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Jump In Youth Voting

There was a big increase in the number of young people turning out to vote at the 2020 General Election.

“This election we saw more people enrolling across the general and Māori rolls and more people voting,” says Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright.

Official turnout including all votes was 82.2%, the highest since 1999, and the final enrolment rate was 94.1%, the highest since 2008.

“An age breakdown released today on www.elections.nz shows the biggest gains in turnout in the younger age groups,” says Alicia Wright.

“The younger people are when they start voting, the more likely they are to be voters for life, which is important if we are to continue to have high participation rates in future elections.”

For the 18 to 24-year-old age group:

  • 43,293 more voted this election.
  • Since 2014, the turnout of enrolled voters in this age group has increased 15.3% (attachment A).
Numbers of people voting broken down by age
 20172020Increase% change
18 - 24230,783274,07643,29318.8%
25 - 29183,209217,51534,30618.7%
30 - 34191,438230,99139,55320.7%
35 - 39200,650 228,369 27,71913.8%
40 - 44217,663 225,982 8,3193.8%
45 - 49248,192 253,916 5,7242.3%
50 - 54248,967 261,133 12,1664.9%
55 - 59251,537 268,894 17,3576.9%
60 - 64222,242 248,906 26,66412.0%
65 - 69201,523 216,666 15,1437.5%
70+409,650 468,038 58,38814.3%

Alicia Wright says there were also significant increases in the numbers of Māori enrolling and voting this election.

  • There were 58,674 more voters of Māori descent enrolled on the Māori and general rolls.
  • The number of Māori voters increased by 51,326.
 Total enrolledVoter numbers
20172020% growth in enrolment numbers20172020% growth in voter numbers
Non-Māori descent2,821,2113,014,1086.8%2,266,8742,504,18010.5%
Māori descent476,798535,47212.3%338,980390,30615.1%
All voters3,298,0093,549,5807.6%2,605,8542,894,48611.1%

Figures

The breakdown of turnout by age and Māori descent for each electorate for the 2020 election is available online at https://elections.nz/stats-and-research/2020-general-election-voter-turnout-statistics/.

Tables in the attached document show the turnout by age as a proportion of eligible and enrolled voters, turnout compared with recent elections, and Māori enrolment and turnout.

More detailed statistics from the 2020 General Election, including votes taken in each voting place and special vote statistics, are also available online at www.electionresults.govt.nz.

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