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Overseas voting starts on Wednesday

Sep 28, 2020 | Media release

Voters who are overseas will be able to vote in the 2020 General Election and referendums from this Wednesday.

About 67,000 New Zealand voters are enrolled at an overseas address. Overseas voters can vote from Wednesday 30 September until 7pm on election day, Saturday 17 October NZ time using the download and upload service to receive and return their voting papers.

“This election, the easiest and safest way to vote from overseas is to download and print voting papers from and return them by upload to the website,” says Alicia Wright, Chief Electoral Officer. “In 2017, more than two-thirds of overseas voters used this service.”

Alicia Wright says overseas voters should check they are enrolled at so they can access the download and upload service. 

In some countries, voting in person at an overseas voting place will also be an option, but services will be limited and will depend on the COVID-19 public health advice in each country.

“There won’t be as many overseas voting places open to the public as usual, which reflects what is happening overseas with COVID-19. The situation is different in each country and we need to follow local guidance to keep voters and staff safe,” says Alicia Wright.

Of the 88 voting places available overseas, 22 will be fully open to the public for in-person voting. Others will be limited to issuing and receiving postal votes or providing support to voters by email and over the phone. A full list of voting places and services is available at

Overseas voting places will close at 4pm Friday 16 October local time at the latest. Closing times vary and voters should check for details.

In New Zealand, telephone dictation voting also opens on Wednesday 30 September for people who are blind, partially blind or have a physical disability that means they cannot mark their voting paper without help.

Advance voting at voting places across New Zealand starts this weekend on Saturday 3 October. Voting closes at 7pm on election day, Saturday 17 October.

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