Media Handbook for the 2020 General Election

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This table shows the key dates for the 2020 General Election and Referendums.

Date What happens
Friday 28 February The deadline for parties to tell us that they’re eligible for a broadcasting allocation
Friday 29 May Initial broadcasting allocation decision published on elections.nz website
Monday 10 August Nominations can be lodged from this date
Tuesday 18 August The regulated period starts
During the regulated period, any advertising you run to promote a candidate, a party, or an option on the referendum counts towards your expense limits 
Sunday 13 September Writ day
Parties can start using their broadcast allocation to advertise on TV and radio. Candidate election programmes can also be broadcast.
Thursday 17 September Noon is the deadline for parties to get their bulk nomination schedules and party lists to us
Friday 18 September Noon is the deadline for electorate candidates to get their individual nomination forms to us, and for parties and candidates to withdraw nominations
Wednesday 30 September Overseas voting starts
Saturday 3 October Advance voting starts
Nobody can campaign within 10 metres of an advance voting place
Friday 16 October The regulated period finishes
All campaign signs must come down before midnight
Saturday 17 October Election day
Voters can vote between 9am and 7pm. Nobody can campaign on election day
Friday 30 October Preliminary referendum results will be released (ordinary votes)
Friday 6 November We declare the official results for the general election and referendums
We aim to release the results by 2pm
Thursday 12 November If there are no judicial recounts, we return the writ showing elected electorate candidates and declare the elected list members of Parliament (MPs)
Monday 1 February 2021 The deadline for parties to send us their invoices for broadcasting allocation costs
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