Transient voters difficult to track

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 12:47 23/06/2014
Georgia Nott
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ
FAITH RESTORED: French tourists Loic Constans, left, and Adrien Gelis after their 1996 Subaru car and their possessions were stolen from a supermarket carpark in Halifax St.

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New Zealand is a nation of gypsies which makes the job of confirming voter details a particular challenge, Nelson registrar of electors Marie Elliott says.

The Electoral Commission has started one of 2014's biggest mailouts ahead of this year's general election on September 20 and will be sending out enrolment update packs this week to more than three million prospective voters around New Zealand.

The New Zealand Post mail centre in Nelson started sending out more than 46,000 letters today to people registered in the Nelson electorate and in the West Coast Tasman 45,874 letters are being mailed.

Householders will start to see enrolment packs arrive over the next few days, as the commission embarks on the task of making sure all eligible voters will be ready to take part in the election.

"This is the start of our update campaign to get the rolls as up-to-date as possible for the election," Elliott said.

She said tracking people in order to check details is "just what the job is".

"I'm always astonished at how frequently people move here. New Zealand is a nation of gypsies."

Elliott said the delivery period for the mailout ran until Wednesday this week. If voters did not receive a pack by the end of the week it likely meant they were not enrolled.

The younger age group remained a target for the commission, which had extended its campaign to secondary schools. Elliott said 17 year-olds were able to go on the provisional roll.

Enrolment statistics to May 31 this year showed that in the Nelson electorate the biggest age group of eligible voters were those aged 70-plus with 7990 on the electoral roll [including general and Maori rolls], the next biggest was the 50-54 age group with 5026.

A total 4533 are enrolled in the 18-24 age group which has the highest number registered on the Maori roll at 394, whereas the 70-plus age group has the smallest number on the Maori roll at 55.

People who do not receive their enrolment update pack by Friday, June 27 will need to complete a new enrolment form. They can enrol or update details online at elections.org.nz or get a form by freetexting their name and address to 3676, by calling 0800367656 or by visiting any PostShop. They can also get information at facebook.com/ivotenz

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- The Nelson Mail

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