Voters will go to the polls in the Richmond Valley local government area in March to fill the council vacancy caused by the death in a car accident of Cr Ray Jeffery.

The by-election will be held on Saturday, 14 March.

NSW Electoral Commissioner Colin Barry said voters will have the option of voting early if they know they will be outside their council area on polling day.

“Because there is no absentee voting under the Local Government Act, it is important that people plan ahead so they can exercise their democratic right and avoid a fine. As with any election, voting is compulsory for everyone registered on the roll,” Mr Barry said.

“The roll closes on Monday, 2 February at 6pm so anyone who has changed their address since the last council election should update their personal information by then. This will also ensure anyone new to the area avoids missing out on voting for their local council.”

Each council is responsible for compiling the non-residential roll.

Mr Barry said all NSW voters can go online (www.elections.nsw.gov.au) to verify their existing information, download an enrolment form or sign up for an election reminder by SMS or email.

“Our new email and text messaging service will remind people when and where an election is being held to help reduce their chance of forgetting to vote,” he said.

Candidates for the upcoming by-elections can nominate between Wednesday, 28 January and 12 noon on Wednesday, 11 February.
Postal vote applications will open on Monday, 16 February and close on Monday, 9 March.

Local pre-poll voting will be available during normal business hours at council offices from Monday, 2 March until 6pm on Friday, 13 March.

More information on the by-election, including a list of polling places, boundary maps, candidate names and a council profile is available on the NSWEC website at www.elections.nsw.gov.au