THE local government election on December 4 is expected to cost ratepayers just over $360,000, a jump of more than $125,000 on the 2017 elections.
Like most councils throughout NSW, Orange engages the NSW Electoral Commission to run its elections and the final bill isn't expected until mid year.
According to estimates presented in July 2021, Orange's bill would be $363,947, which includes $33,086 GST. Council had budgeted for $330,000, the amount before GST.
Cr Jeff Whitton said he believed it was time to explore alternatives.
"At the end of the day it's the councillors' responsibility to get the best value for dollar for the community. I think it's something we need to look at," Cr Whtton said.
Along with council running the election itself, Cr Whitton also said electronic voting seemed to be a more convenient and cost effective alternative, especially for pre-polling.
"I know [the ivote] it had its problems this election but the system is built so it counts as it goes so you've just got to press a button at the end."
Staff was the biggest expenditure at $193,206 although Orange shared its returning officer with Cabonne, which was factored into the Electoral Commission's estimate.
Venue hire was the next biggest expenditure at $51,027. GST was followed by logistics ($16,582) and information technology ($16,444).
The election was conducted through 14 election-day polling booths while there were prepoll locations in Kite Street, North Orange and the Returning Office in Endsleigh Avenue.
Total enrolment for Orange was 30,109 with 84 per cent of the enrolment voting. There were 25,424 ballots counted, 1684 or 6.62 per cent of which were informal. Cost per voter was $12.09.
By comparison, the bill for the 2017 election was $237,978 with a total of 188 staff employed. The average cost for voter was $8.17. There were 29,131 electors enrolled with 24,928 people actually voting. The informal vote was 2,269 or 7.75 per cent.
The cost of the 2021 election for Bathurst Regional Council was approximately $330,000, nearly $100,000 more than the previous local government election.
The election was initially scheduled for 2019 before COVID-19 pushed it back to December 4 last year. The next local government election will be held as scheduled in September 2024.
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