Like several other candidates for Council, the wait to find out the results is frustrating, to say the least.
Frankly, the postal voting system needs to be reviewed. I am keen to find out whose idea it was that postal voting was the better way to go for Council elections in Ballarat.
On Monday I spoke with a woman who did not receive her voting papers, which I understand has been the experience of many other people. It has also been reported that the VEC Ballarat office was inundated with people on Friday saying that they had not received their ballot papers and wished to vote. The VEC tried to manage all the requests but due to the sheer numbers many gave up trying and walked away in dismay.
The voting papers were delivered to Australia Post on the 3rd of October for distribution. It is now three clear weeks later; it can't take that long for the mail to be delivered. So much for Australia Post's mantra "We deliver". Well, they might…. eventually.
Call me old fashioned but as Council is about the community and this was a community election, maybe we should revert back to attendance voting at polling booths on the day of the election, as is done for state and federal elections, where the community can gather and discuss issues and make their vote count.
Another issue that emerged was the lack of how-to-vote information being provided to voters. Given that voters are required to number all the candidates in their order of preference on the ballot paper, many people complained that they did not know how to do this because they had no information from the candidates to indicate how they would like the voters to fill out their ballot paper in terms of preferences.
As the state government had legislated to prohibit the inclusion of how to vote information with the postal ballot papers, candidates had to distribute this information themselves. Knowing this, I printed the required number of copies of a DL card with information about myself, which included details of my preferences for people wanting to vote for me. It was arranged with Australia Post for this information to be delivered to households in the Central Ward at the same time as people received their ballot papers.
Unfortunately, I suffered the same issues of unreliability from Australia Post as mentioned before regarding the ballot papers, so many people did not receive my card until well after they received their ballot paper, which meant that many cast their vote before they received my information, or they never received it at all. The common comment to me was "I wish had received your card before I cast my vote."
The election result will be declared on Wednesday 2 November, which is 11 days after votes closed. The slowness of declaring the result together with the unreliability of the postal ballot system and the inefficiency of Australia Post is simply not good enough in the 21st century.
Ron Egeberg, Central Ward Candidate
Thanks to the generosity of Coles customers in Ballarat, Redkite is now able to assist more families with children affected by cancer. Coles' four stores in Ballarat combined have raised over $9,800 from customer and team donations, contributing to the $20 million Coles has raised nationwide since 2013. In addition to customer and team donations, five cents from the sale of every loaf of Coles brand and traditional high top bread sold in Ballarat is donated directly to Redkite.This support is helping to transform cancer care in Australia.
Every six hours in Australia, a child or young person is diagnosed with cancer. Redkite is the national children's cancer charity providing social workers and music therapists in hospitals, information and counselling, financial assistance, and education and career support to children, young adults and their families who are impacted by cancer.
Jenni Seton, CEO, Redkite
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