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Campaign to get New Zealand ready to vote begins

Campaign to get New Zealand ready to vote in flag referendums begins

The Electoral Commission wants to make it easy for people to take part in the upcoming referendums on the New Zealand flag.

“The first referendum begins next month, and it’s important that New Zealanders know what to do to get ready,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “Look out for an information brochure in your letterbox next week – it will tell you more about what to expect.”

“It is especially important to make sure your enrolment details are up to date, as this is a postal referendum and only those who are correctly enrolled before voting begins will be able to receive voting papers.”

The referendum runs from Friday 20 November until Friday 11 December, and will be held by postal vote. Voters will be asked the question If the New Zealand flag changes, which flag would you prefer?

They’ll be asked to rank the five alternative flag designs selected through the Flag Consideration Process from those suggested by the public.

“On your voting paper, you will be asked to rank the alternative flag options – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – in the order you prefer them,” says Mr Peden. “Write a “1” in the box of the flag option you prefer most. Put a “2” in the box of the option you prefer next, and so on. You can rank as many or as few flag options as you wish, but you shouldn’t skip a number or use the same number more than once.”

In March 2016, there will be another referendum to choose between the most preferred option from the first referendum and the current flag. The flag that receives the most votes in the second referendum will be the official flag of New Zealand.

“People need to make sure that they are enrolled and that their details are up to date now, as only those correctly enrolled will receive their voting papers,” says Mr Peden. “Check your details now – it’s easy. You can do it online or at your local PostShop. And if you’re not enrolled, you need to do it now.”

Enrolment forms are available from the elections website www.elections.org.nz, freephone 0800 36 76 56, by Freetexting your name and address to 3676, or from any PostShop.

ENDS

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