THERE will be no absentee voting in Singleton’s September 8 local government election.
That’s the main thing newly appointed returning officer David Workman wants to stress to the 15,000 residents expected to cast votes.
“On election day voters will have to go to one of the 13 polling places in the Singleton shire, they won’t be able to cast a vote that day if they’re out of the area,” he said.
“So, if you know you’ll be away, or think you will, you should organise a postal vote or pre-poll vote.
“I’d like to encourage candidates to get involved but the key thing I’d like to say at this stage is, if you can’t be here on the day, organise an early vote.”
Mr Workman has begun setting up a regional office in Singleton’s former Catholic junior school site, off Patrick Street, to coordinate elections for the Singleton, Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter councils.
This year’s election will see the number of Singleton councillors reduced from 12 to 10 and the old ward representation system abolished, which means Singleton ratepayers from any part of the shire will be able to vote for any of the candidates.
Also for the first time, residents will elect the mayor who will hold that position for four years.
Until now, councillors have selected among themselves who has filled the town’s top civic position.
To date, no-one other than seven existing councillors have publicly declared an intention to run for a seat.