TIME to vote in Tasmania’s first compulsory local government election is running out with polls closing at 2pm Tuesday. As of Monday, 41 per cent of Derwent Valley and Central Highland voters had returned their postal ballots and 47 per cent of those living in the Brighton area. Once polls close the Tasmanian Electoral Commission will start the task of counting votes for mayors, deputy mayors and councillors in 29 council areas.
It is expected those who have won the mayoral ballot will be known by midday Wednesday, October 26, followed by deputies and councillors. A failure to vote could result in a fine. Traditionally, council elections have attracted a low voter turnout.
“By voting you can help influence what sort of place your community will be,’’ a Tasmanian Electoral Office spokesperson said. “It is about your future so vote for the representative(s) you want. “Talk to other people you know and encourage them to vote too.
“All elections for councillors are conducted using a multi-member proportional representation electoral system. “This is directly modelled on the Hare-Clark system used for Tasmanian House of Assembly elections. “A feature of the Hare-Clark system is that vacant seats are filled by recount rather than by-elections.’’
Last week Local Government Minister Nic Street called on all candidates to behave politely. The comment was particularly pointed at those contesting Hobart City.
However, some local candidates in the Derwent Valley have commented on social media trolling, sign damage and some candidates making promises which are not the responsibility or in the power of local government.