2021 Media Statements

For all media enquiries please email media@ecq.qld.gov.au or phone 0438 120 699.

January

By-elections’ polls closed: the count begins

Saturday 23 January 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) announced the close of polls at 6pm today for the Townsville Division 10 councillor and Rockhampton mayoral by-elections, with counting now underway.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the preliminary count on election night for both by-elections will include all votes on hand.

“This includes early votes, postal votes received to date, telephone votes and election day votes.

“The results of this first, unofficial count will be uploaded to the ECQ website as soon as they have been verified.”

Mr Vidgen said the official count begins on Sunday when all votes are recounted.

“The official count involves recounting votes already counted on election night, with a distribution of preferences following.

“As is usual practice candidates’ registered scrutineers can attend the count both on election night in the days following.

“Of course, all COVID-safe practices will need to be adhered to, including social distancing.”

Mr Vidgen said determining the outcome of the Rockhampton mayoral by-election may take some time with 17 candidates contesting the role.

“Some electors may have chosen to preference all 17 of the candidates on their ballot paper, meaning the count could take some time to finalise.

“A final declaration is only made when the outcome is mathematically certain and this may not be possible until after the deadline for the return of postal votes on Tuesday 2 February,” Mr Vidgen said.

For all by-election information, go to ecq.qld.gov.au.

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Winton Shire Council: nominations close with four candidates vying for councillor role

18 January 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said nominations for the Winton Shire Council by-election have closed, the ballot paper order draw has been conducted, and the four candidates vying for the vacated councillor role are Lynda Alcorn, Teonie Stockham, Frank Standfast, and Kerry Turnbull.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the by-election was triggered by the December 2020 resignation of Councillor Sandy Gillies, and council resolving to have an attendance by-election to fill the role.

“Election day for Winton Shire Council electors is Saturday 6 February, with early voting from Monday 1 February to Friday 6 February.

“The voting system for the Winton Shire Council by-election as an undivided council and determined in the Local Government Electoral Act is first-past-the-post.

“This means electors must number at least one box on their ballot paper, as there is one councillor to be elected.

“Postal votes will be sent this week following today’s close of nominations and ballot paper order draw.

“I remind electors who are postal voting to complete their ballot paper as soon as they receive it and return it to the ECQ in the Reply-Paid envelope by the deadline of Tuesday 16 February,” he said.

Mr Vidgen said all in person voting will take place in the Supper Room of the Winton Shire Council building at 75 Vindex Street, Winton.

Early voting is from 9am to 5pm Monday 1 February to Friday 5 February, and election day voting is from 8am to 6pm on Saturday 6 February.

Information about the Winton Shire Council by-election is available at ecq.qld.gov.au.

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699

Rockhampton and Townsville by-elections: Early and postal voting underway

14 January 2021

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said voters for Rockhampton and Townsville are embracing early and postal voting options for their respective council by-elections.

Commissioner Pat Vidgen said more than 600 electors in Townsville Division 10 and around 6,000 Rockhampton Regional Council electors are recorded as having voted in the first few days of early voting.

“Early voting is a growing trend in elections and even in regional by-elections, voters are choosing an option that best suits their needs.

“Around 1,600 or 12 per cent of 12,500 electors in Townsville’s Division 10 by-election have chosen to postal vote, as have more than 6,400 or 11 per cent of 55,800 Rockhampton’s electors.

“Postal votes for both by-elections were dispatched by Australia Post progressively with the final dispatch on 13 January.

“Postal votes must be completed before 6pm on election day Saturday 23 January and be returned to the ECQ by the deadline of Tuesday 2 February.

“We’re asking postal voters to return their ballot papers as soon as completed, and to follow the instructions making sure they sign and have a witness sign as well.”

Mr Vidgen said following the close of polls at 6pm on election night, all votes on hand will be counted.

“The ECQ will undertake a preliminary count of all available early, postal, telephone and election day votes on election night, with the official count beginning on the following day, Sunday.

“With 17 candidates vying to be mayor of Rockhampton and five for Division 10 in Townsville, it’s possible results may not be determined in the initial period of counting and preference distribution.

“However, results will be regularly updated on the ECQ’s website as they are verified by Returning Officers in each jurisdiction, and declarations will be made when outcomes are mathematically certain.

“We ask electors for their patience while the ECQ completes this important democratic process.”

The election results webpage will go live just prior to the close of polling on election day, Saturday 23 January.

END

Media contact: media@ecq.qld.gov.au 0438 120 699