Overview

Consider for a moment how everyday life is improved by the many services that councils provide. Imagine your community without street lighting, rubbish collection, footpaths, libraries, playgrounds and sports club facilities, community halls, seniors’ services – and the list goes on.

Decisions about these services, programs and infrastructure are made by an elected group of councillors.

There are two forms of elections held to elect council members.

  1. Periodic elections – which are held on a regular four-year cycle, the most recent of which took place in 2018.
  2. Supplementary elections – which are held when a position becomes vacant. An example of when this might happen is when a council member resigns or becomes a member of state or federal parliament.

The next periodic election will take place in 2022. To see a list of current supplementary elections click here.

All voting in council elections is done by post. Enrolled voters receive a voting package through the mail and return their votes in a reply paid envelope. Click here find out more about enrolling to vote or check your enrolment details.

Unlike State and Federal elections, it is not compulsory to vote in South Australian council elections. However, council elections are the biggest single voluntary civic participation activity in the state with nearly 400,000 people voting in the 2018 periodic council elections.

The rules for local government elections are set out in the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999,
and the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 2010.

You can influence what happens in your local community in two ways

  • by nominating for a position on council
  • or by voting for a candidate who represents your views.

To ensure you have the opportunity to vote, you must be enrolled on either the State Election Roll, or your council’s supplementary roll. Find out more here.

Supplementary election results are available to view on the Electoral Commission website.

The results from the 2018 Council Elections are available from ECSA.

Under the Elections Act, the Returning Officer must declare the provisional result of the poll once the result becomes apparent. The election result must be finalised and published within one month of the close of voting.