The election count tomorrow – the polling stations, what happens when counting and how to follow it.

Today is the last day of the formal local government election campaign before polling day tomorrow.

This will be the last pre-election related story CCO will run. Below we provide information on the election count and how to follow the vote count itself should you wish to do so either intermittently or more intently on Saturday night.

By The Editor

Polling Stations – Saturday 4 December

The polling stations are on a map above. But full details can be found here;


Saturday night’s vote count

The NSW Electoral Commission will be publishing progress results throughout the evening.

Go to the following link then go to results then follow the prompts to City of Coffs Harbour or Belllingen or Nambucca;

Or go to Antony Greene’s coverage on the ABC here; Results will be published at this site from 6pm on Saturday 4 December 2021.


How vote counting will proceed

The following is from the NSW Electoral Commission site;

Postal votes scrutiny

The scrutiny of all postal vote certificate envelopes will be conducted at the Centralised Postal Vote Count Centre. This includes:

  • scrutiny of postal vote certificate envelopes: this is to determine whether the postal vote is to be admitted to the count – commences Monday, 22 November 2021
  • extraction of ballot papers from the accepted postal vote certificate envelopes – commences Tuesday, 23 November 2021.

It is important to note that the ballot papers will be extracted, unfolded, counted and stored in securely sealed ballot paper cartons until 6pm on election night. The votes will not be inspected until this time. The votes will be counted progressively from 6pm onwards on election night.

Election night counting

From 6pm on election night, the initial count of ballot papers for Mayor and Councillor will be conducted as follows:

  • all ballot papers in each polling place
  • some, but not all, pre-poll ballot papers in each Returning Officer’s office
  • some, but not all postal ballot papers received to date at the Centralised Postal Vote Count Centre.

Initial count results will be published on the NSW Electoral Commission’s results page from approximately 6.30pm to 11pm election night.

The NSW Electoral Commission’s website will continue to be updated daily with initial count results until the initial count is completed after the close of receipt of postal vote certificate envelopes at 6pm Friday, 17 December 2021.

The Sunday following election day

No vote counting will occur on the Sunday following election day. Mayor or Councillor polling place counts that were not completed on election night will be completed in the Returning Officer’s office from the Monday following election day.

The Sydney Count Centre and Newcastle Count Centre will receive sealed cartons of Councillor ballot papers from specific councils. Those cartons will remain sealed until Monday when the check count commences.

From Monday following election day

Initial counts will continue as required at the Returning Officer’s office.

Initial counts of the postal vote ballot papers at the Centralised Postal Vote Count Centre will continue until the close of receipt of postal vote certificate envelopes at 6pm Friday, 17 December 2021.

Check count

All Mayor and Councillor ballot papers will undergo a check count. This comprises batching, which is counting the ballot papers into bundles of 50 without examining the preferences, and data entry (two rounds of data entry known as Round 1 and Round 2 and a reconciliation process). The ballot papers will be counted using the NSW Electoral Commission’s computer count system.

The check count will commence on the Monday following election day and will continue as required until the close of receipt of postal vote certificate envelopes at 6pm, Friday 17 December 2021.

The check count will be conducted at the following locations:

  • Mayor ballot papers – Returning Officer’s office
  • Councillor ballot papers for the Newcastle region – Newcastle Count Centre
  • Councillor ballot papers for the Greater Sydney region – Sydney Count Centre
  • Councillor ballot papers for regional NSW – Returning Officer’s office
  • Postal ballot papers – Centralised Postal Vote Count Centre

The list of councils and address of the relevant Returning Officer’s office and/or count centre as applicable can be found on the Count centre locations page.


iVote preferences will be transferred from the iVote system to the counting systems at the NSW Electoral Commission head office, Level 3, 231 Elizabeth Street, Sydney as detailed below:

  • First preference votes from the iVote system will be transferred to the NSW Electoral Commission’s Election Management Application (EMA) and will be published on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website from 6pm Monday, 6 December 2021
  • Full preference votes from the iVote system will be transferred to the NSW Electoral Commission computer count system (PRCC) at 6pm Thursday, 9 December 2021.

Distribution of preferences

The distribution of preferences (DoP) to determine the elected candidates for Mayor and Councillor can only be conducted after the close of receipt of postal vote certificate envelopes at 6pm Friday, 17 December 2021.

It is anticipated the DoP will be conducted at each Returning Officer’s office using the NSW Electoral Commission’s computer count system from Monday, 20 December until Wednesday, 22 December 2021. The DoP will only take few minutes to complete.

Distribution of preferences schedule

The final count reports will be published on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website (under the Final Results tab) within an hour of the DoP completing.

Any request for a recount must be in writing and lodged with the Returning Officer no later than 24 hours from the final results being published on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website.

4 thoughts on “The election count tomorrow – the polling stations, what happens when counting and how to follow it.

  1. Can’t wait.

    Quick electoral wrap up.

    Firstly, to ‘The Advocate’ — thanks for nothing. Is it still called by that name? Not sure if it still can. We’ve known the name though for decades. I can’t help get a wizened old face out of the minds’ eye, of features like a trodden-on prune, teeth amiss, glint in the eye, and a heart of joy.
    A club stalwart who reckons, like they all do, that he paid for the extensions. The only downsizing he undertook in getting older was from a schooey to a middy.

    You’d find him hanging out in front of Ryan’s newsagency in High St on a Sattidee mornen’. Rifling through the pages, he used to call it as many did for years, fondly: “Two minutes of silence.”

    Not worth that, and an embarrassment now, I think. Can’t help feeling sorry for the new owner’s journalists, trained in their own art form, who must surely look out the window to CCO’sachievements and efforts, to yearn.

    The stalwart and rambunctious ‘Fourth Estate’ that we’ve long known has been proven, by this year’s campaign I think, locally, to now have finally shifted. But how we need it. Imagine, for a moment, what this electioneering would have been had we not had insights, analysis, information and considered opinion as provided by the CCO team, with Grant carving huge clumps out of his life to provide it for us.

    A truly phenomenal effort and achievement, possibly, if not definitely, the best in the state of NSW, that being the relevent limit of our governed jurisdiction. It may be the best a community has been provided, in the country. What can be said, to speak of gratitude, but Thank You.

    Some may not like CCO, and think it did them and their beliefs and cause no favour, to put it mildly. But those were heard, and those were given the page as equally as any other. I don’t think it serves well to lay blame on a messenger.

    The message is the thing.

    We’ve all learned so much along the way, these five years. Looking upon council, Coffs Harbour City Council, now, it’s difficult not to see a place also torn apart, internally. Whichever way your beliefs and ideas and opinions lay, the fact of this severe division within and without latter-day CHCC is proof alone that’s it’s now gone amiss.

    I think it’s important to make the distinction between where criticism of CHCC has been directed and where it hasn’t. None of the severe focus, none, has been towards the good folk who turn up every day in there, the CHCC staff that hold the place together, and get the job done.

    A lot of empathy goes to them. Chucked one way, as promises seem to be made about being lifted into the high life, of artificial prestige, and what would be surely to most a welcome change, for who doesn’t like a refurbished environment in which to work?

    But it was a false and greedy and rushed and foolhardy promise, given to the good staff, and made on their behalf. Because it was given without proven community support. And so, back the other way, they’re chucked, as a community rises in disgust, determined to cast the promise away. But the casting away was never about them, the good staff, for whom we can also only give thanks. What a term it has been for them.

    A staff environment we know is about more than carpets and desks. CHCC staff promises and hopes and expectations and dreams were badly managed, too, I think, when considered in this period, a term that I regard as the bleakest in CHCC history.

    So it’s been ugly and difficult for us all.

    Well, a new dawn, for us all, tomorrow.

    For mine, I have a bit of paper with names and numbers on it, one to nine, for below the line, in some part from ticket brochures gratefully received, by which a new council is designed and submitted.

    What I will do, though, is take an extra moment than normal, and pause, pencil in hand. To look at the names we’ve come to know so well, some, in particular, very particular. And it is to those names the pause is meant.

    For every glossy thrust in the endless onslaught, for every casting vote, for every abuse of precious terms, for what I consider a “crime against culture” that such majesty of human endeavour, in a city and region of this size, has been so debasely reduced. For the pain and hurt and mismanagement of it all.

    It will be a pause against those names who didn’t listen. A momentary pause of reflection, and not of acrimony. Merely, a rightness.

    We spoke fairly, and they turned their backs. Turned away. Thus, against their names we know so well, will be in return — emptiness. Silence.

    For next to those very particular names tomorrow will be a little square, and in that square of portent those names get what they gave us.


    1. 40c says.
      With a smile on my face I tips’ my hat to thee for saying with words I do not possess, which covers the last few years of enjoying the discussions from all contributors even the bazaar ones.
      CCO I thank you for the opportunity to do so.

  2. Yes CCO (Grant and Rob), you’ve certainly exceeded your charter of providing an alternative forum for locals to vent their spleens over the last couple of years. Your services to mental health alone has been immeasurable.

    Let’s hope in future we can explore worthwhile local and worldly issues rather than a dysfunctional city council.


  3. Oh so TRUE.

    I had a list of the bad Councillors on my wall so I knew exactly who was going to get the axe when it came to polling day this old Council was absolutely disgusting with our lovely Mayor using her extra vote. She wasn’t game to face the voters again was she!!!

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