Plea to young Tauranga voters as deadline nears

By Lydia Anderson

1 comment
Lorde has produced two videos urging young people to vote.
Lorde has produced two videos urging young people to vote.

Senior Tauranga voters are leading the race to enrol to vote in this year's general election, but younger voters are lagging behind.

About 100 per cent of voters over the age of 65 in the Tauranga electorate had enrolled ahead of the September 20 election, according to Electoral Commission statistics for July 31.

A total of 13,517 voters over 65 had enrolled, which was about 100 per cent of the estimated eligible voting population based on 2013 Census data.

In contrast, 4414 voters in the 18-24 age bracket and 3103 voters in the 25-29 age bracket had enrolled.

Across all age groups, 48,581 voters had enrolled in the Tauranga electorate.

The Electoral Commission is ramping up its efforts to encourage young voters to enrol, even partnering with songstress Lorde (pictured) who produced two videos talking about why voting mattered and how important it was for young people to have a say in next month's poll.

Enrolment services national manager Murray Wicks said Lorde made "some very good valid points".

However, having Lorde on board was just part of a "complete arsenal" the commission was using to reach young voters.

The commission was using social media through the I Vote NZ Facebook page, as well as reaching out directly to communities.

"We have people right through the country going around doing presentations, we've been to all schools, tertiary institutions."

Young voters needed to realise their vote was just as important as everyone else's.

"We encourage them to participate but the first thing they need to do is enrol."

Nationwide, 207,321 voters in the 65-69 age group (96.94 per cent) and 418,349 in the 70 + age group (94.42 per cent) have enrolled, compared with 306,695 (69.36 per cent) in the 18-24 age group and 223,871 (74.65 per cent) in the 25-29 age group.

Voters need to enrol by August 20 to receive a pack with information about where to vote, candidates, political party lists, and how to vote in advance.

Tauranga voter enrolments
• 18-24-year-olds 82.66 per cent
• 25-29-year-olds 84.32 per cent
• 65+ 100 per cent
• All age groups 96.68 per cent

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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