Caffeine Addicts get the Message to Vote

21 September 2010

Voting papers for the local body elections have been sent out - and Wellington City Council is doing everything it can to get people to vote. It is even getting the 'vote!' message right under the noses of thousands of coffee drinkers in the city.

Some 20,000 lids for takeaway coffees have been disseminated across the city centre to 13 different coffee shops. The lids all carry the slogan 'VOTE for the city you love'.

Electoral Officer Ross Bly says anyone buying a coffee to start off their day can't miss the campaign since it's right under their nose.

"We want people to wake up and smell the coffee - and also remember to do their civic democratic duty.

"I'm told that a strong shot of caffeine also helps focus the mind on important tasks like voting ...

"We're using the coffee-cup idea together with a lot of other gimmicks - a colouring competition for kids to target parents, blanket advertising across the city, bookmarks, flyers, you name it - we're doing everything we can.

"The voting turnout in 2007 was absolutely dire - only 39 per cent of Wellingtonians bothered to vote. We want you to realise how important it is to vote.

"What you're effectively doing is choosing how your city is run and also choosing who makes the big decisions. You should have your voting documents by now. Do your research, fill it out and send it back to us," says Ross.

Voting is now under way for the Wellington City Council, Tawa Community Board, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Capital & Coast District Health Board elections. A total of 96 candidates are standing with six candidates contesting the capital's mayoralty. No election is required for the Makara/Ohariu Community Board. Six nominations were received for the six available positions and those candidates will be elected unopposed.

If a person doesn't receive a voting paper by this Thursday 23 September, they will need to apply to the Electoral Officer for a special vote. A special vote can also be applied for by people whose names have been added to the electoral roll after the roll closed on 20 August, or whose voting papers are too damaged or spoiled to use. People can apply for a special vote by either calling into the Council Service Centre at 101 Wakefield Street or phoning (04) 499 4444.

There are many ways to find out about your local candidates. Go to the Elections section of this website or LGOL Local Elections 2010 website to check out the candidates' profiles. Votes must be in by 12 noon on Saturday 9 October.