22 Sep 2014

Compulsory voting 'an easy fix'

9:45 am on 22 September 2014

A political scientist says compulsory voting would be the easiest way to lift declining number of people voting.

About a million people did not vote in Saturday's election.

The Electoral Commission estimates voter turnout was 77 percent of those enrolled, which is up from 74 percent in 2011.

But Jack Vowles, a professor of political science at Victoria University, said it was still one of the lowest turn-outs in New Zealand history.

Dr Vowles said the easiest fix is compulsory voting, which is used in many other countries including Australia.

But he said that could be a hard-sell politically.

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