2020 Local Government Elections Information

Council Elections

Council elections are conducted every four years on the fourth Saturday in October. The next general election for Local Government will be held on 24 October 2020.

The local Councillors who are elected will make decisions on a wide range of local issues and services, including:

  • maternal health and childcare
  • sporting and recreation facilities
  • libraries and community centres
  • animal registrations
  • rubbish and recycling
  • planning and building regulations
  • local roads and footpaths.


Important Council Election Dates

4pm, 28 August 2020:

Close of Voters’ roll (last date to update enrolment details)

9am, 17 September 2020:

Nominations open

12pm, 22 September 2020:

Nominations close

6 October – 8 October:

Ballot packs distributed to voters

6pm, 23 October 2020:

Close of Postal Voting

24 October 2020

Election Day

12pm, 30 October 2020:

Final day for receipt of mailed postal votes

13 November 2020

Latest date all results will be declared



Voting in Local Government has two different types of enrolment: State Enrolled Voters and Council enrolled voters.

Information for State-Enrolled Voters

State-enrolled voters are those who are:

  • Are an Australian Citizen
  • 18 Years or older
  • Have lived in Victoria for at least one month

Voting in Local Government elections is compulsory for state-enrolled voters.


Enrolling and Updating your Details

If you are unsure if you are enrolled to vote or if address has recently changed, it is important to check or update your details by going to the Victorian Electoral Commission website. Alternatively, you can contact the Victorian Electoral Commission on 131 832.


If you will not be home when Ballot packs are mailed

Voters who will be away during the election period can have their ballot pack redirected to an address of their choice by making a request in writing by Thursday 17 September.


Important to note:

This year people over 70 are required to vote. For more information, visit the VEC website

Information for Council-Enrolled Voters

Council enrolled voters are encouraged to vote, however you will not be fined if you don’t.

This group includes people such as ratepayers (including non-Australian citizens) who have applied to council to be enrolled or who qualify to be automatically enrolled for this election. Some ratepayers can enrol directly with their local council.

Council-enrolled voters must be:

  • 18 years or older on election day (Saturday 24 October 2020)
  • not a State-enrolled voter within the council area

Automatic Enrolment

Council-enrolled voters will be automatically enrolled if you were enrolled as a non-resident at the most recent election for your council.

If your circumstances have changed you may not be automatically enrolled.


Updating you details and enrolling as a Council Enrolled voter

You can update or enrol by calling council directly through: (03) 5355 0208

Information for Candidates

Mandatory Local Government Training

Mandatory Local Government Candidate Training for the 2020 Local Government elections will be delivered through a short online course. The link to access these resources will be available from the week commencing 10 August 2020 and you will be able to access those resources at Local Government Victoria

Under the new requirements included in the Local Government Act 2020, candidates must complete the Victorian Government’s Local Government Candidate Training course to be eligible to nominate with the Victorian Electoral Commission. This includes all serving or former councillors intending to nominate.

Local Government Victoria has developed the online course in collaboration with the sector, the course will take approximately an hour to complete.

If you are unable to access or need assistance to access the online training, please contact Ararat Rural City Council via the phone number or email address below. 

Phone: 5355 0261

Email: council@ararat.vic.gov.au


Resources for Candidates

VEC provide candidates with a range of resources to help them through the nominations process

Candidate Handbook provides information on how to nominate as a candidate, you can download a copy through the candidate forms and handbooks page of the VEC Website.

Interactive online seminars are also available through the Candidate information sessions page of the VEC website. Online Seminar dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday 9 September at 7 pm
  • Sunday 13 September at 1 pm
  • Tuesday 15 September at 5 pm

Local Government Candidate Training – Information for candidates: Click here for answers to Frequently Asked questions about running as a candidate for Local Election


Campaigning for Council Elections - October 2020 - Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19):

Guidelines are available from Local Government Victoria for candidates to understand how to comply with the directions of the Victorian Chief Health Officer to stay safe while campaigning. Information and Guidelines are available on the Local Government Victoria website.

Insurance for Council Election Candidates: LGIS has produced a tailored and cost-effective solution providing a level of liability insurance for candidates for election related activities, eg attaching signage to poles and structures, footpath table meet and greets, sausage sizzles. For details of coverage and instructions on how to purchase click here


Encouraging female nominations

It’s Our Time is a resource available to empower women to run for council in the 2020 Local Government Elections.

It’s important that our council accurately represents our community and women are often underrepresented in local government. If you a woman considering nominating, or you know someone who is, the It’s Our Time Website contains a range of useful links to empower women through the election process.