Council elections will go ahead

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THE state government has confirmed that this year’s council elections will go ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kingston residents will vote by mail on 24 October this year. A media release put out last week by the state government read that “the Chief Health Officer has advised that it is safe for the postal election to proceed this year.”

“To ensure the election is safe, and in an acknowledgement of physical distancing requirements, longer candidate statements will be allowed in the Victorian Electoral Commission Voter Information packs and guidance will be available on suitable and safe campaigning methods,” the statement read.

Local government minister Adem Somyurek said “Victorians have the right to a democratic say on who represents them at all levels of government.”

“By making every vote a postal vote, we’re ensuring this vital democratic process is conducted in a safe manner that also allows for the participation of more voters.”

Voting for Kingston councillors will be different in 2020, with the municipality set to change to a single member ward system (“New ward boundaries outlined”, The News, 13/5/20).

The state government has also announced that they will spend $50,000 of taxpayer money to “encourage women to run for council”.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 20 May 2020

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