Special vote

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In New Zealand, a special vote or special declaration vote is a vote made by an elector who is unable to visit a polling place in their own electorate on election day, or is not on the electoral roll on election day.

Special votes can be made by anyone who:

  • is outside of their electorate on election day
  • is ill or infirm and cannot get to a polling place
  • is not on the printed electoral roll but believes they should be
  • can satisfy the returning officer that going to a polling place would cause hardship or serious inconvenience
  • is in hospital
  • is of a religion which prevents them from voting on election day
  • is overseas
  • is on the unpublished roll

Those in another electorate on election day can cast a special vote at any polling place, after filling in a form explaining their reason for needing a special vote. Special polling places are set up in hospitals, maternity homes and rest homes and voting can take place in these places during the two weeks before election day and on election day itself. Voters who are overseas or otherwise unable to vote on election day, and do not have access to a hospital polling place, can vote by mail or at an advance voting facility. Some New Zealand High Commissions and Embassies provide polling places.

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