulty reading
are a silent elector
applied for a postal vote but did not receive your postal ballot papers before 5pm on 26 November 2021 (only available eight days before election day)
live more than 20 kilometres from a polling place, or
will not be in the shire on election day.
Applications for iVote open on 22 November and voting is possible until 6pm on election day.
The NSW Government has confirmed that voting centres will have a COVIDSafe plan in place and will be open to all voters, regardless of their vaccination status. People will need to wear a mask and check in using the Service NSW app.
More information about the election is available on the NSW Electoral Commission website:
Early polling and polling day locations: www.elections.nsw.gov.au/Elections/Find-my-electorate/Councils/Bega-Valley
Postal voting: www.elections.nsw.gov.au/Voters/Other-voting-options/Postal-voting
List of candidates: www.elections.nsw.gov.au/Elections/Local-government-elections/Local-Government-Elections-2021/Candidates/Bega%20Valley