Changes at the 2020 election
The Electoral Amendment Act passed by Parliament introduces a number of changes for the 2020 General Election.
The main changes are providing greater flexibility in voting place locations, election day enrolment, and extending the election timetable so there is more time for the official vote count.
“The law change removes restrictions on having voting places where alcohol is sold, which means we can put more voting places in supermarkets,” says Alicia Wright, Chief Electoral Officer.
“To make voting easy, it is important that we have a good mix of voting places in areas where people go in their day to day lives, such as supermarkets and shopping malls.”
The passing of the Act also means that for the first time, voters in New Zealand will be able to enrol and vote on election day at this year’s election. Until now, people had to enrol by midnight the day before election day to be able to vote.
Anyone who enrols to vote in the month before the election, including election day, will cast a special vote, which means filling out a declaration form.
The number of special votes has been increasing in recent elections and is expected to increase again with the growth in advance voting and election day enrolment.
“Changes in the Act to extend the election timetable will give us more time before the election to get information out to voters and more time after the election to process special votes and complete the official count,” says Alicia Wright.
The preliminary election results will be available on election night, Saturday 19 September, and the preliminary results of the referendums that will be held with the election will be available on Friday 2 October.
“We expect to release the official results for the election and referendums, including the count of special votes, on Friday 9 October, which is six more days than usual,” says Alicia Wright.