While you can enroll to vote on ANY day before the election day, so long as you’re willing to go through varying degrees of extra hassle, the last day to enroll and still receive an EasyVote card in the mail is a month before election day- or this Wednesday, October the 8th. The EasyVote card contains all the necessary details for the polling booth, and greatly speeds up voting. It even comes with a package reminding you how to vote in advance so that you don’t need to be embarrassed checking the information in polling centre, and it also lists the nearest polling places to your address on the electoral roll.
If you’re a student or move around a lot, you can still enroll from an address you don’t necessarily live at that you call home. You should enroll at the last address you permanently resided in for at least a month, if possible. The most important thing is that you have a permanent address that you can verify, and that you can receive mail from that address. If you’re Maori, you can still enroll on the general roll if you don’t want to vote in a Maori electorate. You can also enroll and choose not to vote, if you really want to- not that I’d understand why, as a devout believer in government at the consent of the people.
There is no reason that your voice shouldn’t be heard in the upcoming election, even if you’ve not been keeping perfectly informed, or even if you feel like nobody cares about your opinion or that it doesn’t matter who you vote for, or even that government at all is wrong and needs to be rethought- all of these are better reasons to get enrolled and get involved now, so that your vote is right for you come election day, and you can have a say in the next few years of how the country is run- even if that say ends up being for a candidate or party that didn’t get a seat in parliament.
It’s particularly important for younger (I’m speaking specifically to those of us aged 18-24, although that’s not to say the rest of you aren’t still young) voters to enroll, as we are the group with the most noticeable gap between the total population and the enrolled population. This gap makes it important to vote not just because you should be represented by people who share most of your views, but also because young people not enrolling adds to the perception among politicians that we are acceptable political targets that can be safely painted as delinquents in order to gain favour with other groups of New Zealanders.
You can even enroll online or confirm your address by clicking the familiar orange guy on our left sidebar- if you’re a new elector, they’ll mail you off an enrollment form. You’ll probably want to do that now though, as you’ll probably need to get your form back in the mail very soon to get your EasyVote card.
There’s no excuse to disempower yourself this election. Don’t take away your voice. Use your democracy, and vote for whoever comes the closest to what you believe would be best for the country. And do it regardless of what anyone else would think. Yes, I really do mean that, even to the people I disagree most passionately with- voting for what you truly believe in is more important than just voting for the party I like. I’m not sure how many who urge people to vote really do believe that, so I’ll only speak for myself.
ENROLL. Then VOTE. It’s a few letters and a some ticks in a couple of boxes, and for that, you get to be the real kingmaker this election.