The return to full democracy for ECan is fantastic, and there is a real opportunity for an environmental majority at the council table. It can be easy to forget however that a functional democracy isn’t simply about our ‘rights’ to vote, it’s also about our responsibility to vote. Voter turnout for local government elections is pretty dismal at 38.5% for ECan in Christchurch at the 2016 election. This means less than half of us are having our say on who makes seriously important decisions which impact our own communities and future generations. If we as individuals, families and communities are committed to seeing real environmental improvement in Christchurch and across Canterbury, then we need to get active and get enrolled and voting!
Help us get out to that missing two thirds of voters by talking to your neighbours, friends and colleagues. Make sure they are enrolled. And then when voting papers are posted out on 20 September make sure that you and others post your forms back well before voting closes on 12 October! If your vote is still in the process of being delivered at noon on 12 October your vote will not be counted!
Here’s how to help people find out if they are enrolled
- If you got your letter confirming your enrolment details a few weeks back, then you’re all set. You’ll receive your voting forms by mail in late September.
- If you didn’t get a letter confirming your enrolment details, go to the VoteNZ website to check your enrolment. For your voting forms to arrive in late September, you must be enrolled by this Friday, 16 August.
Enrolling after Friday means that you have to request special voting papers from your local area council’s electoral officer. The electoral officers for Christchurch is Jo Dally, phone 03 941 8581 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Who can enrol?
You’re eligible to enrol and vote if you are 18 years or older, a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and you’ve lived in New Zealand continuously for 12 months or more at some time in your life. If you’re 17, you can fill out an enrolment form now and you will be enrolled automatically when you turn 18. It’s actually a legal requirement to be enrolled if you are eligible to.