The Far North might have a record 90 candidates standing for election this year — but so far the number of votes is heading for a record low.
As of yesterday morning, 9000 electors had completed and returned their voting forms — that's just 20.9 per cent of enrolled voters, and below the 22.3 per cent of votes received at the same point during the 2016 election campaign.
Council chief executive Shaun Clarke said all residents and ratepayers enrolled to vote should have received voting packs in the mail.
"If you haven't yet filled in your voting papers, I urge you to set aside 20 minutes between now and Sunday to select the leaders you want," he said.
Completed papers should be posted to Election Services by Tuesday, October 8, to make sure they arrive before the election closes at noon on Saturday, October 12.
Anyone who missed the October 8 postal deadline could still make sure their vote was counted by placing their voting papers in ballot boxes at council offices at Te Ahu in Kaitaia, the John Butler Centre in Kerikeri and at council headquarters on Memorial Dr, Kaikohe during working hours.
Clarke said voters who hadn't received their voting packs, or were not enrolled, could still have their say by casting a special vote.
"The Electoral Commission will be working with us to help all eligible voters to enrol and complete special votes during drop-in days at our Kaitaia and Kaikohe offices from Tuesday, October 8, to Thursday, October 10. This is an easy process and is designed to ensure that anyone who wants to vote can do so."
Voter turnout has dropped steadily in recent local body elections.
In the Far North fewer than half of eligible voters cast a vote in any of the past three elections. The lowest turnout of 41.7 per cent was in 2016. If the current trend continues, voter turnout for the 2019 election could drop below 40 per cent for the first time.
As of yesterday morning the highest turnout in the Far North was in Whatuwhiwhi (27 per cent) and the lowest was in North Hokianga (14.4 per cent).