How to vote in the Local Government elections in NSW
In Australia everyone has to vote, but more importantly we have the right to vote.
In this video we share with you information about the Local Government elections in NSW on Saturday 4 December and show you all the ways to vote.
These elections are run by the New South Wales Electoral Commission.
For more information about the elections, please go to the New South Wales Electoral Commission’s website.
For more resources in Easy Read go to our Easy Read resources page.
This year on Saturday 4th December there are local council elections in New South Wales.
This is where you get to decide who represents you on your local council.
You are voting for people to make decisions about local issues like council libraries, pools and ovals, local roads, garbage and recycling, planning and development, culture, venues and events.
In Australia, everyone has to vote. But more importantly, everyone has the right to vote, even if you have an intellectual disability just like me.
My intellectual disability does not stop me from having my say. It shouldn’t stop you either.
Voting might seem a little bit hard, confusing or a little bit scary, but I’m going to show you a few easy ways to help you vote.
If you want to vote, you have to be 18 years or over, an Australian citizen. You also have to enrol. Enrolling is easy. You can enrol online, fill out an enrolment form. If you need help enrolling, you can ask a family member, a friend or a support worker.
Postal voting: If it is hard to get to a polling place, you can do a posting vote. You have to apply for a postal vote online or send in an application form. The website you go to is elections.nsw.gov.au. After you have done this, you will get your postal ballot papers. Once you have filled out the ballot papers, you will have to send them back before the due date. You do not need a stamp to send them back. Once again, if you need any help you can ask a family member or your support worker.
So if you can’t vote on the day, that is okay. You can use ivote, which is either on your computer or on your phone. You can apply to use ivote and you can do that online.
Pre-poll: If you cannot vote on the day, that is okay. You can go to a pre-poll venue in your local council area. Pre-poll is open for two weeks before election date. There are pre-poll venues in most areas. You can find out where your pre-poll areas by looking at the website or calling 1300 135 736.
So what if you decide you want to be part of all the fun on election day? Maybe you could ask your support worker to find out where you need to go to vote. This might be a church, school or community hall. You can find out which polling place you can go to vote on the website. Type in your address and you will see a list of places where you can go to vote. You can go to vote between 8am in the morning and 6pm at night.
Because of COVID-19, everyone will have to stay a safe difference away from each other and you can bring your own pen. If you forget your pen, you will be given one. Maybe at the polling place you will have to wait in line. When it’s your turn, give your name and address to the friendly staff and they will mark you off the roll. They will give you the ballot papers to vote.
In your local council elections, there may be one ballot paper to fill out, there may be more, so it is important to read the instructions on the ballot paper to understand how to fill in the ballot paper correctly.
Take your papers to the booth and fill them out. Read the instructions carefully, but if you need help ask the friendly staff in blue vests. Your vote is private. You do not have to tell anyone who you vote for.
Once you have voted, fold the ballot paper and put them in the ballot box.
So guess what? You just had your say in who is going to make decisions for your local community.
For more information, visit the website nsw.gov.au/elections.
We have more information and tips about COVID in Easy Read.