Voting Starts Now

20 September 2010

It's election time again - your chance to vote in the Wellington City Council, Tawa Community Board, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Capital & Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) elections.

Johnsonville Library staff encouraging you to vote

Johnsonville Library staff encouraging you to vote

By now, you should have received your voting papers in the mail. Wellington City Council and CCDHB use the Single Transferable Voting (STV) electoral system. STV is a form of preferential voting and although it may seem complicated, it's really easy. You have one vote, and you cast that vote by ranking your preferred candidates. You just need to write a '1' in the box next to the candidate you most prefer, a '2' beside the candidate you next prefer, and so on. You can rank as many or as few candidates as you like - you don't have to rank them all.

By ranking candidates in your preferred order - 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on - you are also saying which other candidates you prefer:

  • if your top choice doesn't have enough support to get in, or
  • if your top choice doesn't need all the votes they received to be elected.

Greater Wellington Regional Council and Hutt Mana Charitable Trust use a different electoral system, the 'First Past the Post' system where you place a tick next to your preferred candidates.

Once you have filled out the voting document, simply pop it in the Freepost envelope provided and post it to Electoral Officer Ross Bly in plenty of time. Votes must be received by 12 noon Saturday 9 October.

Ross cannot stress enough how important it is to vote.

"If you want to have a say on how your city is run, you must vote," he says. "My advice is to find out as much as you can about your local ward and mayoral candidates and decide who you think will best represent you and your community on the Council. Then write a number next to their names according to your wishes. It really is as easy as that."

Ross says the school holidays take place in the lead-up to election day.

"If you're heading away for the holidays, we recommend that you post your vote before leaving," he says. "If you leave it until you come back, it's likely your vote won't be received in time to be counted."

If you haven't received your voting paper by this Thursday (23 September), you will need to apply for a special vote. This also applies if your name was added to the electoral roll after 20 August or if your voting papers are too damaged or spoiled to use. You can apply for a special vote by either phoning (04) 499 4444 or calling into our service centre at 101 Wakefield Street.

A total of 96 candidates are standing for 35 positions on Wellington City Council, Tawa Community Board, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Capital & Coast District Health Board, with six of these candidates contesting the capital's mayoralty. No election is needed for the Makara/Ohariu Community Board, as six nominations were received for the six available positions - those candidates will be elected unopposed.

There are still some candidate meetings taking place around the city right now. This is where you can meet your local ward or mayoral hopefuls, hear about and question them on their policies and what they hope to achieve if elected.