The Victorian Electoral Commission says most Wimmera and Grampians ratepayers will know the composition of their new councils by November 13.
It comes as just over half of all registered local voters had returned their ballots with two days to go before the close of voting at 6pm on Friday.
VEC spokeswoman Ruth Murphy said election offices will be open until 8pm on Thursday and Friday.
"We might not receive votes up until Friday the 30th of October," she said. "We will continue to receive postal ballots next week and smaller councils should know their results fairly quickly from November 2."
All declaration ceremonies are set to be completed by November 13.
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Results will be published on the VEC website as they become available at vec.vic.gov.au.
Twenty-six elections are uncontested, where the number of nominations received by the close of nominations was equal to the number of vacancies. Among these are the Dunmunkle Ward of Yarriambiack Shire and three of the four wards in the Northern Grampians Shire.
Voting was not required for these elections and their declarations will be held from Saturday.
Ms Murphy said the VEC's counting process had been slowed down due to the coronavirus pandemic "and the need for additional distancing in election offices".
VEC data shows that as of Thursday half of all registered voters in each Wimmera and Grampians council area where elections are taking place had voted.
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In Ararat, 59.81 per cent of residents had returned their postal ballots, in Horsham 67.81 per cent, Hindmarsh 63.51 per cent, West Wimmera 58 per cent and Yarriambiack 62.37 per cent.
Ms Murphy said the statewide return rate was 57 per cent, higher than at the same point in the 2016 election period which was a mix of postal and booth voting.
"We are expecting a return rate of 75 per cent by the end of the voting period," she said.
"Postal votes also had a higher return rate than votes cast in voting booth in 2016."
By-election nominations open in Northern Grampians
Members of Hindmarsh Shire's east ward are not voting in October, with only one person nominating to fill the two councillor positions in this ward.
A by-election for this ward will take place on December 5, with nominations closing on November 4.
The Northern Grampians council area's South West Ward received no nominations. A by-election here will take place on November 28.
Nominations for the by-election open on Thursday October 22 and close on Wednesday, October 28.
Ms Murphy said: "If anyone is on the fence - if you've been contemplating running - this is a great opportunity to have your say on local councils."
Before nominating, potential candidates must complete a one-hour mandatory candidate training module, and schedule an appointment with their local election manager to lodge their nomination.
Voting is compulsory, and the penalty for not doing so is a fine of $83.
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