16 Oct 2020

Voters urged to cast ballot before polls close tomorrow

2:10 pm on 16 October 2020

The Electoral Commission is reminding voters that tomorrow is their last chance to vote in the general election and referendums.

Signs around Christchurch

Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

In a media release, chief electoral officer Alicia Wright said 2567 voting places will be open on Saturday from 9am to 7pm when voting closes.

More than 1.5 million people had voted by the end of Wednesday, well ahead of the 1.2 million who voted in advance in 2017.

Advance vote numbers are released at 2pm on weekdays and were expected to reach 60 percent of total votes, although it is trending up from that.

Wright says it is fantastic so many people have voted early, but the commission does not want those who have not to miss out, and noted people could for the first time this year enrol or update their address details on election day.

"It's important that you have your say on who represents you in Parliament for the next three years. Saturday is your final chance to enrol, vote and be heard," she said.

There are also rules over posting on social media on election day.

From midnight on 16 October until 7pm on 17 October, you cannot post or share any content likely to or intended to influence someone's candidate vote, party vote or referendum vote. The election day rules make no exemption for the expression of personal political views online.

Preliminary results of the election will be released progressively after voting closes at 7pm on Saturday, while results from the referendums and the final vote count including special votes will be delayed until 6 November.

A total 2,630,173 votes were cast in the last election - some 79.8 percent of the enrolled population - with 47 percent of those cast in advance.

The more than 440,000 special votes cast in the previous election - 17 percent of total votes cast - led the National Party to lose two seats, Labour to lose one, and the Greens to gain a seat. They included more than 61,500 overseas votes.

Read more about the 2020 election:

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