Community leaders in Hastings are calling for standard operating hours for polling booths, claiming Flaxmere residents were denied equal access to early polling booths during last year's election.
Anna Lorck, who was the Labour candidate for Tukituki, and Hastings District Councillor Geraldine Travers have taken their concerns to the Parliamentary Justice Committee.
They say residents of Flaxmere were denied nine hours of access to early polling booths when compared with Havelock North.
Lorck said residents in Havelock North were provided with a timetable of open hours, polling booths were open daily, on two late nights and both weekend days.
In comparison, she described Flaxmere's opening hours as random, with one rather than two late nights, and they were closed on Sunday.
She said she had been made aware of the differences when talking with people about their early voting experiences.
She wanted to make sure the 2020 election saw a fairer and more equitable system.
Travers, who is a former principal of Hastings Girls' High School, said she had spent her career empowering young women.
"Part of that is knowing that when you belong to a democracy, then you are a person of power.
"I was justly concerned if I thought there was anything, anything at all, that prevented people from having their legitimate say."
Tukituki MP Lawrence Yule said he had not been made aware of any issues with early voting in Flaxmere.
He said he found while doorknocking Flaxmere in the last two weeks of the election that many people had voted early.
"It was fair to say I felt there was a much higher level of early voting turnout, and the Labour Party had been very active there.
"I find it hard to accept, without seeing the numbers, that there was active voter suppression."
However, he said if there was evidence votes were being suppressed in Flaxmere, then they shouldn't be.
"They should have access like everybody else."
Councillor for Flaxmere, Jacoby Poulain, said voter suppression in a community like Flaxmere was a serious issue which needed to be addressed.
"If it's true that a community like Flaxmere has less availability to polling booths then that's a significant issue in my opinion.
"At the end of the day a community's ability to have its voice heard is in direct correlation to availability of booths."
Flaxmere Councillor Henare O'Keefe said access to polling booths could certainly be improved, and they planned to put a polling booth at Te Aranga Marae in the 2020 election.
He said people needed to take advantage of polling booths.
Lorck and Travers said they could not comment on issues outside their electorate, but would be surprised if this was an isolated case.
They did not believe any New Zealander would want of expect to be given more or less time to vote than anyone else.
Lorck and Travers will be presenting there submission to the Justice Committee today .
A spokesperson for the electoral commission said it would be difficult to standardise hours as it depends on the availability of locations.
"The Commission appreciates the feedback in the submission and will continue to work with communities, including in Flaxmere, to identify the best locations and opening times for voting places in 2020."