With less than a week to go in the Hamilton East Ward by-election, only 11.79% of eligible voters have returned their voting packs.
Hamilton City Council says voting packs have been delivered to 56,408 eligible voters’ letterboxes on the east side of the river. However, as of Friday, just 6650 of the voting packs had been returned.
Sixteen candidates are vying for the vacant seat on Hamilton City Council.
Deputy Electoral Officer, Amy Viggers urged all eligible voters on the east side of the river to vote.
“It’s so easy to vote. You simply need to rank and return – rank the candidates and return your voting paper,” said Ms Viggers.
Hamiltonians have been favouring posting their votes, with 93.4% of all votes received so far having been posted in New Zealand Post boxes across the city.
“You can also pop it in a ballot box at any of our libraries on the east side of the river,” said Ms Viggers.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for voters to have their say on who the new Hamilton East Ward councillor should be.”
So far, Chartwell library is winning the battle for ballots. Council staff have retrieved 287 unopened votes from the ballot box at Chartwell Library versus 107 unopened votes from Te Kete Aronui Rototuna Library and only 97 from Hillcrest Library.
“It will be interesting to see which library has the most engaged Hamiltonians in the neighbourhood!”
Voters are being urged to post their ballots back by Monday 12 February to guarantee they will arrive in time to be counted when voting closes at midday on Saturday 17 February.
Voting papers can also be hand-delivered to any ballot box location.
If you have not received a pack, it’s likely you’re not enrolled or need to update your details on the electoral roll. Those not already enrolled can do so up to Friday 16 February. You can also ask for a special vote. Special voting packs are available at the three libraries, and at the Hamilton City Council Municipal Building, Garden Place.