'One vote, one value' under new NSW rules

The New South Wales Government will accept all ten recommendations of a Parliamentary Inquiry into preference counting in local government elections.

The decision to align state and local government vote counting methods has been welcomed by Local Government New South Wales (LGNSW), along with moves to replace costly by-elections with a "countback" system.

LGNSW President, Linda Scott, said, "LGNSW has long campaigned for the one vote, one value approach.

"The LGNSW Annual Conference in December endorsed the position that all votes should be counted equally, and Minister Upton agrees, accepting the recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters which LGNSW appeared before last year."

Under existing preference counting rules, first preferences are counted in full but subsequent preference redistribution is by random sampling, with results extrapolated by a computer algorithm.

"There's no guarantee that the random sample is representative, which could result in the election of a candidate who received fewer votes than someone else.

"It has also meant that the actual preferences of significant numbers of voters are not counted.

"By scrapping this system, and replacing it with a new fractional transfer system which ensures all votes are counted, the Minister is helping to ensure the results of the 2020 local government elections are fair and accurate."

Cr Scott also welcomed a move that will allow councils to use a countback system instead of an expensive by-election, should a single vacancy arise.