Northlanders will have more - and larger - polling places to cast their vote in for October's general election as voting starts in the Covid pandemic world.
The Electoral Commission says voters should feel comfortable voting in person at the 2020 General Election and referendums with the Covid-19 processes in place at voting places.
In Northland, electors will be voting in the Whangārei, Northland and Te Tai Tokerau electorates.
There are more than 125,000 eligible voters in the Northland region who will vote in the three electorates.
There will be more voting places open during voting and larger venues will be used to minimise queues and allow room for physical distancing.
"Enrol early, vote early and vote close to home. It will help keep queues down and get people in and out of voting places quickly and safely," Alicia Wright, chief electoral officer said.
Wright said about 750 advance voting places will open when voting starts on Saturday, October 3, which is 50 per cent more than in 2017, and this will double to 1500 voting places on the weekend before election day (September 12-13).
On election day itself, Saturday, October 17, there will be about 2500 voting places across the country. In 2017, there were 485 advance voting places and 2378 election day voting places.
Wright said the commission is finalising voting place locations and will use larger venues such as school and community halls and marae where possible.
To find out where to vote in Northland go to https://vote.nz/voting/ways-you-can-vote/find-a-voting-place-on-a-map/.
"We will have some voting places in shopping malls, but the need to allow room for physical distancing means we will not be in as many malls as planned, and we won't be able to use supermarkets as voting places,'' she said.
"As well as having more voting places, there will be health measures in place including the use of hand sanitiser on the way in and out of voting places. We're confident that all voters who usually vote at a voting place will be able to do so safely this year."
Options for people who can't go to a voting place:
Other ways of voting will be available to those who can't go to a voting place.
"As in previous elections, there will be voting services for people who can't vote in person, for example for reasons of age, illness or disability," Wright said.
People who are unable to go to a voting place can apply for postal voting by calling 0800 36 76 56.
Applications for postal voting close on August 21, but people can still call the 0800 number after that date to make other arrangements if they can't go to a voting place.
Arrangements are also being made for people in rest homes and hospitals, and people in managed isolation or quarantine facilities, to vote in the election and referendums.
On election day, voting places are open from 9am to 7pm.
''There will also be two referendums that you can have your say on," Wright said.
"We've got some big decisions to make and it's important to be enrolled before you vote and have your voice heard," Wright said.
"Over the next few weeks we'll help you get all the information you need to take part."
Campaign under way:
The Electoral Commission's enrolment update campaign is under way with advertising featuring Orange Guy and his new dog Pup.
Personalised enrolment update packs will be sent to 3.27 million enrolled voters to check their enrolment details are correct.
"Open the pack and check your details are up to date. There have been some changes to the boundaries and names of electorates since the last election. Your electorate is listed in the pack, so check that too," she said.
The pack includes information on the two referendums that will be held alongside the election.
People can vote on whether the End of Life Choice Act 2019 should come into force, giving people with a terminal illness the option of requesting assisted dying.
They can also vote on whether the recreational use of cannabis should become legal.
People can also enrol or update their details by filling in an enrolment form. Forms are available online at vote.nz, by calling Freephone 0800 36 76 56 or by texting their name and address to 3676.
More information on the election including the measures that will be in place for Covid-19 is available at vote.nz. For more information go to www.vote.nz/covid-19.
The election timetable:
September 17 - noon: the deadline for parties to submit bulk candidate nominations and party lists to the Electoral Commission.
September 18 - noon: the deadline for individual electorate candidate nominations to returning officers.
September 30: overseas voting begins.
October 3: advance voting begins.
October 17: election day – preliminary results released progressively from 7pm.
October 30: preliminary referendum results released.
November 6: official results declared for the general election and referendums.
Moea Armstrong - Green Party.
Kerry Campbell - New Conservative.
Emily Henderson - Labour Party.
Chris Leitch - Social Credit.
Shane Reti - National Party (incumbent).
David Seymour - Act.
Ciara Swords - The Opportunities Party.
Daniel Watts - One Party.
Chris Wetere - Advance NZ
David Wilson - NZ First.
Trevor Barfoote - New Conservative.
Mark Cameron - Act.
Brad Flutey - Social Credit.
Darleen Tana Hoff-Nielsen - Green Party.
Helen Jeremiah - The Opportunities Party.
Shane Jones - NZ First.
Matt King - National Party (incumbent).
Michele Mitcalfe - Outdoors Party.
Nathan Mitchell - Advance NZ
Willow Jean Prime - Labour.
Mike Shaw - Independent.
Te Tai Tokerau:
Kelvin Davis - Labour (incumbent).
Janice Ephia - One Party.
Maki Herbert - Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.
Mariameno Kapa-Kingi - Māori Party
Moemoea Mohoawhenua - Independent.
Billy Te Kahika - Advance NZ/NZ People's Party.
2017 Election results:
Shane Reti, National - 18,734 votes.
Tony Savage, Labour - 7767.
Shane Jones, NZ First - 7651.
Ash Holwell, Green Party - 4868.
Chris Leith, Democrats for Social Credit - 994.
Robin Grieve, Act - 188.
Jim Taylor, Conservatives - 158.
Marie Minhinnick, independent - 110.
National - 18,572 votes.
Labour - 12,993.
NZ First - 5804.
Greens - 2342.
The Opportunities Party - 716.
Act - 198.
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis - 135.
Conservatives - 113.
Māori Party - 101.
Democrats for Social Credit - 71.
Mana - 43.
Ban 1080 - 39.
NZ Outdoors Party - 28.
United Future - 19.
NZ People's Party - 18.
Internet Party - 10.
Matt King, National - 15,243.
Winston Peters, NZ First - 13,854.
Willow-Jean Prime, Labour - 8599.
Peter Hughes, Greens - 1794.
Mel Taylor, Conservatives - 185.
Craig Nelson, Act - 121.
National - 18,834.
Labour - 12,243.
NZ First - 5353.
Greens - 2458.
The Opportunities Party - 806.
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis - 200.
Act - 191.
Conservatives - 149.
Māori Party - 133.
Mana - 119.
Ban 1080 - 50.
NZ Outdoors Party - 27.
Democrats for Social Credit - 25.
NZ People's Party - 25.
United Future - 22.
Internet Party - 1.
Te Tai Tokerau Electorate:
Kelvin Davis, Labour - 12,673.
Hone Harawira, Mana -7,866.
Godfrey Rudolph, Greens - 1958.
Maki Herbert, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis - 986.
Labour - 14,446.
NZ First - 2775.
National - 1851.
Māori Party - 1615.
Greens - 1583.
Mana - 1455.
The Opportunities party - 577.
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis - 268.
Act - 41.
NZ People's party - 40.
Ban 1080 - 21
Conservatives - 14.
NZ Outdoors Party - 12.
Internet Party - 5.
United Future - 5.
Democrats for Social Credit - 1.