City of Stirling councillor fears ballots will be mistaken for junk mail

A councillor is concerned that important ballot packs may be mistaken for junk mail.
A councillor is concerned that important ballot packs may be mistaken for junk mail.

A CITY of Stirling councillor is concerned multiple postal ballots landing in letterboxes at the same time could be mistaken for junk mail.

The Federal Government’s same-sex marriage survey will be sent out to enrolled voters as early as September 12, with a closing date of early November and local government election ballots will be out in late September, with an October 21 deadline.

Stirling ballot papers will also include a referendum on changing the system to elect its mayor.

Cr Terry Tyzack said the cross-over of the voluntary ballots could cause confusion.

“My main concern is having both of these ballots at the same time; for a lot of people it will be regarded as junk mail,” he said.

“However, it could increase the level of voting and be a positive influence on both voting rates.”

Cr Tyzack said it could also create confusion for some voters.

“Candidates for local government councillor positions will also be sending out election material and proponents for and against the proposals in the marriage equality referendum may also letterbox residents,” he said.

“The Federal Government either was ignorant of the local government election timetable in WA and the potential clash of ballots or they thought it was not an issue.”

Stirling acting chief executive Michael Littleton said a postal plebiscite would not impact the local government elections.

“One would not expect there to be any confusion between voting for a local government councillor and casting a vote on same-sex marriage,” he said.

A Department of Local Government spokeswoman said because the Federal Government’s postal survey was not a referendum, it was not in conflict with local government elections.

“There is no evidence to suggest the voting community will be fatigued by two elections at a similar time.”