Council ballot papers go out

REGION - Voters in Northern Grampians Shire started to receive their ballot material this week, ahead of this month's local council elections.

The Returning Officer for the Northern Grampians Shire Council elections, Andy McCann, is encouraging people to vote as early as possible.

The election in the Northern Grampians Shire will be conducted entirely by postal vote.

Ballot papers must reach the election office by 6pm on Friday, October 26, 2012 or they cannot be counted.

Voters who have not received their ballot pack by Wednesday, October 17, 2012 should contact the election office on (03) 5358 2941 immediately for a replacement pack.

Voting is compulsory for all voters of the Northern Grampians Shire who were on the State electoral roll on Friday, August 31, 2012.

Elections in the Northern Grampians Shire will be held in the Stawell, Central and South West wards.

In the Stawell Ward, five candidates will contest the election with three to be elected to council.

Present councillors, Wayne Rice, who is seeking a third term in council and Barry Marrow, who is seeking a second term, have re-nominated.

Also nominating in the Stawell ward are Murray Emerson, Karen Hyslop and Joy McCracken.

In the central ward long serving councillor and former mayor, Kevin Erwin will contest the election against Dean Thomas.

Present councillor Ross Clementson, has re-nominated in the South-West ward and will contest the election with Halls Gap Police Sergeant, Paul Russell.

At the close of nominations Kara Kara Ward was uncontested.

There will be no voting in this ward. An uncontested election leaflet will be mailed to affected voters instead of a ballot pack.

Present councillors, the current Mayor Dorothy Patton and former mayor, Ray Hewitt will not stand in the the Kara Kara ward.

Former St Arnaud and Northern Grampians Shire councillor, Jim Anderson and Tony Driscoll were elected unopposed.

Voters should post their completed ballot paper using the reply-paid envelope or hand deliver it to the Returning Officer at the Media Centre, Grandstand, Central Park 1-12 Main Street, Stawell, or during business hours to the Customer Service Centre, Town Hall, 40 Napier Street, St Arnaud or the Customer Service Centre, Town Hall, 63-65 Main Street, Stawell,

For your vote to count, voters must complete the ballot paper correctly,

Voters should put the number one in the box next to candidate they most want to see elected, then number all other boxes in order of preference.

A number must be placed in every box and each number used only once,

Voters who are aged 70 years or older and non-resident voters are encouraged to vote, but will not be fined if they do not vote.

More information about the Northern Grampians Shire Council elections is available online at: vec.vic.gov.au

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