A surge in voting paper returns has seen voter numbers in Rotorua's local government elections jump in front of previous election numbers.

As at 8.20pm last night 16,217 of Rotorua's 46,215 eligible voters, or 35.09 per cent, had voted.

This is compared with 35 per cent at the same time in the 2013 elections, 32.55 per cent in the 2010 election and 31.91 per cent in the 2007 election.

Overnight Wednesday, 3746 voting papers were counted, the most received in a single day this election period.

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In the 2013 election a total of 43.79 per cent of eligible electors voted, in 2010 that number was 43.41 per cent and in 2007 it was 44 per cent.

But, those numbers are not tracking well enough to reach Local Government New Zealand's target of an average 50 per cent voter turnout across the country.

It is too late to post your voting papers, but there is still time to have your say.

You can drop your papers off at the Rotorua District Library, on the corner of Pukuatua and Amohia sts, or at the Rotorua Lakes Council offices on Haupapa St, no later than midday Saturday.

Rotorua district election returns
- 2016: 35.09 per cent
- 2013: 35 per cent
- 2010: 32.55 per cent
- 2007: 31.91 per cent
* As at 8.20pm Wednesday. Source; www.electionz.com