Local government is just that – local. That’s why it’s important to prepare for your campaign by ensuring you understand local issues. And the earlier you start your campaign, the more effective it will be.
You need to consider what message you want to communicate to voters and how you can best deliver that message. This might include clearly outlining your areas of focus and how you will contribute to the work of the council, and communicating this to electors by:
- doorknocking people in your local area
- seeking endorsements through local organisations
- attending shopping centres and recreational activities to ‘meet the people’
- phoning, writing or emailing people you know
- preparing and distributing a brochure
- obtaining coverage in local press articles
- placing advertisements
- submitting information for local paper ‘profiles’ of candidates
- going to public meetings
- creating a website
- using social media, for example, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.
Electoral material includes how-to-vote cards, posters, advertisements or anything else published or broadcast that could influence a voter.
You need to understand what you can do to campaign using the following tools:
- Media and media releases
- Door knocking
- Brochures and posters
- Advertising and How To Vote Cards
- Social media
On Election Day there are rules about any reference to, or comment on an election, a council or councilor past or present, the government or opposition political parties or candidates – in fact any matter connected to the election.
How-to-vote cards and other electoral material to be handed out on election day must be registered with the NSWEC by 5.00pm on the Friday eight days prior to the election. Posters do not need to be registered. Materials can be registered online via the NSWEC website elections.nsw.gov.au. Without approval this material cannot be handed out on election day, so it is wise to obtain approval before spending money on printing.