Voters in the upcoming local government elections are being reminded to be aware of changes to the voting system and to ensure they are properly registered to cast their ballot. In the City of Greater Geraldton, the terms of six councillors and Mayor Shane Van Styn are expiring, but under local government reforms there will only be four position plus the mayoral spot up for grabs. Also under the significant State Government changes, this local government election will see the first-past-the-post voting system replaced with optional preferential voting. “This means our electors have a lot more power in choosing who is going to represent them on council,” Mr Van Styn said. “Councillors make very important and significant decisions for our community and it is important locals know how to vote and what it means for them.” The optional preferential voting system allows for locals to vote for candidates by numbering several in order of preference. The closing date for the electoral roll for this year’s election is at 5pm on Friday, August 25. Nominations to run for council open on Thursday, August 31 and close at 4pm on Thursday, September 7. Anyone intending to nominate for election must first complete a free online induction course, provided on the Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries website. The City will host a candidate information session on Wednesday, August 23. If it does not clash with a referendum on the Federal Voice to Parliament, this year’s local government elections are set to take place on Saturday, October 21.