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High participation wanted in Oct elections

Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron is encouraging people to start thinking about the elections for Council which is on Saturday 12 October this year and ensure that they are enrolled to vote or if they may want to stand for election.

“Although it may seem some way off we want to see everyone who is entitled to vote doing so, or if people want to stand for the first time that they are properly prepared,” said Mayor Cameron.

“The Electoral Commission website shows that 82.88% of eligible Ruapehu voters are registered to vote with the higher numbers of registered voters in the higher age groups.

One group where we would really like to see a big jump in voter participation is the 18-24 age group where we have only 55.24% of people enrolled.

Getting our young people engaged and voting is a special focus of the Electoral Commission who will be working with Ruapehu’s Youth Council to try and get more of them taking part in the election process.

Nominations for people who want to stand for election open on Friday 19 July.

Council is planning to hold pre-election candidate meetings in Ohakune and Taumarunui for anyone thinking about standing for election for the first time.

While being an elected member can be hugely rewarding it is also a hugely responsible role where you take part in making decisions worth a lot of money and that can have a big effect on people’s day-to-day lives.

We want to do all we can to ensure that anyone standing is properly prepared for what being elected means and has a good understanding of the commitment involved which these pre-election candidate meetings provide.”

Mayor Cameron added that this year voting will still be by postal ballot however the voting process will be by Single Transferable Vote (STV) rather than First Past the Post (FPP) as it has been in previous elections.

“People shouldn’t worry about the mechanics of STV voting as it no more difficult than FPP.

With STV instead of ticking the candidates you want to vote for, you number the candidates in order of preference by putting a "1" beside the candidate you like best, then a "2" beside your second choice, "3" by your third choice, and so on.

You can vote for as many or as few candidates as you like,” he said.

Mayor Cameron noted that one area that was being looked at closely was the security of the postal voting papers.

“Last election there was evidence from a number of districts that postal voting papers were fraudulently completed by people other than the enrolled voter.

The Electoral Commission is aware of the concerns around this issue and together with other agencies will be keeping a close watch on this situation to ensure that voting is not corrupted in anyway.”


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