Step by step guide to voting in Marlborough District Council elections

Make your vote count come election day.
FAIRFAX NZ

Make your vote count come election day.

Local body elections are less than a month away, and as the old saying goes, "if you don't vote, you can't complain". So here's our guide to make sure you're ready for the big day.  

How long do I have left to enrol to vote in the council elections?

Time is running out for those who have not enrolled to vote, and the Electoral Commission says you should act quickly if you want to make voting easy in next month's local elections.

You will only get voting papers if you are enrolled by August 12. Those who enrol after August 12 will need to cast a special vote, and will need to contact their local council for voting papers.

Enrolling or updating enrolment details is easy, and involves simply filling in a new enrolment form. These are available online at www.elections.org.nz, or by calling 0800 36 76 56, free texting your name and address to 3676, or visiting any PostShop.

You can check and update your details online. 

How do I vote?

Voting is by way of postal vote between September 16 and noon on October 8.

Electors may post their completed voting documents back to the Electoral Officer using the pre-paid envelope sent with the voting document.

There will be a ballot box available in the foyer of the council office in Blenheim. Votes may also be hand delivered to the Picton office.

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I'm busy, can I vote online?

The Marlborough District Council ditched plans to trial online voting because it would have cost $80,000 with the bill split between the council and the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board. 

Council liked the concept though, which would have enhanced voter turnout and made it easer for non-resident ratepayers and those with a disability to vote.

What type of voting system does Marlborough use?

The single transferable vote electoral system or STV. 

Voters rank the candidates in order of preference, by writing a "1" next to the name of their most preferred candidate, then a "2" next to the name of the next preferred candidate and so on. Voters can rank as few or as many candidates as they wish.

When votes are counted, all the first preferences are allocated first. To be elected, a candidate must reach a "quota" of votes, which is based on the number of vacancies and the number of valid votes.

What's our voter turnout?

A disappointing 54.68 per cent at the last local body elections, so come on first-time voters, use your vote.

When will I hear who has been elected?

Preliminary results will be posted on the council's website as soon as possible on October 8 or keep up-to-date on Stuff.

I'm nosy, where do I find out how much candidates spent on their campaigns?

By mid-December candidates must return their election expenses and donations forms. The Marlborough District Council will release the information on its website.

 - The Marlborough Express

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