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COVID-19

The 2020 General Election and referendums will be different because of COVID-19. We have processes in place to protect you and your whānau. With these processes in place, all voters who usually vote in person at a voting place can do so safely.

12 August update

We are assessing the change in COVID-19 Alert Levels announced on 11 August and what it means for the election.  In the meantime, preparations continue for a 19 September election.  We will update this page with more information as it becomes available.  

We’re making voting places safer

A range of measures will be in place to help keep voters safe at the election, including using hand sanitiser on the way in and out of voting places, managing queues and allowing more room for physical distancing inside voting places.

We will be increasing the size and number of voting places and starting advance voting two days earlier on Saturday 5 September 2020 to give everyone more space.  Voting will end at 7pm on election day, Saturday 19 September.

We encourage you to bring your own pen to mark your voting papers, but there’ll be pens available if you forget.

Vote close to home if you can

If you can, vote close to home.  It will be quicker and easier.  You can vote at any voting place in Aotearoa, but you may need to fill in an extra form if you vote outside your electorate.

If you are unable to go to a voting place

We always provide voting services for people who can’t get to a voting place, for example, because of illness, age or disability.

For 2020, if you are unable to go to a voting place, you can  apply for postal voting from Friday 31 July by calling  us on 0800 36 76 56.

You need to be enrolled before you call us.

Enrol or update online now

Applications for postal voting close on Wednesday 26 August to allow time for the preparation and delivery of voting papers.

From 27 August, you can still call 0800 36 76 56 if you’re unable to go to a voting place.

Arrangements will be made by your local Returning Officer for postal voting if there is still time, or for a friend, family member or electoral official to bring you voting papers.

You can still vote if you are in a rest home

If you are in a rest home and you won’t be able to go to a voting place, you don’t need to contact us.

Your local Returning Officer will contact the manager of your rest home to arrange voting services.

You can still vote if you are in hospital

If you are unable to go to a voting place because you are in hospital, from 5 September, a friend or family member can bring you your voting papers.  Call 0800 36 76 56 for more information.

If you’re scheduled to go into hospital prior to election day, it’s best to vote in advance from 5 September if you are able to.

You can still vote if you are in a managed isolation or quarantine facility

You don’t need to contact us. We will work with the facility manager to provide voting services for people in managed isolation or quarantine facilities.

You can still vote from prison if you’re eligible

If you’re a prisoner who’s eligible to vote, we’ll work with Corrections to provide you with voting services.

Learn more about voting from prison

You can vote from overseas

You can vote from overseas from Wednesday 2 September until 7pm, Saturday 19 September (NZ time).

The easiest and quickest way to vote from overseas is to download and print your voting papers for the general election and referendums.

You may also be able to vote at an overseas voting place or ask us to send postal voting papers to you overseas. These options may depend on the COVID-19 situation in your area.

Learn how to vote from overseas

We have plans for different COVID-19 Alert Levels

Our planning for the election is based on:

  • being in a position to meet the requirements of Alert Level 2, and
  • being able to deliver to small clusters of up to 500 voters affected by local Alert Levels 3 or 4, to a maximum of 5,000 voters nationwide, using takeaway voting. 

If an outbreak occurs during the voting period, there are some emergency powers available to the Chief Electoral Officer to delay election day voting by up to seven days at a time.

Enrol now and make sure you’re ready to vote

Enrol or update your enrolment details now. If you’re enrolled by 16 August, you’ll get information about the election and referendums in the mail. You’ll also get an EasyVote card which makes voting faster and easier.

Enrol or update online now
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