Introduction. This Chapter deals with the election of persons to civic office. Those qualified for civic office are elected for 4-year terms under a system which is preferential (wherever 1 or 2 positions must be filled) and proportional (wherever 3 or more positions must be filled). Voting is compulsory for residents but optional for non-resident ratepayers, occupiers and ratepaying lessees. Elections are conducted under the supervision of the general manager of the council or the Electoral Commissioner.
When an area is not divided into wards, councillors are elected by the area. When it is divided, councillors may be elected by wards (or, if so decided at a referendum, by wards and area).
The mayor may be popularly elected or elected by the councillors from among their number. The choice of method depends on a constitutional referendum as referred to in sections 228 and 229. A popularly-elected mayor holds office for 4 years and is a councillor by virtue of being mayor. A mayor elected by the councillors holds office for 1 year. In each case, the mayor votes as mayor, not as a councillor, at council meetings. (See Chapter 9.)