At 10am Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will announce her decision on the election date. This will be done in the light about what is currently known about the current covid-19 outbreak. That is her decision alone and is constrained by the parliamentary electoral limits that Mai Chen has reviewed in her article “Legal advice to the PM on moving the election“.
I’d only add that we should plan on having a longer period of advance voting built into all future elections.
Advance voting has been increasing massively over the past elections. As the graphic from the electoral commission shows for 2011, 2014, and 2017. The total valid party vote in 2017 was only 2,591,896, the total valid advance votes were 1,023,059. This election, even without Covid-19, I’d expect that valid advance voting would be well over half of the valid votes.
As you can see in the chart showing the cumulative advance voting, this current lasts for about 2 weeks and is putting pressure on the advance voting places – especially in the last days. For the convenience of voters who don’t want to stand in line in masks – extend the period of advance voting from 2 weeks to something longer, 3 or 4 weeks.