Voting in an election
Voting gives you a say on the people and political parties that will represent you in Parliament. NZ elections happen every 3 years.
Check the Electoral Commission’s website for updates related to COVID-19.COVID-19 and the 2020 General Election
Voting on election day
On election day you’ll vote for a political party and a candidate you want to represent the area you live in (called your electorate). You must be enrolled to be able to vote.
You’ll be sent an information pack called EasyVote before election day that will list the places you can vote close to your home.
These are usually places like:
- town halls
They’ll be signposted from the street.
You can vote anytime between 9am and 7pm on election day.
You’ll also be sent an EasyVote card with your voting details — take this with you when you go to vote to speed the process up.
You will only receive an EasyVote pack if you have enrolled by writ day, a month before the election.
Voting before election day
If you’re not going to be in your electorate or cannot get to a voting place on election day, you can vote from 2 weeks before.
Information about where, when and how to vote before election day will be in your EasyVote information pack and on the Electoral Commission’s website.
If you’re away from home
If you’re away from your electorate, you can still vote at any voting place or advance voting place — but you’ll complete a special vote.
You do not have to do anything special — just tell the person at the voting place that you’re voting outside your electorate.
If you’re overseas on election day
You can still vote. From 2½ weeks before election day, you can:
- vote before, if you’re in New Zealand
- download voting papers from the Electoral Commission’s website
- apply for a postal vote
- vote at an overseas post — the Electoral Commission will have a list of these before election day.
Getting help to vote
If you need help to read or mark your voting paper, a friend, family member or electoral official at the voting place can help. Just ask when you go to vote.
Voting in a referendum
A referendum is a vote about a specific question. Referendums are either binding or indicative (non-binding).
A binding referendum means the result has to be acted upon or implemented.
An indicative referendum means the result does not have to be acted upon.
Referendums can happen:
- on election day
- at any other time — usually by post.
At the 2020 General Election, New Zealanders were asked to vote in 2 referendums. Referendum results are on the Electoral Commission's election results page.