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Contents (1993 - 30)
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Local Government Act 1993 No 30
Current version for 25 June 2019 to date (accessed 24 October 2019 at 15:50)
Chapter 10 Part 6
Part 6 How are elections conducted?
Division 1 Administration of elections
296AA   Councils to plan for administration of elections
(1)  At least 18 months before the next ordinary election of councillors for a council, the council must resolve:
(a)  to enter into an arrangement with the Electoral Commissioner, by contract or otherwise, for the Electoral Commissioner to administer elections of the council (as provided by section 296), or
(b)  that the elections of the council are to be administered by an electoral services provider engaged by the council.
(2)  A resolution referred to in subsection (1) (b) must include the following information:
(a)  whether the general manager has identified an electoral services provider to be engaged for the next ordinary election of councillors and, if so, the name of that provider,
(b)  any other information required by the regulations.
(3)  As soon as practicable after the making of a resolution referred to in subsection (1) (b), the general manager of the council must publish a copy of the resolution on the council’s website.
(4)  If a council fails to comply with subsection (1), the general manager of the council must publish a notice of that failure on the council’s website.
(5)  Despite the other provisions of this section, a council may make a resolution under subsection (1) on or before 1 October 2019 for the purposes of an arrangement that includes the ordinary election of councillors in 2020.
296   How elections are to be administered
(1)  Elections for the purposes of this Chapter are to be administered by an electoral services provider engaged by the council concerned, except as provided by this section.
Note.
 Section 18 provides that certain provisions of this Act (relating to the conduct of elections) apply to council polls and constitutional referendums, with such modifications as may be necessary, in the same way as they apply to elections.
(2)  A council can enter into an arrangement (an election arrangement) with the Electoral Commissioner, by contract or otherwise, for the Electoral Commissioner to administer elections of the council as provided by this section. If such an arrangement is entered into, the Electoral Commissioner is to administer elections of the council in accordance with the arrangement.
(3)  An election arrangement for the Electoral Commissioner to administer all elections of a council can be entered into if:
(a)  the council resolves at least 18 months before the next ordinary election of councillors that such an arrangement is to be entered into, and
(b)  the arrangement is entered into no later than 15 months before the next ordinary election of councillors.
(4)  An election arrangement for the Electoral Commissioner to administer a particular election of a council (other than an ordinary election of councillors) can be entered into at any time if the council has resolved that an election arrangement for the election is to be entered into.
(5)  An election arrangement for the Electoral Commissioner to administer an ordinary election of councillors can be entered into less than 15 months before the election if:
(a)  the council has resolved that an election arrangement for the election is to be entered into, and
(b)  the Electoral Commissioner is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances that make it necessary or desirable for the election to be administered by the Electoral Commissioner.
(5A)  Without limiting subsection (5), an election arrangement for the Electoral Commissioner to administer all elections of a council that is to include the ordinary election of councillors in 2020, or to administer that particular election, may be entered into if:
(a)  the council resolves on or before 1 October 2019 that an arrangement is to be entered into, and
(b)  the arrangement is entered into on or before 1 January 2020.
(6)  An election arrangement for the Electoral Commissioner to administer all elections of a council can be terminated by the council or the Electoral Commissioner at any time after the next ordinary election of councillors (by giving written notice of termination). If the arrangement is not terminated by either party after an ordinary election of councillors, the arrangement is automatically terminated 18 months before the next ordinary election of councillors.
(7)  The Electoral Commissioner is to administer the first election for an area after its constitution. Expenses incurred by the Electoral Commissioner (including the remuneration of election officials) in connection with such an election are to be met by the council and are recoverable from the council as a debt owed to the Electoral Commissioner.
(8)  This section does not apply to an election of the mayor or a deputy mayor by councillors.
296A   Elections administered by an electoral services provider
(1)  This section applies to an election administered by an electoral services provider engaged by a council.
(2)  The electoral services provider is to appoint a returning officer and a substitute returning officer for the election. In the absence of the returning officer, the substitute returning officer is to exercise the functions of the returning officer.
(3)  The returning officer is to appoint one or more electoral officials.
(4)  An employee of a council for an area cannot be appointed as a returning officer or substitute returning officer for that area. However, an electoral official may be an employee of the council.
(5)  A general manager cannot be appointed as a returning officer, substitute returning officer or electoral official for any area.
(6)  For the purpose of conducting an election, the returning officer and substitute returning officer for an area are entitled to access to any relevant records of the council for the area.
(7)  For the purpose of administering an election, the electoral services provider is to:
(a)  appoint the polling places, and
(b)  determine the fees payable to the returning officer, substitute returning officer and electoral officials.
(8)  For the purpose of conducting an election, the returning officer is to determine any matter not provided for by this Act or the regulations.
(9)  Expenses incurred by the returning officer, substitute returning officer and electoral officials in connection with an election are to be met by the council.
(10)  The returning officer and the substitute returning officer must not vote at any election that they are conducting.
296B   Elections administered by the Electoral Commissioner
(1)  This section applies to an election administered by the Electoral Commissioner.
(2)  The Electoral Commissioner is to appoint a returning officer and a substitute returning officer for each area. The returning officer is to conduct elections on behalf of, and under the direction of, the Electoral Commissioner. In the absence of the returning officer, the substitute returning officer is to exercise the functions of the returning officer.
(3)  The returning officer is to appoint one or more electoral officials.
(4)  An employee of a council for an area cannot be appointed as a returning officer or substitute returning officer for that area. However, an electoral official may be an employee of the council.
(5)  For the purpose of conducting an election, the returning officer and substitute returning officer for an area are entitled to access to any relevant records of the council for the area.
(6)  For the purpose of conducting an election, the Electoral Commissioner is to:
(a)  appoint the polling places, and
(b)  determine the fees payable to the returning officer, substitute returning officer and electoral officials, and
(c)  determine any matter not provided for by this Act or the regulations.
(7)  The Electoral Commissioner, the returning officer and the substitute returning officer must not vote at any election that they are conducting.
297   Delegation of functions by the Electoral Commissioner
The Electoral Commissioner may delegate to a person any of the Electoral Commissioner’s functions under this Act, other than this power of delegation.
Division 2 Electoral rolls
298   Residential roll
(1)  The Electoral Commissioner is to keep a roll for each area of persons who, in the opinion of the Electoral Commissioner, are entitled, in accordance with Part 1, to be enrolled as electors because they are residents of the area.
(2)  The Electoral Commissioner may use information kept on the Electoral Information Register (within the meaning of the Electoral Act 2017) or on any roll used for Commonwealth elections as sources of information for compiling the residential roll.
(3)  As soon as practicable after the closing date for an election that is to be administered by an electoral services provider engaged by the council concerned, the Electoral Commissioner is to provide the general manager with a printed and an electronic copy of the residential roll for the area and, if the area is divided into wards, a separate printed and electronic copy of the roll for each ward.
(4)  The electronic copy of the residential roll is to be provided in the format specified by the regulations (if any).
(5)  An electoral services provider engaged by a council or any other person must not use or disclose any information provided in a residential roll under this section other than for the purpose of administering an election under this Act.
(6)  A person must not use or disclose any such information for a commercial purpose.
(7)  Without limiting subsection (6), information is used for a commercial purpose if it is sold or offered for sale.
(8)  The costs of the Electoral Commissioner with respect to the carrying out of any function under subsection (3) are to be met by the council concerned and are recoverable from the council as a debt.
Maximum penalty (subsections (5) and (6)): 1,000 penalty units.
299   Non-residential roll
(1A)  As soon as is practicable after a roll of non-resident owners of rateable land for an election lapses under this section, the general manager is to prepare a new roll of non-resident owners of rateable land within the area for the next election and keep it updated.
(1)  Not later than the closing date for an election, the general manager is to finalise that roll of non-resident owners of rateable land for confirmation as the roll of non-resident owners of rateable land within the area for that election.
(2)  The roll of non-resident owners of rateable land lapses after the election for which it is prepared.
(2A)  The roll of non-resident owners of rateable land prepared by the general manager is to include the names of the persons who:
(a)  have applied, at any time, for the inclusion of their names in any such roll, and
(b)  on the closing date are, in the opinion of the general manager, qualified for inclusion in that roll.
(3)  The general manager (in relation to an election administered by an electoral services provider) is to confirm as the roll of non-resident owners of rateable land for the election the roll referred to in subsection (1) if, in the general manager’s opinion, the roll contains the names of the persons who on the closing date are qualified for inclusion in the roll of non-resident owners of rateable land.
(4)  The Electoral Commissioner (in relation to an election administered by the Electoral Commissioner) is to confirm as the roll of non-resident owners of rateable land for the election a roll certified by the general manager as being, in the general manager’s opinion, a roll of the persons who on the closing date are qualified for inclusion in the roll of non-resident owners of rateable land.
300   Roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees
(1A)  As soon as is practicable after a roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees for an election lapses under this section, the general manager is to prepare a new roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees (of land within the area) for the next election and keep it updated.
(1)  Not later than the closing date for an election, the general manager is to finalise that roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees for confirmation as the roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees (of land within the area) for the election.
(2)  The roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees lapses after the election for which it is prepared.
(2A)  The roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees prepared by the general manager is to include the names of the persons who:
(a)  have applied, at any time, for the inclusion of their names in any such roll, and
(b)  on the closing date are, in the opinion of the general manager, qualified for inclusion in that roll.
(3)  The general manager (in relation to an election administered by an electoral services provider) is to confirm as the roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees for the election the roll referred to in subsection (1) if, in the general manager’s opinion, the roll contains the names of the persons who on the closing date are qualified for inclusion in the roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees.
(4)  The Electoral Commissioner (in relation to an election administered by the Electoral Commissioner) is to confirm as the roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees for the election a roll certified by the general manager as being, in the general manager’s opinion, a roll of the persons who on the closing date are qualified for inclusion in the roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees.
301   Roll of electors
(1)  The roll of electors for an area is a composite roll, consisting of the residential roll kept by the Electoral Commissioner under section 298 for the area, the non-residential roll prepared and confirmed under section 299 for the area, and the roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees prepared and confirmed under section 300 for the area.
(2)  For each election, an authorised copy of the roll of electors is to be compiled in accordance with this Division.
(3)  If an area is divided into wards, the authorised copy of the roll of electors is to be prepared separately for each ward or, if the authorised copy of the roll is for a by-election to fill a casual vacancy, only for the ward in which the by-election is to be held.
(4)  An authorised copy of the roll referred to in subsections (2) and (3) is a printed or electronic copy of the roll of the electors for the area or ward concerned as at the closing date for the election.
302   Public inspection of roll of electors
(1)  The Electoral Commissioner is to make the latest copy of the residential roll available for public inspection at any reasonable time during office hours at the office of the Electoral Commissioner and at any other place determined by the Electoral Commissioner.
(2)  The general manager is to make the latest copy of the non-residential roll and of the roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees (once it is prepared) available for public inspection at any reasonable time during office hours at the office of the council.
303   Making of claims for inclusion in the roll
(1)  A person may lodge with the Electoral Commissioner (in the case of the residential roll) or the general manager (in the case of another roll):
(a)  a claim for the inclusion of his or her name in the roll or for the amendment of any particulars entered in the roll against the name, or
(b)  an objection to the inclusion in the roll of his or her name or the name of another person, or
(c)  an objection to the inclusion in the roll of specified particulars entered against his or her name or the name of another person.
(2)  Within 7 days after the lodging of a claim for inclusion in, or of an objection to an entry in, a roll, the Electoral Commissioner or general manager:
(a)  is to decide whether the claim or objection is to be allowed or disallowed, and
(b)  as soon as practicable, is to make such entries in, or alterations to, the roll as give effect to the decision, and
(c)  is to serve notice of the decision on the claimant or objector and, in the case of an objection, on any other person to whom the objection relates.
(3)  A person dissatisfied with the decision of the Electoral Commissioner or general manager may apply to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an administrative review under the Administrative Decisions Review Act 1997 of the decision.
(4)  The Electoral Commissioner or general manager is to make as soon as practicable such entries in the appropriate roll as are necessary to give effect to the decision on an application to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
(5)  Despite this section, the non-residential roll and the roll of occupiers and ratepaying lessees are not to be altered between the closing date for an election and the end of polling day.
304   Enrolment if qualified in more than one respect
(1)  A person may not, in respect of the same ward, be enrolled more than once in a roll of electors.
(2)  A person who is qualified for enrolment in respect of more than one ward of an area may be enrolled only in respect of the ward for which the person is qualified as a resident or, if the person is not so qualified:
(a)  the ward specified in a notice given by the person to the general manager before the closing date for the election, or
(b)  if no such notice is given, a ward chosen by the general manager.
305   Provisional voting
The regulations may prescribe circumstances in which a person is to be permitted to vote at an election under this Act where:
(a)  the person is not enrolled for the area or ward concerned, but claims to be entitled to be enrolled on the residential roll for that area, or
(b)  the person claims that the person’s name has been omitted from the roll for the area (for any reason), but claims he or she is entitled to vote at an election, or
(c)  there is other uncertainty as to a person’s entitlement to vote at an election (for example, the person claims the person’s name has been incorrectly marked off a roll at an election).
Division 3 Nominations and election
306   Nominations
(1)  A person who is not duly nominated is not eligible for election as a councillor, or for election by the electors of an area as mayor.
(2)  To be duly nominated for election as a councillor for an area, or for election as mayor of an area by the electors of an area, a person must be enrolled as an elector for the area, and must be qualified to hold that civic office, at the closing date for the election.
(3)  A person may not be nominated for election as a councillor for more than one ward.
(4)  A nomination is to be proposed to and made by the returning officer as prescribed by the regulations and may be withdrawn by the nominee as prescribed by the regulations.
(5)  A nomination is to be rejected if the returning officer has not been paid the deposit prescribed by the regulations for the nomination or (if none is prescribed) a deposit of 50 per cent of the deposit required to be deposited for the nomination of a candidate for election to the Legislative Assembly.
(5A)  However, if a group that comprises more than 5 candidates:
(a)  proposes the nomination of all members of the group, and pays the deposit for the nomination of all members of the group, at the same time, and
(b)  has lodged a claim under section 308A (2),
the amount of the deposit for each candidate included in the group is 5 times the deposit for one candidate divided by the number of candidates in that group.
(6)  If a returning officer rejects a proposed nomination and the nominated person applies in writing for an explanation of the rejection, the returning officer must provide the nominated person with a written explanation within 7 days.
(7)  A deposit may be refunded in accordance with the regulations.
307   Nomination where name omitted from roll
Despite section 306, a person whose nomination for election to a civic office would, but for this section, be rejected on the ground only that he or she is not enrolled as an elector for the area may be nominated if:
(a)  the name of the person has been omitted from the roll of electors mistakenly or accidentally, and
(b)  but for that omission the nomination would not have been rejected.
308   Candidate information sheets
(1)  A nomination of a candidate for election to a civic office is to be accompanied by a candidate information sheet in the form of a statutory declaration made by the candidate.
(2)  The regulations may make provision for the matters that are to be included in, or that may or may not be included in, a candidate information sheet. The regulations may not prohibit the inclusion in a candidate information sheet of matter relating to a candidate’s policies.
(3)  The returning officer is to make each candidate information sheet available for public inspection at any reasonable time during office hours at the office of the returning officer and at any other place determined by the returning officer.
(4)  An electoral official at each polling place is to ensure that a copy of each candidate information sheet is displayed at the polling place.
308A   Grouping of candidates
(1)  This section applies to an election in which there are 2 or more councillors to be elected.
(2)  Two or more candidates duly proposed for nomination for election may, before noon on the nomination day prescribed by the regulations, claim to have their names included in a group on the ballot-papers and in the order specified in the claim. The claim is to be lodged with the returning officer.
(3)  A claim under subsection (2) may also include a request for a group voting square for the group to appear on the ballot-papers to be used in the election concerned, but only if:
(a)  in the case of an area not divided into wards—the number of candidates in the group on the nomination day prescribed by the regulations is at least half the number of candidates to be elected, or
(b)  in the case of an area divided into wards—there are at least as many candidates in the group on the nomination day prescribed by the regulations as there are candidates to be elected.
(4)  A group voting square is to be printed on the ballot-papers above the names of the candidates in each group that has duly requested a group voting square under subsection (3), but only if more than one group has duly requested a group voting square.
(5)  An application under Part 7 for the name of a political party to be printed adjacent to the name of a candidate on the ballot-papers may include a further request for that name or a composite name to be printed on the ballot-papers adjacent to the candidates’ group voting square.
308B   Group voting—recording of votes
(1)  This section applies if a ballot-paper has group voting squares.
(2)  Instead of marking the separate voting squares for the candidates, the voter may record a vote:
(a)  by placing the number “1” in any one of the group voting squares, and
(b)  (if he or she wishes) by placing consecutive numbers (beginning with the number “2”) in any other of those group voting squares, in the order of his or her preference for the various groups of candidates.
(3)  The number “1” appearing in a group voting square for a group indicates:
(a)  that the voter’s first preference vote is for the first candidate in the group, and
(b)  that the voter’s subsequent preference votes are for the other candidates in the group in the order in which their names appear on the ballot-paper.
(4)  Subsequent numbers appearing in group voting squares for other groups indicate that the voter’s preferences (subsequent to those referred to in subsection (3)) are for the candidates in those groups:
(a)  in the order in which those groups are numbered by the voter, and
(b)  within each group, in the order in which the names of the candidates in that group appear on the ballot-paper.
308C   Group voting—marking of ballot-papers
(1)  If a voter records a vote on a ballot-paper by placing a mark in a group voting square but also indicates preferences for individual candidates, the following provisions apply:
(a)  if the indication of preferences for individual candidates would, if it stood alone, constitute a formal vote, that indication of preferences is taken to be the vote of the voter and the mark in the group voting square is to be disregarded,
(b)  if the indication of preferences for individual candidates would not, if it stood alone, constitute a formal vote, it is to be disregarded and the vote of the voter is to be taken to have been expressed by the mark in the group voting square.
(2)  A ballot-paper is not informal by reason only that the voter has recorded a vote by placing a cross or a tick in a group voting square and not placing any mark or writing in any other group voting square, but the ballot-paper is to be treated as if the cross or tick were the number “1”.
(3)  A ballot-paper is not informal by reason only that the voter has recorded a vote by placing the number “1” or a tick in a group voting square and placing a cross in (or a line through) all or some of the other group voting squares on the ballot-paper, but the ballot-paper is to be treated as if the marks in those other squares did not appear on the ballot-paper and any such tick were the number “1”.
(4)  A ballot-paper on which the voter has recorded a vote by placing in one group voting square the number “1” is not informal by reason only that:
(a)  the same preference (other than the first preference) is recorded on the ballot-paper for more than one group, but in that event the ballot-paper is to be treated as if those and any subsequent preferences had not been recorded, or
(b)  there is a break in the order of preferences for groups, but in that event the ballot-paper is to be treated as if any preference after the break had not been recorded, or
(c)  fewer preferences are recorded than there are candidates to be elected.
(5)  The ballot-papers for an election are not informal by reason only that they contain the name of a candidate whom a court has declared to be incapable of being elected at that election, but a preference for such a candidate (whether individually or as a member of a group) is to be disregarded, and (if necessary) subsequent preferences are to be renumbered accordingly.
Note.
 The regulations make further provision regarding the formality of ballot-papers.
308D   Group voting—regulations
The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the grouping of candidates, group voting squares and the matter to be printed on ballot-papers.
309   Contested elections
(1)  If the number of candidates nominated for election as councillors for a ward or an area is greater than the number required to be elected for the ward or area, the election is to be a contested election.
(2)  If there are two or more candidates for election by the electors of an area as mayor of the area, there is to be a contested election for the office.
(3)  If a candidate who is nominated for election to a civic office in respect of a ward or area dies before the day when the poll at a contested election closes, the election fails in respect of that civic office for the ward or area.
310   Conduct of contested elections
A contested election for a civic office is to be conducted as prescribed by the regulations.
310A   Postal votes
At any election, any postal vote must be accepted for further scrutiny if:
(a)  the postal vote is received by the returning officer before 6 pm on the first business day immediately following the close of the poll, and
(b)  the returning officer is satisfied that the voter has indicated, in accordance with the regulations, that the postal vote was completed before the close of the poll.
310B   Elections may be conducted exclusively by postal voting
(1)  This section applies to:
(a)  the City of Sydney local government area, and
(b)  any other local government area prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.
(2)  A council may by a resolution made at least 18 months before the next ordinary election of councillors determine that voting at that election is to be conducted:
(a)  by means of attendance and postal voting, or
(b)  exclusively by means of postal voting.
(3)  Voting at an ordinary election of councillors must be conducted by the same means, whether by means of attendance and postal voting or exclusively by means of postal voting, as the previous ordinary election of councillors was conducted unless the council has determined by a resolution that complies with subsection (2) to change the means of conducting the voting.
(4)  Voting at a by-election must be conducted by the same means, whether by means of attendance and postal voting or exclusively by means of postal voting, as the previous ordinary election of councillors was conducted unless the council determines by a resolution made not later than 14 days after the casual vacancy occurred to change the means of conducting the voting.
(5)  Voting at a constitutional referendum or council poll must be conducted by the same means, whether by means of attendance and postal voting or exclusively by means of postal voting, as the previous ordinary election of councillors was conducted unless the council determines by a resolution made at the same meeting that the council determined to hold the referendum or take the poll to change the means of conducting the voting.
(6)  An election, constitutional referendum or council poll to be conducted exclusively by means of postal voting is to be conducted in accordance with the regulations.
311   Uncontested elections
(1)  A candidate nominated for election as a councillor for a ward or area is, without a poll being held, taken to have been elected if the number of candidates nominated for election as councillors for the ward or area is no greater than the number of councillors required to be elected for the ward or area.
(2)  A candidate nominated for election by the electors of the area as the mayor of the area is, without a poll being held, taken to have been elected if he or she is the only nominee for election as the mayor.
(3)  A person holding civic office under this section without a poll being held is taken to have been elected:
(a)  on the day on which the poll would have been held, if the election were an ordinary election, or
(b)  on the day of nomination, if paragraph (a) does not apply.
(4)  If a candidate who is nominated for election to a civic office in respect of a ward or area dies before the day referred to in subsection (3), the election in respect of that civic office for that ward or area is taken to have failed and no candidate in that election can be taken to have been elected in respect of that civic office for that ward or area.
Division 4 Where residents fail to vote
312   Offence
A person whose name is on the residential roll in respect of a ward or area must vote at any contested election in the ward or area (other than an election of the mayor by the councillors) unless the person has a sufficient reason not to vote.
Maximum penalty: 1 penalty unit.
313   Check on double-voting and failure to vote
(1)  After the close of the poll at a contested election, the copies of the roll of electors used at the election are to be checked by the Electoral Commissioner in accordance with this section to determine:
(a)  which electors’ names (if any) have been marked more than once, and
(b)  which electors (if any) appear to have failed to vote.
(2)  In the case of an election administered by an electoral services provider engaged by a council, the general manager must (within the period specified by the Electoral Commissioner) forward the copies of the roll of electors used at that election to the Electoral Commissioner for checking.
(3)  The Electoral Commissioner is, for each contested election, to prepare a list of the names of the persons on the residential roll who, although entitled to vote at the election, appear to have failed to vote and do not appear to have a sufficient reason for the failure.
314   Penalty notice to be issued for failure to vote
(1)  The Electoral Commissioner is to serve a penalty notice on each resident who is indicated on the list prepared under section 313 as appearing not to have a sufficient reason for failing to vote at an election.
(2)  A penalty notice is to be served within 3 months after the close of the poll at the election to which it relates and, if not served personally, is to be served by post at the address of the resident last known to the Electoral Commissioner.
(3)  A penalty notice is a notice in the form prescribed by the regulations to the effect that, if the resident does not desire to have the failure to vote dealt with by a court:
(a)  the Electoral Commissioner must be given, within a time stated in the notice, a sufficient reason for the failure to vote, or
(b)  a penalty of 0.5 penalty unit must be paid to the Electoral Commissioner.
(4)  If, within 28 days after service of the penalty notice, the Electoral Commissioner is given a sufficient reason for the failure to vote or the penalty is paid, the resident is not liable to any further proceedings for the offence to which the penalty notice relates.
(5)  If an insufficient reason for a failure to vote is given in response to a penalty notice, the Electoral Commissioner is to include a statement to that effect in any penalty reminder notice served under the Fines Act 1996 in relation to the penalty notice.
(6)  For the purposes of this section, it is a sufficient reason for a failure by a resident to vote if the Electoral Commissioner is satisfied that the resident:
(a)  is dead, or
(b)  was absent from the area on polling day, or
(c)  was ineligible to vote, or
(d)  had an honest belief that he or she had a religious duty to abstain from voting, or
(e)    (Repealed)
(f)  was unable to vote for any other reason acceptable to the Electoral Commissioner.
(7)  If a penalty notice is served, the Electoral Commissioner is to note on the list prepared under section 313, or on a separate list of the residents on whom penalty notices have been served, whether or not there has been a response to the penalty notice and, if there has been a response, whether a sufficient reason has been given, or a penalty paid, for the failure to vote.
315   Evidence in list of non-voters
(1)  It is evidence:
(a)  of service of a penalty notice on a resident, or
(b)  of a lack of response to a penalty notice served on a resident, or
(c)  that a reason was given for a failure by a resident to vote at an election, but the reason was insufficient,
if there is on a certified list a notation to that effect in relation to the resident.
(2)  For the purposes of this section, a certified list is a list that is certified by the Electoral Commissioner as (or as a copy of or extract from) the list prepared under section 313 or the separate list prepared under section 314 (7).
Division 5 Miscellaneous
316   Position on ballot-paper
The order of candidates’ names on ballot-papers is to be determined by a method of random selection (including by electronic means) in accordance with the regulations.
317   Validity of elections
(1)  An election is not invalid just because:
(a)  there was a formal defect or error in or relating to the election, if the election was held substantially in accordance with this Act, or
(b)  there was a defect in the appointment of the returning officer, or
(c)  the time for closing the poll for postal voting was extended with the approval of the Electoral Commissioner or returning officer (in relation to an election administered by the Electoral Commissioner) or an electoral services provider or returning officer (in relation to an election administered by an electoral services provider) conducting the election, or
(d)  on polling day the name of a political party, or the abbreviation of that name, as registered in the Local Government Register of Political Parties appears printed adjacent to the name of a candidate on the ballot-papers for the election, but between the time the candidate was endorsed by the party and the polling day the candidate has ceased to be so endorsed.
(2)  A proclamation of the Governor to the effect that a specified irregularity does not invalidate an election is conclusive as to the matter stated in the proclamation.
318   Lapsed or void election
(1)  If an election for a civic office is not held when it is due, fails or is later declared void:
(a)  the holder of the civic office at the time when the election should have been held or when the election failed (or, in the case of a void election, if there is no such holder, the candidate purporting to have been elected at the void election), holds the office as if duly elected until an election is held under paragraph (b), and
(b)  the returning officer is to hold another election as if a casual vacancy had occurred in the civic office.
(2)  An election held for the purposes of this section is as valid as it would have been if it had been held at the time originally appointed for the purpose.