Voters can expect a tablecloth-sized ballot paper at next month’s local government elections, with more than 50 candidates digging in for the battle ahead.
They will also be spoilt for choice in the mayoral race, with the shire attracting a state record field of 21.
Wednesday marked the close of nominations for the Eurobodalla council election, which will be held on September 8.
A whopping 54 candidates are fighting for a position on the nine-member council, including 47 standing in 10 groups and seven ungrouped independents.
Meanwhile, 21 people, including six women, will fight it out for the top position of mayor.
Bega region returning officer Susan Flannery said, compared to Bega council’s 16 individual candidates, the Eurobodalla paper was “going to be a bit of a tablecloth”.
“It’s quite a large number and, because a lot of them have opted to form groups, it’s a different paper to Bega,” she said.
In 2008, there were 46 candidates – 17 women and 29 men – who stood for council election and 11 men fought for the mayoral job.
At the voting booth next month, residents will have a choice to vote above the line for a party, or for individuals below the line, similar to the Legislative Council in the State Government election paper.
“You will be able to just vote above the line, or you will be able to vote below the line, as long as you have the numbers one to four,” Ms Flannery said.
“It has to be half the number to be elected.”
When voting for mayor, voters will have to indicate at least their “number one” preference, and can have as many preferences as they like.
When it comes time to count the votes, the first preferences for the mayoral candidates will be tallied first and, if there is a clear majority vote for a particular candidate, the counting will stop.
If not, it will continue for second and third preferences and so on, until there is a clear majority.
It is expected the mayoral counts will be completed on the Tuesday or Wednesday after election day.
The tallying of councillor votes won’t start until Monday at 6pm.
To be elected, candidates have to secure a certain quota of votes, which is calculated by the total number of formal votes, divided by the number of vacancies that will be filled (eight).
Votes will be counted according to choices shown on the ballot paper, and candidates are elected once they reach the quota.
Information on polling booth locations is expected to be available next week. The full list of candidates is on this page.