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Voters' March - Invercargill

MEDIA RELEASE

October 6

Voters’ march to be held in Invercargill on Saturday

A voters’ march is being held in Invercargill on Saturday to encourage more people to vote with organisers hoping Invercargill could achieve the highest voter turnout in New Zealand.

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt has agreed to participate, along with several other candidates.

The voters’ march leaves Wachner Place at 11am on Saturday, October 8, and heads to the Invercargill City Council building, where marchers can hand in their voting papers before the mid-day voting deadline.

Invercargill City Councillor Rebecca Amundsen and city council candidate Toni Biddle came up with the idea over a coffee this week.

The right to vote was something that was fought for in the past but was now taken for granted.

“We want to remind people how important it is to have your say, “ Amundsen said.

“We came up with this concept to increase voting here but then also realised with a bit more effort Invercargill could have the highest voter turnout in the country.”

“If you have already voted, bring your non-voting friends. Don’t forget to bring your sealed voting papers,” Biddle said.

Both were surprised at how low the voter turnout was considering there were 33 council candidates and three Mayoral candidates contesting this year’s local body elections in Invercargill.

They said candidate campaigns had been strong, with a lot of diversity among candidates, and a good level of debate on issues in both news and social media.

On Wednesday Invercargill’s turnout was at 40.3 per cent.

Discussion around low voter turnout has focused on levels in the main New Zealand cities, with Auckland sitting at about 28 per cent.

Queenstown appeared to be leading nationwide voting with a 42 per cent turnout, and Timaru was at 41 per cent, so Invercargill was not far behind.

“If you believe in democracy, feel free to come along and walk with us,” Amundsen said.


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