NZ residents urged to vote in upcoming polls

Updated: Oct 16,2020 04:21 GMT

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IANS

Wellington, Oct 16 (IANS) A day ahead of the general elections, New Zealand's Electoral Commission on Friday urged every resident of the country to cast their ballots.

Saturday is election day and the last chance to vote in the 2020 General Election and referendums, according to a statement of the Electoral Commission.

Alicia Wright, chief electoral officer, said in the statement that "2,567 voting places will be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday, so there is plenty of opportunity for anyone who hasn't voted yet to do so tomorrow", Xinhua news agency reported.

By the end of Wednesday, more than 1.5 million people had voted in advance, which is well ahead of the 1.2 million who cast their ballots in early voting 2017 during the country's last general election.

"It's fantastic that so many people have got out early to vote, but there are still a lot who haven't, and we don't want them to miss out," Wright said.

For the first time, this year people can enroll or update their address details on election day before they vote at any voting place, she said.

The preliminary results of the general election will be released progressively after voting closes at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Results will be available at electionresults.govt.nz, according to the Electoral Commission.

Priority is given to the election results, and votes in the two referendums on end of life choice and cannabis will not be counted on election night, Wright said.

Preliminary referendum results will be released on October 30, and the official results of the election and referendums will be released on November 6.

The upcoming election was initially scheduled for September 19 but was postponed due to a second Covid-19 outbreak.

The previous parliament was elected on September 23, 2017 and was officially dissolved on September 6.

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