Short notice makes byelection a challenge
Organising a byelection isn’t an easy task.
Just ask Mt Albert returning officer Alofa Glas.
Mrs Glas is charged with finding enough polling stations and staff for the Mt Albert byelection on June 13.
She says the short turnaround between the announcement of the byelection and voting day has meant finding venues is more challenging than usual.
“The schools around aren’t so bad, but the churches and public halls are normally booked up in advance.”
To make sure they have 28 polling places available, other schools and churches are being approached to compensate.
But she says recruiting the 200 staff needed to run polling places on the day shouldn’t be a problem.
“The election was only last year, so all those people are willing to come back.”
While Mrs Glas is unsure whether the turnout will top the 79 percent of enrolled voters who had their say in the electorate in 2008, she says initial interest has been high.
“When Helen Clark announced her resignation, the phone calls started happening soon after that.”
Mt Albert registrar of electors Gaylene Ross-Cartwright, who is in charge of enrolling as many voters as possible, says the number of flats in the electorate makes students the most difficult group to pin down.
“The students are very transient. They’re in their apartment one week and out the next.
“It’s very hard to keep their details up to date.”
However she says they’ve had to keep on top of enrolments in Mt Albert because they were aware a byelection was on the cards after National won the election.
Advance voting, which caters for people who can’t be in the Mt Albert electorate on election day, starts today at the electoral office byelection headquarters, Unit 1, 49 Sainsbury Rd, Morningside.
People who want more information on the byelection and enrolling can phone 0800-367656 or visit www.elections.org. nz.
Getting ready: Mt Albert returning officer Alofa Glas prepares for the byelection on June 13.