Not sure how to navigate the NSW state election day, and what to expect when you get to the voting centre?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
From who’s running, where to vote, and everything in between, here’s what you need to know about election day in Wagga.
Do I have to vote?
If you live in NSW and are enrolled to vote, you are required to vote on March 23.
So if you live in these localities, you’re required to vote for the next Wagga MP: Adelong, Alfredtown, Arajoel, Batlow, Bidgeemia, Borambola, Brookdale, Brungle, Bullenbung, Burrandana, Collingullie, Downside, Forest Hill, French Park, Galore, Gilmore, Gocup, Grahamstown, Humula, Kyeamba, Lacmalac, Lockhart, Malebo, Mangoplah, Milbrulong, Mt Horeb, Pleasant Hills, Pulletop, Oberne, Osborne, Ryan, Urangeline, Urangeline East, Uranquinty, Talbingo, Tarcutta, The Rock, Tootool, Tumut, Wagga Wagga, Westby, Wondalga, Woodend, Yarrangobilly Caves, Yerong Creek, Yuluma.
If you have voted at a pre-poll location or submitted a postal vote, you do not need to vote again.
Where can I vote?
Voting centres open at 8am on Saturday and close at 6pm. Voters in the city of Wagga have 14 polling places to choose from, with the wider electorate having another 15 to choose from.
You don’t have to vote at the closest polling place to home. More information on locations and how to get there can be found here.
Who can I vote for?
Here’s who you have to choose from on the voting form.
The Daily Advertiser’s Jody Lindbeck sat down with each of the candidates and asked the political hopefuls to share a bit about themselves and their vision for the electorate. We’ve got a snapshot here, or click on each candidate’s name below for the full Q&A.
The candidates are, in ballot order:
How do I vote?
Unlike the byelection, this time around voters will be given two ballot papers to fill out - a small one for the Legislative Assembly, and a large one fore the Legislative Council.
When filling out the small ballot, choose the person you think is the best for your local area, the NSW Electoral Commission advises. Find their name on the ballot and write a 1 in the box next to that person’s name.
You can leave it at that, or place a number against each candidate in the order of your preference.
On the large voting form, you can vote above or below the line, but not both. Here's how the NSWEC explains it.
"(To vote above the line) you must put a number 1 in one of the group voting squares above the thick horizontal line on the ballot paper," the commission outlines.
"By doing this you are voting for that whole group of candidates in the order they are listed below that square, starting from the top. This is all you need to do.
You can show more choices if you want, starting with the number 2 above the line.
If you vote above the line, do not put numbers in any squares below the line as this may invalidate your vote."
And for below the line? You must choose at least 15 candidates for your vote to count.
Where does my vote go?
As preferential voting is optional in NSW state elections, frontrunners like incumbent independent Joe McGirr and the Nationals' Mackenna Powell have left their how-to-vote cards blank after putting themselves at number one. Colin Taggart and Matt Quade also aren't preferencing.
But that's not the case for all the candidates.
Labor’s Dan Hayes and the Greens' Ray Goodlass are preferencing each other at number two, followed by a complete preference list right through the ballot.
When will we know a result?
The count begins after voting closes at centres and online at 6pm on election day. Though the incumbent Joe McGirr is a strong favourite, experts and polling suggest we’re in for a long count, with a tight race looking like it’ll be determined by preference votes – so we’re unlikely to know before the end of the weekend.
Postal votes close on Wednesday and distribution of preferences, if required, will be undertaken on Thursday, according to the NSW Electoral Commission’s key dates for the Wagga election.
What happens if I don’t vote?
The penalty for failing to vote at a state election is $55. If you appear to have failed to vote, you will be issued a penalty notice that gives the following options.
- provide a claim that you voted and details of where you voted
- give a reason in writing for not voting
- pay the penalty
- apply to have the matter heard in court (the maximum penalty that a court may impose for an offence of failing to vote is $110 plus court costs).
You must reply within 28 days of the issue date of the notice. Failure to pay or resolve the fine can lead to Revenue NSW issuing a penalty notice enforcement order against you, which can lead to the cancellation or suspension of your drivers licence, cancellation of car registration or other punishments.