With only days to go to vote in the local body elections, it seems voters are leaving it until the last minute to have their say.

The rate of return in Whanganui, in particular, is well down on the previous election and voting paper returns are also down in Rangitikei. Both districts have no mayoral race, with the current mayors unopposed in this election.

In Whanganui, of the 31,975 voting papers sent out only 7525 (23 per cent) had been returned by yesterday. Close to 12,000 had been returned at the same stage of the 2016 election.

There are 10,298 electors in Rangitikei District. By October 4, 2495 papers, or 24 per cent, had been returned. At the same stage in the 2016 election, 30 per cent of papers had been returned.

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Ruapehu District sent out 7688 voting papers, with 2222 (28 per cent) returned by October 4. That's slightly up on the 27 per cent returned by the same stage in 2016.

Voting closes at midday on Saturday, October 12.