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Wellington voter turnout 'to be ashamed of'

Thursday 3 Oct 2013 1:23 p.m.

Voting closes on October 12 (Simon Wong/ 3 News)

Voting closes on October 12 (Simon Wong/ 3 News)

By 3 News online staff

Only 15.5 percent of eligible voters in Wellington have voted in the local body elections halfway through the election voting period.

The turnout so far has disappointed Wellington City Council electoral officer Charlie Inggs, who says the city may be in for a turnout "to be ashamed of".

"In 2010 we just managed to get over the 40 percent turnout mark. This time, if things keep going the way they are, I'll be surprised if we get to 38 percent.

"Wellington is a political town – we are all supposed to eat, sleep and breathe politics."

So far 21,096 of the city's eligible voters have done their civic duty out of a pool of 136,390.

The turnout at this stage of the voting period is less than the 15.9 percent and 16.1 percent in the 2010 and 2007 elections respectively.

But if it's any consolation, Auckland is doing worse with only 12.6 percent of eligible voters posting their ballot. Christchurch, however, is sitting on 20.65 percent.

Mr Inggs is urging people to take the time to vote.

"If the envelope's sitting on your kitchen table, please deal to it this weekend and get it back in the mail. It's easy and it comes with a guidebook with bios on all the candidates if you don't know who to vote for.

"And you don't even need a stamp – the postage is free."

To ensure delivery by the end of the voting period, voting papers need to be sent by October 9. They can also be delivered to the Election office at 101 Wakefield St or after hours in its overnight drop box or any city library until midday on October 12.

Election votes by ward as of October 2:

  • Southern ward – 16 percent
  • Eastern ward -16 percent
  • Onslow-Western ward - 16 percent
  • Northern ward – 15 percent
  • Lambton ward - 13.7 percent

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