Wellington, September 30, 2020
Voters who are overseas will be able to vote in the 2020 General Election and referendums from today, Wednesday, September 30, 2020.
Electoral Commission Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright said that about 67,000 New Zealand voters are enrolled at an overseas address.
Overseas voters can vote from now until 7 pm (New Zealand Time) on Election day, Saturday October 17, 2020, using the download and upload service to receive and return their voting papers.
Easy and Safe method
“This election, the easiest and safest way to vote from overseas is to download and print voting papers from www.vote.nz and return them by upload to the website. In 2017, more than two-thirds of overseas voters used this service,” Ms Wright said.
She said that overseas voters should check that they are enrolled at www.vote.nz so that they can access the download and upload service.
Covid-19 restrictions overseas
In some countries, voting in person at an overseas voting place will also be an option, but services will be limited and will depend on the Covid-19 public health advice in each country.
“There won’t be as many overseas voting places open to the public as usual, which reflects what is happening overseas with Covid-19. The situation is different in each country and we need to follow local guidance to keep voters and staff safe,” Ms Wright said.
Of the 88 voting places available overseas, 22 will be fully open to the public for in-person voting. Others will be limited to issuing and receiving postal votes or providing support to voters by email and over the phone. A full list of voting places and services is available at www.vote.nz.
Overseas voting closure
Overseas voting places will close at 4 pm on Friday, October 16, 2020 local time at the latest. Closing times vary and voters should check www.vote.nz for details.
In New Zealand, telephone dictation voting also opens today, Wednesday, September 30, 2020 for people who are blind, partially blind or have a physical disability that means they cannot mark their voting paper without help.
Advance voting at voting places across New Zealand starts on Saturday, October 3, 2020.
Voting closes at 7pm on election day, Saturday, October 17, 2020.