Decision day — last chance to vote in election, referendums

Perhaps the most picturesque polling booth in New Zealand, the Te Runanga o Otakou building on...
Perhaps the most picturesque polling booth in New Zealand, the Te Runanga o Otakou building on the Otago Peninsula.PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
The campaigning is over, the signs are down — all that remains of the 2020 election is election day itself.

Today polling booths open at 9am and remain open until 7pm for people to have their say on their preferred electorate MP and which political party they most want to have represented in Parliament.

There are also two referendums being held in conjunction with the election.

Advance voting has been open since October 3, and an estimated 1.5million people have already cast their ballot.

That will mean, assuming turnout in this election is similar to 2017, about 1million New Zealanders will vote today.

Nationwide, 2567 voting places are open today.

Across Otago and Southland, 277 polling booths staffed by 1391 people will distribute 123,000 ballot papers.

Election results will be released progressively after voting closes at 7pm, and updates posted on the electionresults.govt.nz website.

The Electoral Commission is giving priority to the general election and not counting referendum votes on election night — preliminary referendum results will be released on October 30.

Official results of both the election and referendums will be released on November 6.

The current Government remains in office on a caretaker basis until a new one is formed.

That caretaker administration cannot make significant decisions, and if anything urgent arises all political parties must be consulted.

Parliament must meet no later than six weeks after the return of the writs for the election.

The last date for the return is November 12, which means the new Parliament must meet for the first time before December 24.

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz

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