TAIRAWHITI / GISBORNE
voters were quick to take advantage of advance voting, which began on the 3rd of September.
The first voters were at the polling booth in Treble Court (at the McDonalds end)
when voting in the 2014 general election began at 10am.
About 20 voters took advantage of the opportunity to vote during the visit of the Herald.
Another visitor was chief electoral officer Robert Peden, who decided East Coast would be the first electorate he would visit during the election.
Advance voting was introduced in New Zealand in 2002 but was not heavily promoted at the time, he said.
Advance voting was increasing in popularity by about 25 percent each election.
Mr Peden was hopeful 20 percent of all people who voted in the 2014 general election would do so by advance voting.
The number of people voting had been in sharp decline in the past 30 years and advance voting could motivate more people to vote.
“There is no excuse for not voting.
“Almost 300 advance voting places will be available around the country for people to cast early votes.
“If you’re unable to get to a voting place on election day, because you’re on holiday, working, in hospital or for any reason whatsoever, voting in advance is the easiest way to have your say.”
Voting from overseas also began yesterday.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for all eligible New Zealanders to vote in this year’s election,” said Mr Peden.
“This includes Kiwis around the world, so if you have friends or family overseas, let them know they can vote from now.”
Mr Peden said the Electoral Commission had 18,000 trained staff deployed over the country for the election.
East Coast electoral officer Clare Radomske said he had 284 staff members because of the vast size of the electorate.
That included six mobile managers to travel around the electorate, four trainers, eight supply personnel and local head office staff.
Full information about when, where and how to vote in advance is available at www.elections.org.nz
, by calling 0800 36 76 56, or by contacting your local returning officer.