Lining up for the poll

By SALLY GORDON

RESIDENTS can vote in one of two ways when filling out the Clarence Valley local government election ballot paper.

Twenty-three of the 36 candidates will run as group nominations.

A Brushgrove man, Ray Davis, withdrew his nomination before the deadline last week.

The State Electoral Office at midday last Friday formally declared eight separate groups, two of which contain five members, meaning voters can choose to vote above the line or below.

Clarence Valley Council returning officer Ray Endean said the ballot paper for the March 5 election would show two boxes above the line for the two five-member groups.

On the right-hand side of the ballot paper a list of all 13 ungrouped candidates will be listed.

Mr Endean said if residents wished to vote above the line, a valid vote could be cast by placing a figure one in one of the boxes or numbering both above-the-line boxes with a one and two.

Mr Endean said if both above- the-line boxes were numbered, the preferences would flow consecutively in the order the names were listed on the ballot papers.

Alternatively, residents can vote below the line and number their preferred candidates from one to nine.

"If you vote below the line the groups don't really mean anything to the voter because you can vote anywhere you like," Mr Endean said.

The State Electoral Office will provide a full list of candidates, group nominations and the order of names on the ballot paper for tomorrow's Daily Examiner.

Come March 5, voters will have a choice of 33 polling booths to cast their vote.



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