Late Vote Rush Likely to Improve Capital Turnout
11 October 2013
A record number of special votes – already well over 1300 in total – and a busy day today in the voting office indicates that voter turnout in Wellington is likely to be higher than in a number of recent local-body elections.
Wellington Electoral Officer Charlie Inggs says a total of 774 special votes were received in Wellington City in the 2010 elections – and with polling not scheduled to close until 12 noon tomorrow (Saturday) there is the prospect of many more special votes in the morning.
As of this afternoon more than 37% of voters had returned their papers – about 2% ahead of totals at the same time in 2010 and 2007. Mr Inggs says it appears likely that the voting turnout percentage total for this year could be “in the low to mid 40s”.
He says an apparently close mayoral contest – and four vacant seats on the Wellington City Council – is likely to be motivating more people to get out and vote this year.
He believes the contest is also prompting the large number of special votes – though a considerable number of people are seeking new papers to replace voting papers and envelopes that were damaged by rain when they were mailed out three weeks ago.
Mr Inggs says a steady stream of voters has been arriving at the Council offices in Wakefield Street today – and he warns people not to leave their run too late tomorrow.
“We will close the doors at the Council – and at local libraries where papers can also be dropped off – right on 12 noon tomorrow. If you are a few seconds too late, I’m sorry but you will be out of luck – your vote will not be accepted.”
Preliminary results of the local elections are expected to be announced from 7pm tomorrow.