Mayor and council: How to vote in next month’s double election

COMPLEXITIES: The returning officer talks to Orange and Cabonne council candidates and supporters on Wednesday night. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0809jkballot2
COMPLEXITIES: The returning officer talks to Orange and Cabonne council candidates and supporters on Wednesday night. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0809jkballot2

Orange residents will have their first chance in the district’s history to popularly elect their mayor on September 9.

Ten candidates have nominated for the top job – after it was vacated by Cr John Davis.

But, it does mean a double workload for voters at the election booths on the day.

Just 45 candidates stood in the last election in Orange back in 2012 – but this year 87 have nominated – and one more is in dispute.

While the council paper won’t represent the bed-sheet size offerings seen at recent federal government senate elections it will still be a sizeable process for voters to get their heads around.

A spokesman for the NSW Electoral Commission [NSWEC]  said the mayoral ballot paper would be the easiest of the two with the 10 names of the candidates listed in the order they were drawn out of a box at the Moulder Street returning office on Wednesday night.

Greens candidate Stephen Nugent drew the top spot, followed by veteran councillors Reg Kidd, Russell Turner and Chris Gryllis.

Newcomer Tony Mileto will be the fifth name on the paper followed by existing councillors Scott Munro and Kevin Duffy.

The only woman in the mayoral race, Paula Townsend, will be in the eighth spot followed by existing councillors Jeff Whitton and Ron Gander.

The NSWEC spokesman said that under the optional preferential voting system used in NSW voters could simply place a number 1 in any square, or place as many numbers as they wanted, up to 10 in the order of preference they wanted to vote.

He said that the mayoral votes would be counted first and the person with the highest amount would be declared the winner.

Effectively they would become the first person in the new council.

The second paper, which lists all 87 candidates for the election, includes those running together in groups of six in tickets and those running individually.

Those with tickets with have a box above the line which will cover all six candidates listed below the line.

You can simply place number one in one of those boxes or give your number one preference to any candidate on the form listed below the line.

Again, you can write more than one number to list the candidates in your order of preference.

Council will decide the position of deputy mayor.