The starter’s gun for the 2020 local government elections has officially been fired with the Electoral Commission of Queensland opening candidate nominations on Saturday (22 February).
Ipswich voters, along with others across the state, will go to the polls on 28 March to elect a new council.
Ipswich voters will be asked to elect a mayor as well as two representatives in each of four divisions.
It is particularly momentous for the city because it marks a return to elected representation after an interim administrator was appointed by the State Government in August 2018 following the dismissal of the city’s councillors.
The Notice of Election and opening of candidate nominations also means the Ipswich City Council is now officially in caretaker period.
Residents should not see any major changes during the caretaker period, with regular council services continuing unaffected.
However, during the caretaker period the council cannot make major policy decisions that could bind future elected councils.
Voters can check their details on the Australian Electoral Commission website at www.aec.gov.au
The following information taken from the Electoral Commission of Queensland website steps out important dates between now and the elections on 28 March.
22 February – Notice of Election
Notice of Election is given. The caretaker period for all councils begins.
22 February to 3 March – Candidate nominations
Nominations for candidates for election as mayors and councillors are open until midday on Tuesday, 3 March 2020. Details of candidates will be published on ECQ’s website.
New requirements apply for candidates, political parties, third party campaigners and political donors for the 2020 local government elections. For more information, see Candidate requirements – 2020 local government elections.
28 February – Close of electoral roll
Voters have until 5pm on 28 February, 2020 to either update their enrolment to a new name or address or to enrol for the first time. This will ensure their eligibility to vote in the election.
4 March – Paper ballot draw
The ECQ will conduct a random draw to determine the order in which candidates appear on ballot papers.
4 March to 19 March – How-to-vote card review
The ECQ must accept all how-to-vote cards before they can be distributed to voters during local government elections.
The ECQ will review candidates’ how-to-vote cards from 4 March to 19 March, with cards accepted by the ECQ to be available on the commission’s website.
16 March – Postal vote applications close
Postal vote applications close at 7pm on 16 March, 2020. Voting must be completed by 6pm on Election Day. The ECQ must receive your postal vote no later than 5pm Tuesday, 7 April, 2020.
Postal votes cannot be sent until after the ballot draw on 4 March, 2020.
From 16 March – Early voting commences
Early voting will be conducted between 16 March and 27 March, 2020. Timeframes for early voting will vary in different locations, and detailed information about early voting times will be published on the ECQ website.
Election day. Polling booths will be open from 8am to 6pm.