VOTING has now closed in the Ballarat City Council election.
By Thursday night, only 86 per cent of Ballarat’s votes had been received by the Victorian Electoral Commission.
Central ward had the least votes in, with 81 per cent, while north ward had 89 per cent and south ward 88 per cent.
North ward includes Learmonth, Miners Rest, Wendouree and Alfredton while central ward covers Ballarat’s central urban area.
South ward includes Delacombe, Sebastopol and Buninyong.
Ballot papers were sent out in early October with the deadline 6pm yesterday. Anyone who didn’t vote in the compulsory election could receive a $70 fine.
However, VEC returning officer Colin Nicholson said the VEC still had a lot of ballot papers enroute to its Ballarat office yesterday.
“There’s a large batch on its way I’ve been told,” Mr Nicholson said.
Votes will now be counted in all three wards over the weekend, with the provisional Ballarat vote expected to be known late tomorrow.
The results in Moorabool, Hepburn, Pyrenees, Golden Plains and Central Goldfields shires should be announced earlier in the day.
The final results are expected to be confirmed at 9.30am Monday after the votes have been counted, rechecked and Mr Nicholson has given candidates time to challenge a result.
Twenty-two candidates have nominated across the three wards, including current councillors Samantha McIntosh, John Philips, Des Hudson and mayor Mark Harris.
UPDATES ONLINE: The Courier will be bringing you the very latest results from the Ballarat City Council elections, as they become available.