More than 2300 votes cast for this month's WA local government elections have been rejected because voters failed to follow correct procedures.
The WA Electoral Commission has put out an urgent warning after the first week of postal ballot processing revealed thousands of ineligible votes were being cast.
Acting WA Electoral Commissioner Chris Avent said he feared thousands more would be wasted in what was a landmark poll for many councils.
"With voter turnout traditionally quite low in non-compulsory local government elections, the last thing we want is large numbers of people wasting their votes," he said.
He said people were returning voting forms with the mandatory voter's declaration slip torn off, missing or unsigned, rendering them worthless.
In the 2011 local government poll, more than 14,000 votes could not be counted because they were unsigned or missing declarations.
"That's enough to change the results in many councils, particularly where there are tight contests," he said.
"It's frustrating that, after electors make the effort to complete their ballot papers and post them back in the pre-paid envelope to the commission's count centre, thousands may have to be rejected again in 2013."
About 83,000 ballot packages have been received so far for the election.Polling day is Saturday, October 19. Mr Avent said in order to be counted, all postal votes must be received by the Returning Officer before then.