Thinking of nominating as a candidate for your local council?

The Nominations Online Management System (NOMS) for the 2021 Local Government elections is now available here.

Candidates, registered political parties and candidate representatives can now prepare their nomination and group forms online.

Lodgement of nominations and nomination deposits commenced at 8am Monday, 25 October and will close 12 noon Wednesday, 3 November 2021.

If you’re considering nominating as a candidate for the 2021 NSW Local Government elections, you should read this notice. It provides general guidance about the process of nominating, and candidates’ obligations and responsibilities. Prospective candidates should seek their own independent legal advice if they are unsure whether they are eligible to run for public office in a local council or how the law applies to their specific circumstances.

Nominate as a Mayor or Councillor

To nominate as a Mayor or Councillor you must lodge a nomination form, either by delivering it to the Returning Officer or by using the Electoral Commission’s online nomination system. Nominating incorporates the following:

  • Part A – Candidate details
  • Part B – Nominator details
  • Part C – Candidate information sheet
  • Part D – Statistical information sheet and
  • A nomination deposit.

Grouping of Councillor candidates on the ballot paper

Two or more Councillor candidates may form a group on the ballot paper, and where eligible, request a group voting square (box above the line) be printed on the ballot paper for the group.

In addition to lodging the nomination form listed above, these candidates must also lodge a Request to form a group form.

Nomination deposit

All candidates must pay a nomination deposit of $125 each to the NSW Electoral Commission.

Where candidates also lodge a Request to form a group, the deposit is capped at $625 for a group of five candidates or more.

If using the online nominations system, the deposit must be paid by either MasterCard or VISA.

If using paper nomination forms, the nomination deposit must be paid by cash or bank or building society cheque.

Start your nomination now

The NSW Electoral Commission’s online nominations system is now available at elections.nsw.gov.au

You can start the process of nominating online now.

Alternatively, paper nomination forms are available by calling the Commission’s candidate helpdesk on 1300 022 011.

Lodge your nomination

Nominations can be lodged online from Monday 25 October and close 12 noon, Wednesday 3 November 2021. Late nominations will not be accepted.

However, if using paper nomination forms, you must lodge your nomination and deposit with the Returning Officer for the council area in which you intend to stand as a candidate. Returning Officer office locations can be found on the Elections NSW website.

Registration for electoral funding purposes

NSW has strict laws that regulate the election campaign finances of political parties, candidates and groups at the election. These include requirements to operate a campaign account, and to record and disclose political donations and electoral expenditure. In addition, there are caps on political donations and electoral expenditure.

Prior to being nominated, candidates and groups can separately apply to the NSW Electoral Commission to be registered for electoral funding regulation purposes. Only once successfully registered is a candidate or group allowed to accept political donations and pay for electoral expenditure.

Forms for applying to be registered as a candidate or group are available on the Commission’s website. Online registration is also now available.

Applications for electoral funding purposes close on Wednesday 3 November 2021.

From 4 November 2021, all nominated candidates will be deemed to be registered and all will take on significant legal obligations for record-keeping and making disclosures. Even already-registered candidates who decide not to nominate will have some ongoing electoral funding law obligations.

To learn more go to elections.nsw.gov.au/funding-and-disclosure. Enquiries about being registered and the laws that apply to political donations and electoral expenditure should be sent to fdc@elections.nsw.gov.au.

Candidate Handbook and webinars

A Candidate Handbook is available on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website.

Educational webinars which assist candidates in navigating the process are also available.

Ballot paper draw

A draw to determine the order of groups (where applicable) and candidate names on the ballot paper will be conducted at the office of the relevant Returning Officer at 10am, Thursday 4 November 2021.

The ballot paper draw may be observed in person by candidates, representatives of registered political parties and the media, subject to the capacity of the Returning Officer’s office and COVID-19 safety measures. Attendees will be required to register their attendance via the Service NSW app and to comply with physical distancing requirements. Attendees may also be required to wear a face mask.

Electoral Signage

Electoral signage must not be erected and displayed until at least 5 weeks prior to an election, in this case Saturday 30 October 2021, and must be removed no later than Saturday 11 December 2021 (1 week after the election).

The requirements for signage can be found in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, clauses 2.83, 2.106 and 2.107.

Electoral Material: Watch the NSW Electoral Commission webinar covering electoral material at polling places, including the new 100m restriction.

Further information:

  • Visit elections.nsw.gov.au
  • Email the candidate helpdesk candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au
  • Call the candidate helpdesk 1300 022 011.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment, please contact the NSW Electoral Commission through the National Relay Service (NRS). Choose your access option and ask for 1300 135 736.

If you need an interpreter, please call TIS National on 131 450 and ask them to call the NSW Electoral Commission on 1300 135 736.

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