It’s a big job mobilising 3.5 million people to take part in the election, and the Electoral Commission is calling on New Zealanders to help spread the word about the importance of enrolling and voting.
“Taking part in our democracy is the right of all New Zealanders,” says Alicia Wright, Chief Electoral Officer. “Not everyone knows what they can do or say to help their friends, whanau and communities vote, so we’ve created a wide range of resources and materials to help tell the story.”
The Commission’s guide Resources for Communities to Share contains information and links to tools and resources that enables people and organisations to provide their communities with information about enrolling and voting. The guide, and all tools and resources can be found at www.elections.org.nz/spread-the-word.
“Our goal is to make sure that everyone gets the information they need, in the way that best works for them,” says Ms Wright. “In this guide, you’ll find links to content that you can use and share in a variety of ways – on social media, on your website, in newsletters or as display materials at offices, workplaces or community centres.
“We’ve also developed a website for new and first-time voters at www.ivotenz.org.nz that makes it all simple.”
The new guide is part of a wide range of community resources and information available to the public, including New Zealanders facing additional challenges to participation.
“We have again developed video-based resources for voters with learning disabilities, which are available either on DVD or online. We have dedicated information in New Zealand Sign Language, and all our video content and advertising is captioned,” says Ms Wright.
“We also work with the Blind Foundation to provide information in audio, e-text and large print formats. There is also a dictation voting service for those who are blind, partially blind, or have a physical disability that prevents them marking their ballot paper without assistance.”
Information about dictation voting including how to register for the service is at www.elections.org.nz/2017dictationvoting
“With your help, we can share this information with your community,” says Ms Wright. “Together, we can make sure all New Zealanders get to have their say.”