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Txt Messages Setting Records For Election

17 May 2005

Txt Messages Setting Records For Election Enrolment Forms

Text messages are being credited for record numbers of people seeking forms to enrol to vote at this year's General Election.

For the first time the Electoral Enrolment Centre has introduced widespread text messaging for people to request an enrolment form as part of its 2005 Enrolment Update Campaign.

"Thousands of extra requests for enrolment forms are coming to us. We've more than doubled the number of people wanting enrolment forms in the first fortnight of the Enrolment Update Campaign, and it's all because of text messaging," says Murray Wicks, National Manager of the Electoral Enrolment Centre.

"In the first two weeks of the campaign we've had close to 18,000 text messages requesting enrolment forms."

Since the start of the campaign (May 2) the Electoral Enrolment Centre has received 27,615 requests for enrolment forms through the 0800 number, www.elections.org.nz and text message facility.

That compares with 13,153 requests in total for enrolment forms at the same time in the 2002 campaign through the 0800 number and www.elections.org.nz.

17,993 requests so far for this year's campaign are from people freetexting their name and address to 3676.

"We introduced the text message option to break down barriers to enrolling to vote – particularly for young people, who can kick their enrolment off with little hassle or delay. The first fortnight of the campaign has been overwhelmingly successful," says Mr Wicks.

"The new technology seems to be making it easier for people to get an enrolment form.

"Anyone who has asked for an enrolment form needs to fill it in and send it back to us to make sure they are on the electoral roll," says Mr Wicks.

To enrol to vote people can get an enrolment form from 0800 36 76 56, Freetext their name and address to 3676, visit a PostShop or go online to www.elections.org.nz. People can check their enrolment details online as well.

ENDS

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