To nominate for election as a councillor, a person:
A person may not nominate as a candidate for a council election if they are:
A person may not nominate for election to a council if they ceased to be a councillor of that council in the preceding four years for:
If you are considering candidature for a council election and are unsure of your eligibility, you should seek advice from the Returning Officer.
In order to be a candidate in a council election, a person must:
Information and assistance are available in a number of forms prior to and during an election.
Prior to the election, the Victorian Electoral Commission usually holds information sessions for prospective candidates. These sessions provide information about the process and enable potential candidates to meet the Returning Officer appointed to run the election. Details of information sessions are available from the Victorian Electoral Commission or the council.
The Victorian Electoral Commission also provides a comprehensive candidate information kit that describes the election process and timelines. The kit also explains the requirements of becoming a candidate and includes forms to be completed by candidates.
The local government peak bodies Municipal Association of Victoria and Victorian Local Governance Association often also conduct information sessions for potential councillors in the months leading up to an election.
The Victorian Electoral Commission website contains information about council elections, including candidates’ handbooks, which detail the requirements of being a candidate.
Candidates for council elections must adhere to certain key dates and conditions.
To stand as a candidate a person needs to be an eligible voter in the local government area. Entitlement date (57 days before election day) is important for a candidate because it’s the last chance a person has to be correctly enrolled to vote.
Not less than 40 days or more than 60 days before an election, the Returning Officer must give public notice of the election and call for nominations to fill the vacant positions.
Candidates must be nominated by 12 noon on the day that is 32 days before the election day.
The election day is the last Saturday in October.
In postal elections, ballot papers must be posted by 6pm on the day before the election day and they must be received by the returning officer within nine days after the election day.
In attendance elections, voters cast their votes between 8am and 6pm on election day
The Returning Officer will publicly declare results after the votes have been counted and scrutineers have had time to examine the record of the count.
The Returning Officer will read out the person or persons elected and, where appropriate, the order in which they were elected. The event may include acceptance speeches by successful and unsuccessful candidates.
The declaration of the election may be delayed if the returning officer decides to conduct a recount.
Within 40 days of election day, all candidates must give the council’s Chief Executive Officer an election campaign donation return. This will provide details of any gifts, goods or services worth $500 or more, received during the donation period for use in connection with their election campaign. This applies to all candidates, whether elected or not, and whether they received campaign donations or not.
The ‘donation period’ is defined as the period beginning 30 days after election day in the previous election and ending 30 days after election day in the current election.
Copies of election donation return forms will soon be included in candidate information kits and available from Local Government Victoria.
Within 14 days after the deadline for lodgement of completed campaign donation returns by candidates, summaries of each return lodged will be made available on the relevant council’s website for a period up until the entitlement date for the next general election. Completed campaign donation returns are also available for public inspection at the council offices for four years after the election.
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