Many may miss out on vot­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

Thou­sands of cen­tral Auck­lan­ders have lost their right to vote in this year’s elec­tion.

More than 5000 peo­ple in the re­gion have been re­moved from the elec­toral roll be­cause they have not up­dated their ad­dress de­tails.

That’s equiv­a­lent to all of those en­rolled to vote in Pon­sonby.

Elec­toral of­fi­cers say there is no doubt num­bers are higher than in 2005, though changes to elec­torate bound­aries make it dif­fi­cult to com­pare.

The Auck­land Cen­tral elec­torate has the low­est en­rol­ment fig­ures in the coun­try, says elec­toral regis­trar out­reach co­or­di­na­tor Sharon Reece.

Ms Reece says rea­sons in­clude the high num­ber of apart­ment dwellers and younger age group.

They’re not nec­es­sar­ily po­lit­i­cally con­nected with the ef­fects on their day-to-day lives.

“They’re busy work­ing pro­fes­sion­als with busy lives.”

Ms Reece says the whole cen­tral Auck­land pop­u­la­tion is tran­sient, which means a high voter drop-off with a large num­ber of peo­ple shift­ing house and not re-en­rolling.

Regis­trar worker Gay­lene Ross agrees there is a lack of aware­ness in the area which she has en­coun­tered while out on the street en­rolling peo­ple.

“They’re quite com­pla­cent. It’s been quite an eye-opener how many peo­ple didn’t re­alise there was a gen­eral elec­tion this year.”

En­rol­ment cen­tre na­tional man­ager Murray Wicks is con­cerned at this year’s in­crease of re­turns.

He says more than 300,000 peo­ple through­out the coun­try are el­i­gi­ble to vote but aren’t en­rolled.

“It’s im­por­tant they have their say at the elec­tions just like ev­ery­one else.”

Vot­ers who have been re­moved from the elec to­ral roll still have time to re-en­rol. Phone 0800 EN­ROL NOW, see www. elec­tions.org.nz or free text your name and ad­dress to 3676.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Los­ing out: Reg­is­trars Anna Kulka­rni, left, and Gay­lene Ross with some of the re­turned en­rol­ment forms.

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