SEPTEMBER’s state-wide council elections are tipped to cause chaos when residents in local government areas not being considered for mergers, go to the polls.
Dungog Shire residents can enjoy a sleep-in on election day, September 10, due to the fact the shire is facing a merger.
Maitland Mayor Peter Blackmore said Maitland council was still waiting to see whether or not it will merge with Dungog.
“It’s tough sitting here in limbo. People have to be aware that some councils will go to the polling booths and others, like Maitland and Dungog, will not,” Cr Blackmore said.
Lake Macquarie, Cessnock, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter residents will go to the polls. However, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Maitland and Dungog constituents will not be required to vote.
Due to the council amalgamation process only 81 NSW councils are having elections.
All remaining councils, including those that have been amalgamated, have had their elections deferred until September 2017.
The NSW Electoral Commission said this situation has the potential to cause confusion among some electors, particularly those who live or who are enrolled in areas not conducting elections, where they border councils which are holding elections.
Electors may turn up to a polling place on election day only to be told they don’t need to vote. Some electors may incorrectly assume they do not need to vote.
As voting is compulsory in areas where elections are being held this will result in a penalty notice for not voting.
Anyone who is uncertain where they are enrolled should visit votensw.info to check their enrolment details and look up their enrolled street address.