Councillors are elected for terms of four years in Western Australia. Elections are held every two years for half of the council, and candidates are elected using the first-past-the-post voting system. If a vacancy occurs within a term, an extraordinary election is held.
The Electoral Commissioner is responsible for conducting postal elections in Western Australia and conducts voting in person elections on request under the Local Government Act 1995. By making the Electoral Commissioner responsible for these elections, the local governments concerned ensure that elections are conducted independently and with impartiality. In addition, these local government have adopted a method of conducting elections that is more convenient for electors and typically achieves a higher rate of voter participation.
Postal elections for local government were first trialled by four local governments in 1995. This increased to eight in 1997, 34 in 1999, 47 in 2001, 55 in 2003, 50 in 2005, 64 in 2007, 69 in 2009, 74 in 2011 and 76 in 2013.