Have your say on the big day

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - JENNY LING

Res­i­dents not al­ready en­rolled to vote in the up­com­ing elec­tion are urged to do so by Au­gust 23, to make the process quicker.

Elec­toral Com­mis­sion Chief Elec­toral Of­fi­cer Ali­cia Wright says if peo­ple en­rol af­ter this date they’ll need to cast a spe­cial vote, which takes longer.

‘‘It’ll be eas­ier to vote if you en­rol by 23 Au­gust. You’ll get an EasyVote pack in the mail with lists of the can­di­dates, lo­ca­tions of vot­ing places and an EasyVote card which will make vot­ing quicker on the day.’’

In 2014, 77.65 per cent of the 45,060 peo­ple en­rolled in the North­land elec­torate voted.

The North­land elec­torate ex­tends from a line be­tween Leigh on the east coast and the Kaipara Har­bour on the west coast in­clud­ing Wells­ford, to Cape Reinga, but ex­cludes Whangarei. The ma­jor towns in­clude Kaitaia, Rus­sell, Kerik­eri, Kaikohe, Dar­gav­ille and Man­gawhai Heads.

Only 67.62 per cent of the 34,504 en­rolled to vote in Te Tai Tok­erau voted in 2014.

Te Tai Tok­erau en­com­passes all of North­land, with the south­ern bound­ary be­ing Auck­land’s Har­bour Bridge, the elec­torate also in­cludes the west Auck­land com­mu­ni­ties of Te Atatu South and Waitakere City. Other cities and towns within the elec­torate in­clude Whangarei, Kaitaia, Pai­hia, Rus­sell, Kerik­eri and Dar­gav­ille.

At the last elec­tion, only 55 per­cent of Maori aged 18 to 29 voted. In re­sponse the Govern­ment launched a $2 mil­lion pro­gramme aimed at boost­ing elec­toral par­tic­i­pa­tion among Maori.

The cam­paign, branded ‘For Future’s Sake Vote - #FFS Vote’, will use so­cial me­dia and com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties to raise aware­ness.

Maori Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Te Ururoa Flavell en­cour­ages more Maori to reg­is­ter and cast their vote.

Over­seas vot­ing starts on Septem­ber 6, with ad­vance vot­ing from Septem­ber 11 to 22. On the big day, polling places will be open from 9am to 7pm.

Wright also en­cour­ages res­i­dents to vote.

‘‘This Septem­ber, we get to choose who will rep­re­sent us in Par­lia­ment and make de­ci­sions that af­fect our lives ev­ery day. By vot­ing, you can have your voice heard on the things that mat­ter to you and peo­ple you care about. Your vote is im­por­tant.’’

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