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Monday, July 03, 2017

Voter registration and change


The video above is the latest commercial from the Electoral Commission and tells people that, “If you haven't received your enrolment update pack for this year's General Election, you need to enrol now.” It's an important message, and an update to one of my earlier posts.

Last Friday, I shared the previous commercial, about those enrolment update packs, as part of my month-end Internet Wading post for June. In reply to that post, Roger Green asked:
Do you have to do a change of address for the elections? You seem to be in a different district.
Yes, whenever people move within New Zealand, even if it's within the same electorate, they need to update their enrolment details, so we had to do that, too. We were able to do that as part of signing up for our mail forwarding with New Zealand Post, and we were sent forms to sign and post pack (about which, more in a minute). Being busy with the aftermath of the move, we kind of forgot, and then we later got a reminder letter giving us a further 14 days, after which we'd need to re-register.

So, we immediately sent the signed reminder forms back, but we didn't get enrolment reminder packs in the post—were we registered or not? On Saturday, I used the Elections website to verify my registration, and the change had been noted, along with an indication that I'll get a confirmation letter in the post. So, I don't have to re-register. One less thing to do!

Anyone who isn't registered for whatever reason can begin the process online, but they need to print out the form, sign it, and post it back—unless: The government set up an identity verification system called Real Me (which I wrote about back in 2012 when it was announced) that allows people to do a number of things online (mostly relating to the government) without having to to the print/post dance. But, one has to be signed-up in advance, and I'm not (yet).

So, yes, people who move have to update their address, we did, and even though we didn't get enrolment update packs, we're registered. But this experience has reminded me of the usefulness of being registered for RealMe, something that will probably pop up again in future posts.

The important thing for right now, though, is that we can—and will—vote in the General Election in September.

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