22 Oct 2008

Advance voting and overseas voting underway

7:01 pm on 22 October 2008

The first votes in the election were cast on Wednesday, at some of the more than 250 polling places opened for advance votes.

Chief electoral officer Robert Peden said advance voting makes it easier for people who may be on holiday, are working on election day, or cannot get to a polling place in their electorate on 8 November.

He said mobile teams are also being sent out to hospitals and rest-homes and remote parts of the country.

Mr Peden said almost 200,000 people voted in advance last election.

Overseas voting also began on Wednesday, with 64 posts set up in 44 countries.

In Sydney, a haka was performed outside the Australian Electoral Commission to encourage 81,000 Sydney based New Zealanders to vote.