National | Māori

Advance voting proves popular

Early and overseas voting began this week, with more and more people choosing to cast their votes early.

Greens co-leader James Shaw took up the offer of advance voting as did National leader Chris Luxon, and it’s also proving popular amongst Māori.

And there is a trend developing in New Zealand over the past couple of elections.

In 2017, more than a million people chose advance voting. In 2020, that number increased to nearly two million early voters; that’s two-thirds of all voters who participated in the last election.

Greens co-leader James Shaw says it’s almost the preferred choice for voters.

“Advance voting is hugely popular in this country. Something just under 70% of people voted in advance in the 2020 election.”

Made easy

“I think the reason why turnout was so high is because the Electoral Commission made it easy for people to vote through advanced voting and by having polling booths where people are.”

Eru Kapa-Kingi, who is on the list for Te Pāti Māori, says there will come a time when there will be more options available for voters to cast their votes like via the Internet.

He also says that things like advance voting and voting via the internet will be the way of the future.

“At this point in time, the only group that can do that are those overseas. Why can’t we do it here? Furthermore, the census was conducted over the internet.”

“It’s an old-fashioned way of thinking to have just one day where everyone goes to do the same thing.”