VOTING packs for this year’s local government elections will be landing in Ballarat mailboxes early this week.
All residents have to cast their vote for their preferred Ballarat City Council candidates by 6pm on Friday, October 26.
Ballarat is split into three wards of north, south and central, with three councillors elected in each ward.
The Victorian Electoral Commission said preferential voting is used in local government elections.
“Under the full preferential voting system, you need to place a one in the box against your preferred candidate on the ballot paper,” the VEC website said.
“Then you must number all of the remaining boxes in the order of your preference (two, three, four and so on.)
“The system is called “full preferential” because you must number every box on the ballot paper. If you do not number every box correctly, your vote is considered informal and cannot be counted.”
In Ballarat, there are eight candidates in central ward, six in north ward and eight in south ward.
To be elected, a candidate must win a specific proportion of the votes. This is called the proportional counting system.
The formula used to determine how many votes a candidates needs is the number of formal votes divided by the number of vacancies plus one.
This answer is then added to one to get the votes needed.
For example, in one Ballarat ward there may be 40,000 formal votes divided by three vacancies plus one (four), leaving an answer of 10,000 votes.
Add one to this and the amount of votes a candidate needs to win is 10,001.
Once a candidate has enough votes, their surplus votes then go to the next person they have preferenced.
For example, Ballarat mayor Mark Harris has given his second preference to Jenny Overington so, if Cr Harris was elected first, she would receive his surplus votes.
This system continues until three candidates are elected in each ward and Ballarat has a new council, which will be announced late on Sunday, October 28.
This weekend, The Courier will run a double page spread on each candidate to help Ballarat voters with their decision making.
As well, a question and answer video with each candidate will be on The Courier’s website,
www.thecourier.com.au, from October 15.