It’s official: At 88 candidates we have the biggest ballot paper in NSW

HERE IT IS: Returning officer Ross Baker unveils the table runner size ballot paper Orange voters will have to fill in for the council election. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0823jkballot1

HERE IT IS: Returning officer Ross Baker unveils the table runner size ballot paper Orange voters will have to fill in for the council election. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0823jkballot1

Orange voters will have to fill out the largest ballot paper in the state at next month’s council elections.

With a record 88 candidates standing for council the ballot paper is almost as big as some federal and state election upper house papers of the past 20 years.

Orange region returning officer Ross Baker said the only NSW council to have more candidates than Orange was on the Central Coast with 91 nominees.

However Mr Baker said that council was split into several wards meaning there were less candidates on each form and the ballot papers smaller.

“This will be the biggest ballot paper in NSW,” he said on Wednesday after large boxes of the ballot papers arrived at the Moulder Street returning office.

And voters will have to fill out two forms for this election with a separate form of 10 candidates seeking to become the first popularly elected mayor of Orange.

Mr Baker said Bletchington Public School was likely to be the busiest of the 14 Orange polling booths on election day, followed by Orange High School, Orange Public School, Bowen Public School and Kenna Hall.

One way to avoid the rush on polling day is to pre-poll or use postal votes.

About 7600 people will do that in Orange however you need to get in soon.

Pre-polling closes on Friday, September 8 and postal vote applications close on Monday, September 4.

Mr Baker said the record number of candidates had forced the NSW Electoral Commission to employ more staff for election day.

He said 81 staff would be counting votes and administering the poll for the Orange election with a further 43 required for the Cabonne Council election.

There are 16 polling booths for Cabonne including five booths which will also cater for Orange voters.

Mr Baker said the busiest booth for Cabonne voters was likely to be the Molong Community Hall.

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