Rotorua ballot boxes are filling up with the first of the 2020 general election votes rolling in.
Nationally more than 165,000 people had their say through advance voting on the weekend, almost double the 87,000 in the first two days of voting in 2017.
This year, more than half of voters are expected to enter the booths before election day, meaning the election result will likely be decided by votes cast before October 17.
Tere Lawson is helping manage the voting site near Te Manawa, on Tutanekai St.
"I just like helping people," he told the Rotorua Daily Post.
"Because government processes can be quite complicated."
He hoped people would continue to vote early if they had made up their mind to avoid a "feast or a famine" situation leading up to election day.
Fordlands Community Centre will open its doors to advance voters from Monday.
Programmes and services co-ordinator Maraea Pamana is looking forward to providing an "easy, accessible place" for the neighbourhood to take part in the election.
In her opinion "it is important to vote so their voices can be heard... we are one of the most vulnerable communities in New Zealand".
"The decisions that are made at a government level affect people like us."
According to Massey University politics expert Professor Richard Shaw, advance voting is important "because not everyone can make it on Saturday [October 17]".
"They might have work, family or whānau commitments, they might be crook... It's to maximise voter turnout to the greatest extent possible, to remove obstacles."
In his opinion, advance voting is "even more" important amid a global pandemic.
"People are a little bit antsy, we don't want to go stand in halls with several hundred other people. So it makes particularly good sense to give people a bit more time and space."
Voters cannot change their mind after submitting their voting papers but Shaw said, "the majority of people's political opinions... are more or less set by now".
"There's always going to be a small margin of people who literally make their mind up on the day, or sometimes literally in the booth, and those people are not going to do advance voting. But if you know now... there's every incentive for you to go and cast your votes early."
The Electoral Commission's latest enrolment figures for the Rotorua electorate boundaries (combining both those on the Māori roll and general roll) show 8433 eligible people have not enrolled to vote.
The Rotorua age group with the lowest enrolment rate was 18 to 24-year-olds at 66.23 per cent, with 2600 yet to enrol.
The age group with the highest rate was 96.52 per cent, among 65 to 69-year-olds, with just 153 not enrolled.
But it is not too late to sign up - you can even enrol on election day.
"People can enrol and vote at the same time," an Electoral Commission spokesman said.
"We give them an enrolment form to complete, along with their voting papers."
The commission is asking voters to bring their own pen if they can and their EasyVote card if they have received it in the mail.
Rotorua advance voting sites
• 1271 Tutanekai St near Te Manawa, October 3 to October 16, 10am to 4pm
• Fordlands Community Centre, 48 Bellingham Cres, October 12 to October 16, 10am-4pm
• Lynmore Primary School Hall, 1 Iles Rd, October 10, 10am-4pm
• Ngongotahā Community Hall, 5 School Rd, October 5 to October 10, 10am-4pm, then October 12 to October 16, 10am-4pm
• Ōtonga Rd Primary School Hall, 105 Otonga Rd, October 10, 10am to 4pm
• Lynmore Shop 7 (beside Bin Inn), Redwood Shopping Centre, October 3 to October 11, 10am-4pm, then October 12 to October 16, 10am-5pm
• Reporoa Settlers Hall, 3834 Broadlands Rd, October 15 to October 16, 10am to 4pm
• Rotorua Central Mall, Shop 3, 1170 Amohau St, October 3 to October 11, 10am-4pm, then October 12 to October 16, 9am to 5pm
• Selwyn Heights Primary School Hall, 17 Old Quarry Rd, October 10, 10am to 4pm
• St John's Presbyterian Church (next to Rydges Hotel), 276 Fenton St, October 10, 10am to 4pm
• Sunset Primary School Hall, 150 Sunset Rd, October 10, 10am to 4pm
• Te Puke War Memorial Hall, 130 Jellicoe St, October 5 to October 10, 10am-4pm, then October 12 to October 16, 10am-5pm,
• Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Mokoia Drive, October 12 to October 15, 10am-4pm
• Westbrook Primary School Hall, 362 Malfroy Rd, October 10, 10am to 4pm