26 May 2020

New Zealand 2020 election timeline: What happens and when this election year

5:30 pm on 26 May 2020

The revealing of party lists by the Greens and ACT, National's reshuffle, and some candidate announcements from Labour and the Māori Party are further indications things are gearing up ahead of the election.

A man casts his vote in the 2014 General Election (file photo)

Election day this year is 19 September Photo: 123RF

The Electoral Commission has also detailed some of the changes Covid-19 will have on this year's election, set for 19 September.

Here's a timeline for this year's election:

  • Friday 19 June: Regulated period for election advertising expenses begins
  • Monday 6 July: Launch of Electoral Commission enrolment update campaign
  • Wednesday 12 August: Dissolution of Parliament
  • Sunday 16 August: Writ Day - the Governor General issues formal direction to the Electoral Commission to hold the election. The writ includes the election date, deadline for nominating candidates and deadline for returning the writ with the names of winning candidates
  • Thursday 20 August noon: Deadline for registered political parties to bulk nominate their electorate candidates to the Electoral Commission
  • Thursday 20 August noon: Deadline for political parties to submit list candidates to the Electoral Commission
  • Friday 21 August noon: Deadline for individual nominations of electorate candidates to Returning Officers
  • Wednesday 2 September: Overseas voting starts
  • Saturday 5 September: Advance voting starts
  • Friday 18 September: Advance voting ends
  • Friday 18 September midnight: Regulated period ends. All election and referendum advertising must end. Signs must be taken down by midnight
  • Saturday 19 September: Election day. Voting places open from 9am to 7pm
  • Election night. Preliminary election results released progressively from 7pm. Referendum votes will not be counted on election night

  • Friday 2 October: Preliminary referendum results will be released
  • Friday 9 October: Official results for the 2020 General Election and referendums declared
  • Thursday 15 October: Last day for the return of the writ

For a limited time after an election, candidates can apply to a district court judge for a recount of the electorate vote and party secretaries can apply for a recount of the party vote in one or more electorates.

Once the seats in Parliament are filled - seats not taken by a candidate who won an electorate are filled from party lists - Parliament will be able to resume and the election cycle is over.

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