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Enrolment rate triples for overseas voters

31 August 2008

Media release
Ivan Moss, Chief Executive
Kea New Zealand

For immediate publication

Enrolment rate triples for overseas voters

The rate of online enrolments by overseas New Zealanders more than tripled in the first four days of Kea New Zealand’s “Every Vote Counts” campaign to enrol eligible voters offshore, according to data provided by the Electoral Enrolment Centre.

Every Vote Counts (www.everyvotecounts.co.nz) was launched on Monday 25 August, and since then about a third of all hits on the official elections website are from overseas – almost double the usual proportion.

Most importantly, there was an increase of 337% in New Zealanders offshore enrolling online – either enrolling to vote for the first time, or making sure their details are current.

“These results are very encouraging. New Zealanders living overseas are enthusiastic about voting once they know they are eligible and that the process is simple,” says Ivan Moss, Chief Executive of Kea New Zealand, the independent non-profit organisation that is leading the Every One Counts campaign.

In the 2005 General Election, only 28,000 New Zealanders living overseas voted – despite an estimated 500,000 being eligible to vote.

“Every New Zealander has a role to play in making sure that every New Zealander’s vote counts this election.

“Make contact with all your friends and family around the world, and refer them to www.everyvotecounts.co.nz. That has everything they need to enrol and vote,” says Ivan Moss.

“The election date will be announced by the Prime Minister very soon – yet many New Zealanders overseas don’t even realize they are eligible to vote. Others don’t know how easy it is,” says Ivan Moss.

New Zealand citizens are eligible to vote if they have visited the country within the last three years.

“It’s incredibly easy for New Zealanders overseas to enrol to vote, and to download voting papers on line. You don’t have to go to an embassy or consulate to vote.”

Enrolment Centre figures show that between Monday and Thursday this week, 2400 overseas-based New Zealanders reached the official web page to check their electoral status – more than triple the rate of the previous week (a 337% increase). Half of those came directly from the www.everyvotecounts.co.nz website.

“The challenge is to increase that pace day by day through the election,” says Ivan Moss. “Without a huge increase in enrolments, New Zealanders living overseas will once again be under-represented in this year’s General Election. Let’s all make sure we don’t leave out hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders when it comes to deciding our country’s future.”

Every Vote Counts is an initiative of Kea New Zealand (www.keanewzealand.com), an independent, non-government, non-profit Incorporated Society dedicated to encouraging overseas New Zealanders to maintain and deepen their connections with home.

The Every Vote Counts campaign is strictly non-partisan, and does not advocate that overseas New Zealanders vote for any particular political party or candidate, nor hold or act on any particular political opinion. No public funds are being used to support Every Vote Counts.


© Scoop Media

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