David Cunliffe and Kim Dotcom are heading to voting booths
today - and so can you.
Advanced voting opens from today and the rules have changed
since 2008, so anyone can cast their vote from now until
election day on September 20.
Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden said more than 300
advanced voting places had been set up around the country.
The voting places are different to the ones on election day,
and some of the places are not open every day, so people
should check the Electoral Commission website or phone 0800
36 76 56 for information.
Before the 2011 election, voters had to provide reasons for
voting in advance, but the rules have changed to make it
Last election 334,558 advance votes were cast, or 14.7 per
cent of total votes, and an increase of 3 per cent from 2008.
Special votes are also open from tomorrow - a special vote is
one that is cast from outside your electorate.
Mr Cunliffe, the Labour leader, is standing in New Lynn, so
will cast a special vote in Christchurch this morning.
"Because I want all people to know that they can vote from
today - they don't need a special reason - I will be
encouraging all New Zealanders to vote early so they know
they've done their part in bringing a positive future to New
National leader John Key will vote on election day.
Many organisations are promoting advance voting, including
the Human Rights Commission and the Internet-Mana Party.
Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom will vote in Auckland this
afternoon, where he will also launch Internet-Mana's Mobilize
campaign, a non-partisan tool to get people to commit to
Mr Dotcom can vote as a New Zealand resident, but he cannot
stand for Parliament because he is not a citizen.
People can pledge to vote through Mobilize, and receive a
unique pledge code via text message, which they then share
with friends, family and colleagues though social media and
Officially, anyone can vote in advance if they are not going
to be in their electorate or cannot get to a voting booth on
election day. But in practice anyone can vote in advance
because a reason no longer has to be provided.
- by Derek Cheng, NZ Herald