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School students head to the polls

Sept 12, 2023 | Media release

School students from across New Zealand will get a jump on the rest of the country as schools prepare to hold their own mock elections.

“With the General Election just around the corner, we’re excited to be able to give New Zealand students first-hand experience of the voting process,” says Electoral Commission Deputy Chief Executive Operations Anusha Guler.

“So far we have received 745 registrations for Kids Voting which will see more than 110,000 students from years 1 to 13 taking part and learning about New Zealand’s democratic process.”

To help ensure an authentic voting experience, the Commission will send schools mock voting papers which include the parties and candidates from their local electorates. This will allow students to vote for the same real-life candidates as 18-or-over voters and compare their school’s results with the outcome of the real election.  

Kids Voting will run from 19-22 September (during the last week of term three) and 9-10 October (the first two days of term four).  

The Commission has sent schools who have registered for Kids Voting a selection of curriculum-linked teaching resources, a ballot box, a guide to running a mock election and other resources to help teachers take their students through the process.

“The Kids Voting programme has been designed to give students as realistic an experience as possible,” says Anusha Guler.

Schools have until 22 September to register to participate in this year’s Kids Voting programme. For more information schools can visit or email

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