4 Oct 2022

Local body elections: Late voters urged to cast special votes

4:17 pm on 4 October 2022
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Some people haven't received voting papers with the election in its final days. Photo: RNZ

The boss of Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is urging people who have not received voting forms to "not leave anything to chance".

It comes amid multiple reports of residents who are yet to receive their voting forms, four days out from the close-off of voting for the local body elections.

Some councils are facing a lower voter turnout than the past two elections, despite an LGNZ campaign to increase voter engagement.

LGNZ chief executive Susan Freeman-Greene said residents yet to receive their forms needed to be proactive.

"You have a few more days," she said.

"It's really important you do it sooner rather than later...get your vote in. If you don't have your voting papers yet, don't leave it to chance.

"Get in touch with your council and cast a special vote."

When asked about people not receiving their voting forms in the mail, Freeman-Greene acknowledged there were challenges which will be reviewed after the elections.

"That's a challenge that we'll have a look at in terms of the whole system.

"Most people we've talked to have received their forms which is excellent."

She added "times had changed" in terms of how people wanted to vote.

"It's timely to look at the whole suite of options we have to get the polling up."

Freeman-Greene believed younger people were also "struggling with the voting process".

Despite some teething issues, some regions were tracking upwards compared to three years ago.

More than 25 percent of total registered voters had returned their votes for Christchurch as of Monday, eclipsing figures at the same time in both 2019 and 2016.

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