Residential Enrol to Vote Campaign

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


Moved by Councillor Scott, seconded by Councillor Forster -

It is resolved that:

(A)        Council note:

(i)          under the City of Sydney Act 1988 the City’s General Manager is required to supply the Electoral Commission with a list of eligible non-resident voters, this list is required to be compiled “as soon as is practicable” after the lapsing of the previous roll;

(ii)         that Council consistently and actively seeks to enrol eligible non-resident voters through their website;

(iii)        at the 2016 Local Government Election the City of Sydney had 59.98 per cent turnout of eligible voters;

(iv)       in 2016, 55.8 per cent of residents in the City of Sydney were renters. The nature of renting leads to great mobility amongst tenants meaning that people are often moving into, out of and within the City of Sydney leading to electoral addresses commonly being out of date;

(v)         the City’s website has information on the 2021 election, as well as links to the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) and Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to enable residents to check their enrolment details, noting that help in a range of languages is available on the page;

(vi)       in the 2016 Election, the City spent $5.652M on compiling and resourcing the non-resident electoral rolls;

(vii)      to prepare for the 2021 Election, the City is predicted to expend an estimated $491,000 resourcing and compiling the non-residential electoral rolls, in addition to the annual operational cost to maintain the non-residential register of $1.063M;

(viii)     that a flyer encouraging residents to check their enrolment details with the AEC, and non-residents to apply online has been distributed to every property in the Local Government Area; and

(ix)       that the NSWEC/AEC are responsible for the maintenance of the residential electoral roll;

(B)        the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)          continue to provide information about the 2021 Local Government Election (save the date/check enrolment details/links to appropriate NSWEC/AEC material) via the City’s communication channels;

(ii)         distribute the NSWEC ‘Save the Date’ flyer encouraging residents to check and update their enrolment information and outlining participation requirements prior to the close of rolls; and

(iii)        translate this flyer into community languages; and

(C)       Council approve up to $35,000 from the 2020/21 General Contingency Fund for this distribution and translation.

Carried unanimously.


Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 17/05/2021

Date of decision: 17/05/2021

Decided at meeting: 17/05/2021 - Council

Accompanying Documents: