There’s an election in the wind

On March 25, NSW goes to the polls to elect the next bunch of members of the State Upper House (Legislative Council) and Lower House (Legislative Assembly).

Those elected, whether to Opposition, Government or to the crossbenches, will be responsible for governing the state.

A NSW state election must be held on the fourth Saturday in March every four years.

During that election, voters elect representatives to all 93 seats in the Legislative Assembly (a general election) and half of the 42 seats in the Legislative Council (a periodic election).

You may know the Premier who is the leader of the current governing party (a Liberal/National coalition), but do you know the leader of the Labor Opposition?

What about the Greens and other smaller parties? They have been gaining in numbers and influence as the major parties have been waning across most parts of Australia.

Will the Teals have an impact similar to the mark they made in last year’s Federal Election?

We’ll find out in about 11 weeks for the Legislative Assembly – maybe even on the night.

It will take longer to count the votes for the Legislative Council – but because the Upper House is less directly involved in the daily running of politics, the Lower House’s results are often all we need.

Here are some key dates in our journey to a new or similar bunch of pollies:

Monday, January 16, Postal vote applications open 

Monday, February 27, 8am: Lodgement of nominations of candidates starts

Monday, March 6, Issue of Writs – the legal documents the Governor uses to authorise the election.

Wednesday, March 8, noon: Nominations close

Registration of electoral material starts

Thursday, March 9 at 10am: Announcement of candidates and conduct of ballot draw to determine the order of candidates on the ballot paper

Monday, March 13 at 8am: Registered electoral material available on NSW Electoral Commission website

Saturday, March 18, Early voting period opens

Monday, March 20, Declared facility voting period opens. Some nursing homes, convalescent homes, hospitals and aged care institutions are appointed by the State Electoral Commissioner as declared institutions or facilities. State election officials visit these institutions and facilities in the five days before election day to allow residents to vote in person on site. Voting at these facilities is restricted to the residents of that facility.

Monday, March 20 at 6pm: Postal vote applications close

Friday, March 24, Declared facility voting ends

Friday, March 24, Early voting closes

Saturday, March 25, 8am-6pm: Election

Thursday, April 6 at 6pm: Receipt of postal votes closes

Friday, April 14, Estimated completion of Legislative Assembly (the Lower House) count and declaration of results

Thursday, April 20, Estimated completion of Legislative Council (the Upper House) count and declaration of results

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