Queues as early voting for the general election ramps up

Saskia Owens voted early, but no political party truly impressed her.
KEVIN STENT/STUFF

Saskia Owens voted early, but no political party truly impressed her.

No single political party floats Saskia Owens' boat.

Nevertheless, it is a boat she has cast out early as one of a growing number of New Zealanders voting early. 

The Electoral Commission had registered 89,421 advance votes cast by 2pm on Tuesday.

Chelsea Quinn voted early at Victoria University, Wellington.
KEVIN STENT/STUFF

Chelsea Quinn voted early at Victoria University, Wellington.

That was more than the 44,080 by the comparable day in 2014 and 17,738 by the comparable day in 2011 - the first year advanced voting was available to all.

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Almost 40,000 people voted on Monday

At Wellington's Victoria University, queues formed at a makeshift polling booth as largely-young voters went to the ballot box early, many of them for the first time.

Ashley Short proudly displays the fact she's had her say in this year's election.
KEVIN STENT/STUFF

Ashley Short proudly displays the fact she's had her say in this year's election.

Ashley Short, 20, cast her vote on Wednesday, 10 days out of the election "to get it out of the way and so I don't forget".

"I feel like I did my part for New Zealand - I have done what I can."

Owens turned 18 just a week out from the last election, making 2017 her second general election. She had no fears she would change her political affiliations between Wednesday and September 23.

"None of the parties completely resonated with me so I had to go with the one that resonated the most," she said.

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"I voted because I had to, but I wouldn't be completely content with any of them."

Chelsea Quinn, 19, had to change her details before voting as she had moved from Wellington to Auckland.

"It was really quick. I had a 20 minute break between classes and got to class on time."

All advance votes will be stored in sealed boxes and not counted till election day. Advance voters can also enrol, check or update details at the same time.

On election day, September 23, voting will be open from 9am to 7pm. You must be enrolled by September 22. You cannot enrol on election day itself.

HOW TO VOTE

If you have an EasyVote card, take it with you when you go to vote and give it to the person issuing your voting paper. It will help them find you on the electoral roll. They will ask you to confirm your name and give you your voting paper.

If you don't have an EasyVote card, you will need to tell the person issuing your ballot your full name and address. There will be someone at the voting place to show you what to do and where to go.

You do not need to take any ID with you when you go to vote.

VOTING OUTSIDE YOUR ELECTORATE

You can vote at any voting place or advance voting place in New Zealand. If you vote outside your electorate you may need to fill in an extra form. The electoral commission has a useful map to find your nearest voting place. 

If you'll be outside New Zealand during the voting period, there are several options for voting from overseas. 

USING YOUR VOTING PAPER

Take your voting paper to the private voting screen, each voter has a party vote and an electorate vote.

On your voting paper, place a tick by the name of the political party of your choice and a tick by the name of the candidate you would most like to represent your local area.

You get to choose from the same list of political parties whether you are on the general roll or Māori roll.

If you are on the Māori roll you will vote for a candidate standing in a Māori electorate, and if you are on the general roll you will vote for a candidate standing in a general electorate.

The party vote largely decides the total number of seats each political party gets in parliament, and parties with a bigger share of the party vote will get more seats in parliament.

RESULTS AND EXIT POLLS

The votes will be counted on election night, September 23, when the preliminary election results are released. Votes are counted again over a two-week period before the official results are declared.

Exit polling is not allowed in New Zealand.

 - Stuff

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