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Campaign sustains high pace of overseas voting


7 September 2008

Kea New Zealand

Campaign sustains high pace of overseas voting enrolments

Overseas New Zealanders are enrolling to vote at more than quadruple the rate of previous weeks, according to data provided by the Electoral Enrolment Centre.

“At the current rate of increase, an additional 30,000 overseas New Zealanders might enrol and vote,” says Ivan Moss, Chief Executive of Kea New Zealand.

“And we expect the enrolment rate to increase once the election date is announced,” says Ivan Moss, Chief Executive of Kea New Zealand.

The updated figures sustain the pace set in the first week of Kea New Zealand’s Every Vote Counts (www.everyvotecounts.co.nz) campaign to encourage Kiwis overseas to enrol and vote in this year’s General Election.

The Enrolment Centre counts hits from overseas on its online enrolment pages, where voters enrol to vote for the first time and to check that their details are up to date. In the first 11 days of the Every Vote Counts campaign, an average 598 overseas people enrolled online each day, compared with a daily average of 118 during the previous six weeks.

“That is an increase of well over 300% - more than a quadrupling of the enrolment rate from overseas,” says Ivan Moss.

“The trend shows how keen to vote New Zealanders around the world are once they know they are eligible and that the process is simple,” says Ivan Moss.

“The challenge is to increase that pace to make sure New Zealanders living overseas are properly represented in this year’s General Election.”

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

“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,” says Ivan Moss.

“There is a role for every New Zealander to help reach the hundreds of thousands of missing voters overseas.

“We urge everyone in New Zealand to make contact with friends and family around the world, and refer them to www.everyvotecounts.co.nz. That has everything they need to enrol and vote.

“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 25 August and Thursday 4 September, 6579 overseas-based New Zealanders reached the official web page to check their electoral status. That 11-day total is significantly larger than for the entire six-week period before Every Vote Counts was launched.

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.

ENDS

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