Municipal Elections

Elections are usually held in October of each election year and members are elected for four-year terms. Voting is not compulsory.

The Chief Electoral Officer of the Tasmanian Electoral Commission is responsible for supervising local government elections. This includes the production of ballot papers, approval of forms and procedures, the appointment of returning officers, public awareness, and statutory advertising of election dates and nomination periods.

The person in charge of running the election is called the Returning Officer. The officer is appointed by the Electoral Commissioner to administer the election.

Voting system

Hobart City Council elections are conducted by postal ballot. All elections for Aldermen are conducted using a multi-member proportional representation electoral system. This is directly modelled on the Hare-Clark system used for Tasmanian House of Assembly elections.

A feature of the Hare-Clark system is that vacant seats are filled by recount rather than by-elections.

Under the postal ballot system there is a ‘polling period’ of at least 10 days (excluding any Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday), rather than a single polling day.

Eligibility to vote

Anyone who is enrolled for House of Assembly elections is eligible to vote.

Others who can register to vote by completing a form available from the City of Hobart are:

  • residents who are not on the State Electoral Roll (for instance non-Australian citizens)

  • non-resident owners or occupiers of property in the Hobart municipal area

  • the nominee of a corporate body.