Hundreds of invalid forms returned

Hundreds of invalid election enrolment forms are being returned to Dunedin residents each week because they have been incorrectly filled in.

About 87,700 local body election enrolment forms were sent out to registered voters in Dunedin earlier this month.

However, Dunedin North and South registrar of electors Dee Vickers said yesterday many people were not reading the information closely enough and, as a result, were returning invalid forms.

Hundreds of forms had been sent back to Dunedin voters each week, which was costly and time-consuming for Elections New Zealand staff.

"This is typical of every election, whether it be a local body or general election.

"There's always a huge number that come back either not signed or not completed properly," Ms Vickers said.

"It's a legal document so it has to have a signature, and it has to be accurate at the time of the person completing it.

"It's no use telling us `I'm moving in three weeks so this will be my new address'."

The most common error with new enrolments was people filling in their date of birth as 2010, she said.

"It's actually a very simple form to complete. It's a matter of taking some time and following its logical order.

"If in doubt, fill in the information anyway.

"And remember to sign it."

Ms Vickers said voters could enrol until a day before the October 9 election.

However, for voting papers to be posted to home addresses on September 17, people needed to enrol before August 24.

If voters had not received an enrolment form in the post by now, they were not enrolled, she said.

Nominations opened yesterday for candidates for council, community boards, Otago Regional Council and the Southern District Health Board.

Electoral officer Pam Jordan said as of yesterday afternoon, Tracey Crampton Smith was the only council nomination.

She is standing in the central ward.

Nominations close at noon on Friday, August 20.


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