City voters slower to enrol

Voters will be able to enrol and vote on election day next year. Photo: ODT files
Voting opens today for local body elections. Photo: ODT files
So far, a lower percentage of Christchurch residents have enrolled for October’s local body elections than in 2016.

Latest figures released yesterday show by the end of last month, 83.2 per cent of residents had enrolled, a slight decrease from the 84.4 per cent that enrolled by the end of August, 2016, and down from 85.9 per cent who enrolled at the same time in 2013.

Voting for the local body elections opens today.

Lincoln University senior lecturer Dr Jean Drage did not think this was a trend restricted to Christchurch.

“I think this is a case of what we are seeing worldwide, with voter turnout and interest falling and we see this in local government elections and national government elections,” she said.

“This is part of a bigger thing that is happening here with the value of democracy falling, I think people really don’t understand how valuable democracy is any more.”

Dr Drage thought lowering the voter age to 16 would help increase enrolment and voter turn out.