Kiwis based in some of the most far-flung places on Earth still managed to have their say on election day.

New Zealanders at Scott Base in Antarctica, those on isolated Raoul Island and others on board fishing vessels and cruise ships all sought assistance from the Electoral Commission to cast their votes.

The commission said 51,210 people had registered overseas mailing addresses for the election. However, people overseas for a short time, such as for a holiday or on business, did not need to register so weren't included in this figure.

The commission said it was not possible to determine whether voter turnout was higher or lower among expats, but said in the 2011 general election 20,269 votes were cast from overseas, down from 32,461 in the 2008 election.

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Voters were registered in 140 countries, the highest number being in Australia where 30,421 voters were enrolled.

There were also 9,143 in the United Kingdom, 2,984 in the United States and 970 in Canada. There were also high numbers of Kiwi voters in Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, China, Japan and the Netherlands.

Assistance had been provided to Defence Force members stationed overseas, including the crew on board the HMNZS Otago in Samoa. Other personnel are in Afghanistan, South Korea, the Middle East and South Sudan.

Most personnel, as with other Kiwis abroad, were able to download and upload their voting papers or vote at one of 77 overseas posts.

New Zealanders are eligible to vote if they have been in the country in the past three years if they are a citizen, or in the past 12 months if a permanent resident.

Their electorate will be the one in which they last lived for a month or more.

All overseas votes are classified as special votes, which are processed after election day and included in the official count, to be published on October 4.