2020 General Election Results

What to do

Learn how to vote in a general election, by-election, referendum or local election.

Voting in a general election
Voting in a by-election
Voting in a referendum
Voting in a local election

Voting in a general election

Every 3 years, New Zealand has a general election. If you’re enrolled, you can vote.

Not enrolled yet? Enrol now

The next general election is in 2023. The date for election day hasn’t been announced yet.

Your voting information pack

If you're enrolled by about a month before election day, you’ll get a voting information pack in the mail. The pack tells you:

  • how to vote
  • who the candidates and political parties are
  • when you can vote
  • how to find voting places near you. 

You’ll also get an EasyVote card that makes voting quicker on the day.

When can you vote?

Voting starts 2 weeks before election day and ends at 7pm on election day, so you’ve got plenty of time to vote.

On election day, voting places are open from 9am to 7pm.

If you want to vote before election day, the opening hours might be different. Check this page closer to election time for the opening hours of voting places near you.

Where do you go to vote?

Voting places open across New Zealand, so everyone has a chance to vote. We’ll publish the locations about 3 weeks before election day.

Voting is quicker if you vote in the area where you live. However, if you’re away from where you usually live, you can vote at the nearest voting place.

Voting from overseas?

What do you take with you when you vote?

Take your EasyVote card with you when you vote. If you haven’t got a card or forget it, you can still vote.

You don’t need to take ID.

What happens when you get to a voting place?

When you arrive to vote, someone will be there to guide you and answer your questions. 

Give your EasyVote card to the person issuing voting papers. They’ll find your name on the electoral roll and give you a voting paper. 

If you don’t have an EasyVote card, you’ll be asked for your name and address, and finding you on the electoral roll may take a bit longer.

Once you get your voting paper, you take it to a voting screen where you can vote privately.

If you’re not enrolled yet

You need to enrol before election day for your vote to count. If you're not enrolled when you get to a voting place, you can enrol there. You‘ll need to fill out an enrolment form and a ‘special declaration vote’ form. Someone will be there to guide you and answer your questions.

If your name is not on the printed electoral roll at a voting place

If your name is not on the printed roll, you'll need to fill out a 'special declaration vote' form before you can vote.

Your name may not be on the printed roll if:

  • you enrolled after the roll was printed
  • you’re voting away from your home electorate
  • you’re on the unpublished roll.

If you need help to read or mark your voting paper

A friend, family member or someone working at the voting place can help you mark your voting paper. They can’t tell you who to vote for, but they can:

  • go to the voting screen with you
  • read out the words and information on the voting paper
  • mark the voting paper for you if you ask them to.

How do you vote?

You get two votes — a party vote and an electorate vote.

Your party vote is for the political party you want to be in government.

Your electorate vote is for the candidate you would like to be the member of Parliament for the area you live in.

You can vote for a party and a candidate, or vote for only one or the other — it’s your choice.

Voting for a party

On the left side of the voting paper, tick the circle next to the name of the party you choose. You can only vote for one party.

Voting for a candidate

On the right side of the voting paper, tick the circle next to the name of the candidate you choose. You can only vote for one candidate.

Don’t worry if you make a mistake when you’re voting

If you make a mistake when you’re voting, you can take your ‘spoilt’ voting paper back and ask for another one. Spoilt papers aren’t counted.

Putting your voting paper into the ballot box

When you’ve finished marking your voting paper:

  • fold it in half
  • put it into the ballot box. 

Your vote will be counted after voting closes. How are votes counted?

Voting in a by-election

A by-election is held to fill a vacancy when a member of Parliament who represents an electorate leaves their role. There is no party vote.

In a by-election, you vote for the candidate you want to represent your electorate in Parliament.

To be eligible to vote, you must be enrolled in the electorate where the by-election is being held.

Your voting information pack tells you what you need to know

If you’re enrolled, you’ll get a voting information pack in the mail. The pack tells you:

  • how to vote
  • who the candidates are
  • when you can vote
  • where to find voting places near you. 

You’ll also get an EasyVote card that makes voting quicker.

What if you’re voting from overseas?

We don’t automatically send voting papers to overseas voters, so get your voting paper by:

  • downloading one online
  • voting in person at an overseas voting place.

Voting papers are available from about 2 weeks before election day. When a by-election is on, check this page for the details you need to get a voting paper and return it to us.

What do you take with you when you vote?

If you’re enrolled, you can just turn up and vote. Remember to take your EasyVote card. If you haven’t got a card or forget it, you can still vote. You don’t need to take ID.

What happens when you get to a voting place?

Voting in a by-election is like voting in a general election. When you get to a voting place, someone will be there to guide you.

Someone will find your name on the printed electoral roll and give you a voting paper. If your name isn’t on the roll, you might need to fill out some forms so you can vote.

How do you vote?

You take your voting paper to a voting booth. Your voting paper will have a list of candidates. You tick the circle next to the candidate you want to represent you, fold your paper in half, and put it into a voting box.

Voting in a referendum

A referendum is a vote on a question. If you’re enrolled, you can vote in a referendum.

A referendum might be held at the same time as a general election or separately.

When a referendum is coming up, we’ll add information to this page about how to vote.

Learn about referendums

What is a referendum?

View past referendum results

Voting in a local election

In a local election, you vote for who you want to represent your local community. Local elections are held to elect members for organisations like councils (city, district, and regional) and district health boards.

If you’re enrolled to vote, you can vote in local elections where you live.

Local elections are run by local councils every 3 years and held by postal vote.

What are local elections?

Contact your local council for more informationIf you have questions or need help to vote in a local election, contact your local council.

Find your local council’s website or office