Elections for City Councillors

3d rendering of a circle of red men forming a teamElections are generally quite infrequent due to the number of nominees being equal or less to the number of positions available. This means that a lot of the elections go uncontested.

When the elections take place, the Local Authorities and Community council will pay for publicity. This can be a notice in the local newspaper, or posters put up around town. About a third of Community Councils distribute publicity leaflets and/or arrange public meetings.

The most popular location for elections are the polling stations used for general and local elections. Around half of the Community Councils uses community centres and the like. Some Community Councils use postal, and even electronic, voting.

Most Community Councils have elections every three years, but some councils have theirs every four years instead.

The most common method of voting is to mark an X next to the name of the candidate the voter selects.

In many areas, elections are rarely held because the number of nominees rarely exceeds the number of candidates. In one local Authority with 90 community councils, only 13 contested elections took place.

It is not only the rare need for elections, but also the low turnout for voting that increases the perception of apathy currently for Community Councils. The lowest reported turnout for voting was in a rural area, with 0.15%. Local authorities work hard to improve the ease of voting, as well as the visibility of community Council elections. This is hard to see though, with the turnout that results.

Two attempts to increase voter turnout that worked well had a significant increase on the previous years’ turnout. One council combined the Community Council voting with Local Authority voting. Another council use postal ballots. These attempts show initiative and ‘out of the box’ thinking by the respective councils. These initiatives only work however when there are enough nominees to warrant an election.