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This is how you change the Government – enrol and vote at the same time*

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, September 17th, 2017 - 13 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, democratic participation, election 2017, Politics, vote smart - Tags:

The system of enrolling to vote is is more streamlined this election.  Eligible voters can enrol and vote at the same time as long as it is before voting day.

There is a problem for progressive parties because far too many young people are not yet enrolled to vote.  And young people tend to be more progressive than their older counterparts.  There are various theories for this but I think it is because young people are more collective and they are really concerned about the long term trends that our society is facing.  These are areas where Labour and the Greens excel.

But if they don’t vote or their votes don’t count this distorts the democratic outcome.  It becomes less forward looking and more insular than it should be.  If we are worried about our future and about each other.

From Radio New Zealand:

With polling day fast approaching, nearly a quarter of a million younger voters are yet to enrol, according to figures from the Electoral Commission.

As of 23 August, 246,498 people aged 18-29 had not yet enrolled – 30 percent of the almost 800,000 eligible voters in that age group.

The figures are in stark contrast to the over-70s, where 97 percent of the 483,270 have enrolled.

Political parties on all sides of the spectrum are keen to tap into the potential missing younger voters might offer.

That was last seen in Britain’s snap election in June when the ‘youth quake’ restored the country’s Labour Party to a credible opposition, defying the pollsters and astounding pundits.

Green Party youth spokesperson Julie-Anne Genter said it was trying to reach as many disenfranchised young people as possible.

“Whether that’s using social media, going and speaking at high schools and university campuses … and I’m certainly spending a lot more time trying to get my head around Snapchat.”

So if you are young and not yet enrolled or there is someone in your whanau that matches that description then what you need to do is clear.  Make sure that you or your whanau visit an early voting booth and enrol and cast a vote at the same time.

Your country’s future depends on a progressive future looking Government being elected.  We cannot sustain more of the same selfish short sighted rule that we have had over the last nine years.

And if you want to help the parties …

Donate to Labour.
Volunteer for Labour.
Join Labour.

Donate to the Greens.
Volunteer for the Greens.
Join the Greens.

Go hard. Let’s do this.

13 comments on “This is how you change the Government – enrol and vote at the same time*”

  1. Ross 1

    In 2014, only 62% of enrolled young voters actually voted. However, voters seeing young politicians and young candidates may help improve that figure. Jacinda’s relative youth as well as young candidates on the Left like Chloe Swarbrick, Jack McDonald, Naisi Chen and Jesse Pabla may result in an increased turnout among young voters.

    Since Ardern became leader, allegedly there’s been a “surge” in enrolments of younger voters.



  2. DSpare 2

    Voting early is a very good idea, because that way you can try again if you are obstructed. Go with a support person if you are not confident in arguing with the officials (most political party would have volunteers happy to drive you down and assist you – depending on where you live and availability) Once again, Māori voters seem to be singled out for this, whether by ignorance or malice:

    Veronica Tawhai, a Maori politics lecturer and citizenship educator at Massey University, has received numerous complaints from Maori electors across the country regarding the Electoral Commission. However, her requests that a memo be sent immediately to all staff to ensure accurate information is being provided to electors appears to have been ignored, calling into question the commitment of the Commission to ‘democracy for all’…

    Some of the complaints received about Electoral Commission staff, including those manning polling booths and phone lines, includes:

    • Staff being unaware of the Maori roll and insisting electors are unregistered when their names don’t appear on the General roll;
    • Staff having difficulty locating Maori names on the Maori roll, even when given identification by Maori electors;
    • Staff giving incorrect information about the Maori electorates, electorate areas and where electors can be enrolled;
    • Maori enrolled in Maori electorates being given the wrong voting form and having to argue with staff to find and be provided with the correct form;
    • Electors on the General roll being told they are unable to vote for a ‘Maori party’ if they are not on the Maori roll;
    • Complaints from Maori electors being ignored by those responsible for hearing complaints, such as managers of polling booths.


  3. Sanctuary 3

    One thing that has hit me in the face like a damp trout during this election is how old the media commentariat is, and how it’s reductionist obsession with the “difficulties” of change and the cup shuffling games of aging politicians limits the boundaries of debate.

    Young people are more progressive simply because age has not yet beaten them down, and they see the possibilities and not the problems. Life is a journey where the key trick to keeping your dignity is knowing when you pass through the steps of youthful enthusiasm to productive experience to older wisdom to a (hopefully) well-earned old aged irrelevance where you gratefully get others get to deal with the trails of the world. Too many of NZ’s media and political elite are on the wrong side of the wisdom to irrelevance transition and refuse to acknowledge it and feel threatened by youth.

    A couple of examples spring to mind. John Armstrong, an old and sick man these days, can still write well. But all he can understand anymore is the peddling of power within the suffocating confines of a series of axiomatic shibboleths of an similarly aged media/political elite. Ancient white men abound in our media – Bill Ralston and Barry Soper are in their mid 60s (for the ladies, Jane Clifton must be equally venerable) and it is telling that the fifty something Mike Hoskings in regarded as “young” by the political-media elite.

    The second example – the other day for my sins I took the risk of listening to Brian Edwards and Michelle Boag on RNZ. The less said about Edwards the better – hubris is truly parading your mental decline on the radio like a badge of honour, without realising your time has past and you are sucking valuable media oxygen away from someone more relevant. But Boag, my dear she is a bitter, barking piece of work. Her main complaint – delivered in the mocking, dripping tone of judgemental condescension older women seem to reserve for when they criticise younger women mainly for being younger – was that she had heard another 30ish woman excitedly exclaim she was voting for Labour because Jacinda was still capable of having babies in office. Boag’s reverse ageism didn’t grasp that having someone like you in power might be novel for a 30 something woman, or that having a potentially fertile PM excited the interest of other fertile women because reproduction and the issues associated with it were relevant to her. Boag just saw stupid young people, because she is old and knows everything.

    I don’t think Labour consciously set out to expose the creaking edifice and decaying age of our “neoliberal” ruling class. It only because obvious when suddenly a younger face appeared in a senior leadership position. But now that change has been ignited, lets make it happen!

    • Andre 3.1

      It strikes me that most of the media commentariat are political theatre critics. Actual political analysis is exceedingly scarce.

    • gingercrush 3.2

      Forget the political commentary surely nothing can be worse than twitter. Politics by twitter or tweets is just wrong.

      • swordfish 3.2.1

        Faaark !!! it’s been a while since we heard from you

        Even though you’re from t’other side of political fence I always kept an eye on your often incisive Psephological analyses back in the day

  4. Incognito 4

    IMHO it should be mandatory for Tinder profiles; not enrolled, no date. Nothing that a bit of ‘social encouragement’ can’t ‘stimulate’. Make it (even more) risqué & exciting 😉

  5. adam 5

    Categories: Deep Stuff.

    Ummmmmm, what the…

    MickySavage you crack me up sometimes, not sure it’s that deep a post, but my own ideological bias may be at play to make that decision of it not being deep.

    At the library yesterday, I saw a few first time voters vote, none of them looked particularly happy about the process, and they will probably do what I do, when ever I vote in this none full participation democracy. Shower for a very very long time to try somewhat human again, and wash away some of the bad feelings.

    Get youth involved, but involved in somthing that includes them, not excludes them. Democracy which is as ham-fisted as this one, and has so little true democracy in it, does not feel real, time to move towards more democracy, not less.

  6. Muttonbird 6

    Got to get the guys out and voting but the question is how to get a critical mass moving? One of the biggest barriers to voting is the enrollment process and this post helps in that you can do it all at once but the Electoral Commission needs to be spreading this, not leaving it up to Labour activists.

    Radio is big now but radio advertising is expensive. I’ve heard a few hosts bring it up but only in a ‘sorry I’m talking politics’ way.

    They (the Electoral Commission) need to get rid of that stupid orange guy which seems to be directed at kids, re-brand and do a full court press on social media (all of them do it), radio (tradies), tertiary institutions (students), and places where young people go (cafe’s and bars).

  7. carlite 7

    What I was disappointed by this year was the advertising campaign for the EasyVote card. This was an advertising campaign that ran from xx-xx-17 until 23 August. The idea was to enroll to vote to get a card sent out to you to make it easier on election day. The campaign placed far too much emphasis on the period up to 23 August and I reckon that would have turned off lots of voters who realised after the 23rd that they hadn’t done the thing.

    Sure, you can enroll and vote at the same time if you advance vote but having all these contradictory messages, seems to me, is just a very messy way of doing things and was probably counter-productive.

  8. feijoa 8

    The CTU have great single page A4 for each electorate with the locations and opening times where you can vote.

    I just did this – I googled where can I vote early in Porirua and it came up! (union.org)

    These could be printed off and “left lying around” in all sorts of places. Much clearer than what is on the electoral commission site.

    Well done CTU

  9. JC 9

    Sadly! It seems to have been hi jacked! …

    “The Labour Party is concerned voters who aren’t enrolled are being turned away from advance voting booths.”


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