Concerns, confusion on preferential poll for mayoral vote

SOUTHERN Downs Regional Council elections may be two months away, but already there is confusion amongst voters surrounding preferential voting for mayor.

This election will be the first Southern Downs mayoral ballot conducted as an operational preferential poll.

The OPV system has sent voters into a frenzy, with debate about exactly what it means.

According to the Electoral Commission of Queensland, the OPV system is best described as "vote for one, vote for some, or vote for all" candidates on the ballot paper.

Under the system, mayoral candidates will be able to swap preferences.

However, they must make clear where they will swap their preferences through how-to-vote cards.

An ECQ spokesperson said voters could still vote for just one candidate.

Do you support the optional preferential polling for the mayoral election in March?

This poll ended on 27 January 2016.

Current Results

Yes

20%

No

80%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The operational preferential system has faced opposition from councils across Queensland and the Local Government Association of Queensland.

In a submission to the State Government, the LGAQ expressed concerns preferential voting could be misused to throw the election. The LGAQ said the system could be used by two candidates to swap preferences and bring down an incumbent mayor.

Councillor elections will still be conducted as first past the post.

The council election will be a full postal vote.

Counting will begin on March 19.

Returning officer Garry Adcock is still waiting on a notice of election to call for candidate nominations.



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