While counting of ballot papers in this Saturday's local government election will begin at the close of voting, don't expect an outcome immediately.
In fact, the final result won't be made available until just before Christmas.
NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) workers will begin counting ballot papers on-site at the hundreds of polling booths across the Mid-Coast from 6pm, December 4.
For Saturday polling, counting occurs at venues and should be complete and recorded by around 10pm, Mid-Coast returning officer, Greg Cousins said.
Mr Cousins said progressive results would be displayed on the NSWEC website.
But the counting of pre-poll and other declaration votes will take a little longer with much of that process being undertaken at the Mid-Coast returning officer's Forster office.
"These should be counted by around Thursday," Mr Cousins said.
Postal and iVotes, which will be counted at centralised count centres, won't be finalised until December 17, the last day postal votes are accepted.
"All ballot papers are check counted and data entered at (for Mid-Coast) a centralised centre in Newcastle," he said.
"When this process is complete, preferences are distributed, and the result announced - from about December 21."