2024 Local Government Elections

The next NSW Local Government Election will be held on Saturday 14 September 2024.

Cessnock City Council's election will be administered by the NSW Electoral Commission. All enquiries should be directed to them on 1300 135 736. The NSW Electoral Commission has appointed a Returning Officer to oversee the election process. Contact details will be published once available. 

Voters FAQ

The below FAQ provides information about voting eligibility and the voting process.

Which ward do I belong to?

Our LGA is divided into four areas called ‘Wards’ and each ward has three Councillors to represent the people within these areas.

Our ward boundaries have changed since the last election. It is important that you check if the ward you are in has changed. You can view ward maps on our How does Council work page.

You can also check which ward you are in on the NSW Electoral Commission website.

Am I eligible to vote?

Voting is compulsory for people who are enrolled to vote in the Cessnock local government area.

If you are a resident of Cessnock City Council Local Government Area, you can check if your enrolment details are up-to-date with the Australian Electoral Commission. Council does not hold electoral information for local residents.

Can I vote if I am not a resident of the LGA?

If you are not a resident, you may be entitled to vote if you own, occupy or lease property in the local area as a corporation, business or individual. 

This is known as Council’s Non-Residential Roll (NRR). This is in addition to voting in the local government area within which you reside. You can only vote once in any local government area. It is not compulsory to enroll to vote in the NRR.

Click here to enrol on Council’s NRR. Enrolments on the NRR must be submitted to Council by 6pm Monday 5 August, 2024.

What happens if I do not vote?

You will most likely receive a $55 fine. Council does not issue the fines and cannot overturn them.

More information about penalties for not voting is available on the NSW Electoral Commission website.

Can I become a Councillor?

If you are passionate about what happens in your local community, becoming a Councillor is an exciting opportunity to make a difference and to represent the interests of residents. 

For more information on how to become a Councillor or Mayor, read the below Candidates FAQ, visit the Office of Local Government's Become a Councillor and Information for Candidates pages, visit the Political Participants section of the NSW Electoral Commission website, or download a Candidate Handbook here.

Candidates FAQ

The below FAQ provides general guidance about the process of nominating, and candidates’ obligations and responsibilities.

Can I run for Mayor or Councillor?

You can check the eligibility requirements on the NSW Electoral Commission website here. If you are still unsure whether you are eligible to run for public office in a local council or how the law applies to your specific circumstances, you should seek independent legal advice.

If eligible to nominate as a Mayor or Councillor, you must first lodge a nomination form. You can lodge your nomination online using the Electoral Commission’s online nomination system. Alternatively, paper nomination forms are available by calling the NSW Electoral Commission's Candidate Helpdesk on 1300 022 011

Visit the Political Participants section of the NSW Electoral Commission website for more information. You can also download the Candidate Handbook here.

Can two or more Councillor candidates form a group on the ballot?

Yes. Two or more Councillor candidates may form a group on the ballot paper and, where eligible, request a group voting square (box above the line) be printed on the ballot paper for the group.

In addition to lodging the nomination form, these candidates must also lodge a Request to form a group form.

Visit the Political Participants section of the NSW Electoral Commission website for more information. You can also download the Candidate Handbook here.

Placement of Election Signage

In preparation for the 2024 Local Government Election, all political parties and candidates need to be informed of their legislative obligations concerning election matter.

The placement of posters and signs associated with elections causes concern for Council and our community. The placement of electoral matter is in contravention to legislative requirements, and responding to complaints about these materials, becomes a resourcing issue and diverts Council officers from normal duties unnecessarily.

Election posters and signs during election periods are regulated under the Electoral Act 2017 (Cth) (Electoral Act) and the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (NSW) (SEPP 2008) and penalties apply for non-compliance.

Please refer to the following document for a summary of the rules and regulations, as well as common FAQs surrounding Election Signage.

Placement of Election Signage - Cessnock Local Government Area(PDF, 171KB)

What are the costs associated with candidacy?

All candidates must pay a nomination deposit of $125 each to the NSW Electoral Commission. Where candidates also lodge a Request to form a group, the deposit is capped at $625 for a group of five candidates or more. 

Visit the Political Participants section of the NSW Electoral Commission website for more information.

What are the important dates?


For more information, please visit the NSW Electoral Commission website or phone them on 1300 135 736.

For general election enquiries, please contact council@cessnock.nsw.gov.au or (02) 4993 4100

Late nominations will not be accepted. However, if using paper nomination forms, you must lodge your nomination and deposit with the Returning Officer for the council area in which you intend to stand as a candidate.

What are the rules around electoral funding?

NSW has strict laws that regulate the election campaign finances of political parties, candidates and groups at the election. These include requirements to operate a campaign account, and to record and disclose political donations and electoral expenditure. In addition, there are caps on political donations and electoral expenditure.

Prior to being nominated, candidates and groups can separately apply to the NSW Electoral Commission to be registered for electoral funding regulation purposes. Only once successfully registered is a candidate or group allowed to accept political donations and pay for electoral expenditure.

Forms for applying to be registered as a candidate or group are available on the Commission’s website. Online registration is also now available.

Learn more on the Funding and Disclosure Policies page on the Commission's website. Enquiries about being registered and the laws that apply to political donations and electoral expenditure should be sent to fdc@elections.nsw.gov.au.

Visit the Political Participants section of the NSW Electoral Commission website for more information. You can also download the Candidate Handbook here.

When and where will the ballot paper draw take place?

A draw to determine the order of candidate names on the ballot paper and groups (where applicable) will be conducted at the office of the relevant Returning Officer. Details to be confirmed.

The ballot paper draw may be observed in person by candidates, representatives of registered political parties and the media.

Where can I get more information?

For more information of becoming a Councillor, you can go to the Office of Local Government’s website.

The NSW Electoral Commission will also be providing a series of webinars for candidates. A summary of the webinar topics is provided below.



You can also call the Commission's Candidate Helpdesk on 1300 022 011 or email the Helpdesk at candidates@elections.nsw.gov.au.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment, please contact the NSW Electoral Commission through the National Relay Service (NRS). Choose your access option and ask for 1300 135 736. If you need an interpreter, please call TIS National on 131 450 and ask them to call the NSW Electoral Commission on 1300 135 736.