Is the change necessary? Marlborough has lowest voter turnout in 25 years

0

Whether it was difficulties getting ballots to the mailbox or simply not knowing enough about the candidates, or even the council, there were a number of reasons why some chose not to vote. in local elections this year.

At just over 40% return, Marlborough Electoral Officer Dean Heiford described voter turnout this year as ‘disappointing’. He added that the region had seen a “continuous decline” in the number of voters from one election to the next, which was the worst turnout he had seen in 25 years.

The low turnout nationwide fueled calls for an overhaul of the entire local government voting process, including mail-in ballots.

Marlborough resident Glenis Watts, 86, who lived in Marlborough District Council aged care accommodation, did not vote.

READ MORE:
* ‘Discomfort for democracy’: solving electoral problems, says disappointed candidate
* Worst voter turnout in decades in Marlborough
* Votes flow rather than return for municipal elections

Jane Heywood, 69, thinks the voting system could be changed to involve more people.

BRYA INGRAM/STUFF

Jane Heywood, 69, thinks the voting system could be changed to involve more people.

Watts said the voting system was too difficult for her and her two daughters were out of town, so she was unable to get her mail-in vote.

“I didn’t know where to go and I had no one to take me,” she said.

She said that having been in the area for 18 months, she didn’t know enough about the council.

“I live in their apartments, but don’t ask me who the mayor is, I don’t know,” she said.

Tarryn Metcalfe, 19, says she'll probably vote when she's older, when she knows a bit more about what the council does.

BRYA INGRAM/STUFF

Tarryn Metcalfe, 19, says she’ll probably vote when she’s older, when she knows a bit more about what the council does.

Jane Heywood, 69, said she has never failed to vote in an election.

“Because I think if you don’t vote, you can’t complain about things that go wrong…I think everyone should vote,” she said.

She thought the mail-in voting system was easy enough to use but might need to be changed if it meant more turnout.

“You just have to receive the envelope, mail it or bring it to the council, it’s not that difficult.

“But I think they probably need to change it up a bit for younger people who don’t seem to log into that kind of system, and maybe do some online voting.”

Jocelyn Morresey, 83, chose not to vote this year because she didn't know enough about the council.

BRYA INGRAM/STUFF

Jocelyn Morresey, 83, chose not to vote this year because she didn’t know enough about the council.

Hotel worker Tarryn Metcalfe, 19, said she didn’t know enough about local elections and when they were happening so she didn’t vote.

“To be honest, I didn’t really know this was happening,” Metcalfe said.

Since this was the first election in which she was eligible to vote, she did not know enough how to vote.

“I feel like I don’t know what they [council] do, or how it works or whatever,” she said.

“When I know more about what this means, I’m sure I’ll vote.”

Chantilly Cafe co-owner Max Rainey, 32, said he should have voted but never did.

He said he had voted in the past and thought the system was pretty straightforward.

“I don’t know, I never really cared about what the local council does,” Rainey said.

“Personally, I don’t pay much attention to the local [election] for whatever reason.”

Ray Thomson, 66, voted in local elections, despite not taking his advice

BRYA INGRAM/STUFF

Ray Thomson, 66, voted in local elections, although he didn’t take his advice “too closely”.

Renwick resident Jocelyn Morresey, 83, said she had no idea who was on the council, or who was one of the candidates, as she had only been in the area for a bit less than two years.

“Normally I vote, but I didn’t know anyone,” Morresey said.

Orewa resident Ray Thomson, 66, a civil servant, said while he didn’t follow local politics too closely, he always made sure to vote.

“If you don’t vote, you really have no reason to worry about anything,” Thomson said.

“This will take only few minutes.”

He thought the postal voting system was efficient and fairly easy to use.

“Orewa is pretty much the center of the retreat, so there are a few mailboxes, believe it or not.”

Nationally, only 36% of eligible New Zealanders voted in the election, down from 42% in 2019, although this year’s figure is expected to rise slightly once special ballots are counted, according to preliminary government analysis New Zealand local.

Recent holdings in Marlborough (%)

2010: 56.53

2013: 54.68

2016: 53.66

2019: 48.83

Share.

Comments are closed.