How to vote in Election 2020

Voting runs from 3 October to 7pm on election day, 17 October. This election, voters will have four votes and can vote in person across the country, by post, and from overseas.

Your votes

You get two election votes – a party vote and an electorate vote. This year, you also have votes in the referendums about legalising recreational cannabis and assisted dying. 

Parliament has 120 members who are elected as electorate and list MPs. In the parliament elected this election, there will be 72 electorate seats that represent particular areas. The remaining 48 seats are called list seats and will be filled by candidates from political parties to ensure that the overall proportion of members of parliament reflects the number of votes won by each political party.

Who becomes the next government depends on which party or group of parties have the most seats in parliament. 

Party vote

Your party vote is for the political party you want to be in parliament. You can vote for only one party.

Any party that gets more than five percent of the party vote will be entitled to seats in parliament proportionate to the percentage of the party vote it received. 

If a party wins fewer electorate seats than the proportion of seats in parliament it is entitled to based on its party vote, the party will be allowed a number of list seats to achieve proportionate representation. These seats are filled from the party’s lists. 

You can see the party’s lists on our party profiles.

If a party wins an electorate seat and wins a percentage of the party vote greater than that equivalent to one seat in parliament, that party will be allowed a number of list seats to achieve proportionate representation – even if they received less than five percent of the party vote. 

Electorate vote

Your electorate vote is for the candidate you’d like to be the member of parliament from your electorate. You can vote for only one candidate.

The country is divided up into 71 electorates. Seven of those are Māori electorates and the rest are general. If you are Māori, you can choose between the Māori roll and the general roll when you first enrol to vote. 

You can see the candidates in your electorate on our candidates page.

The candidate with the most votes in your electorate will be elected as the member of parliament for that electorate.

Referendums

A referendum is a vote on a question. This election there are referendums on whether to legalise recreational cannabis and on whether to legalise assisted dying. You vote on the referendums at the same time as voting in the election.

Who can vote

People who are enrolled to vote can vote at the 2020 general election. You can enrol to vote or update your details online at the Vote.nz website.

To enrol to vote you need to be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, over the age of 18, and have lived in New Zealand continuously for 12 months or more at least once in your lifetime.

When to vote

Voting starts on 3 October at advanced voting locations. Election day – the last day of voting – is on 17 October.

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

Where to vote

Voting places are open across the country and you can vote at any voting place. 

You can find voting places near you on this map of voting places or this list of voting places.

It’s easier to vote at a voting place near where you live, but you can vote at any voting place.

How to vote

Vote in person

You can vote in person at a voting place. Voting places are open across the country and you can vote at any voting place. 

You can find voting places near you on this map of voting places or this list of voting places.

It’s easier to vote at a voting place near where you live, but you can vote at any voting place.

Vote by post

If you are unable to go to a voting place, you can  apply for postal voting by calling  the Electoral Commission on 0800 36 76 56.

Vote from overseas

You can vote from overseas by downloading and uploading voting papers, by post, or at an overseas voting place.

You can find information about voting from overseas at the Vote.nz website.

Made possible by

With support from

Labour-Party
National-Party
Green-Party
ACT-Party
NZ-First
The-Opportunities-Party
New-Conservative
Social-Credit
Aotearoa-Legalise-Cannabis
Māori-Party
Outdoors-Party
Vision-NZ
Sustainable-New-Zealand
One-Party
TEA-Party
Heartland-New-Zealand
Advance-New-Zealand
borders-and-migration
community-and-inclusion
defence-and-foreign-affairs
economy
education
environment
health
housing
incomes-and-employment
law-justice-and-government
media-culture-and-recreation
te-ao-maori
transport-and-infrastructure