Voters started receiving local body voting papers over the weekend and Whanganui District Council chief executive Kym Fell is hoping the district maintains its higher than average voter turnout.

Voting papers were posted out on Friday.

For the Whanganui council election, candidates will be listed randomly rather than alphabetically, so that every list will be different.

Along with the paper in Whanganui are three referendum questions.

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Voters will also be asked whether they want future council voting to use the single transferable vote system, or the first past the post system being used this year.

There are two other referendum questions, both non-binding.

One is whether councillors should be elected on a ward system or at large. The other is whether to drop the number of councillors from 12 to 10.

The envelopes also contain voting papers for Whanganui District Health Board members.

Whanganui district residents will not get papers for Horizons Regional Council as its two seats have been filled by Nicola Patrick and David Cotton, who were elected unopposed.

People in Ruapehu and Rangitikei will be voting for Horizons councillors.

To be counted the papers must be in at Whanganui District Council by noon on October 12. They can be posted in the post-paid envelopes enclosed or dropped in a ballot box at the council office between 8am and 5pm on weekdays and there will also be ballot boxes around the central city and suburbs on October 5.

Anyone who hasn't had theirs by September 25 (Wednesday) should ring the council on 349 0001, electoral officer Noeline Moosman said.

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