Election 2014

25 Nov 2011

Voters prepare to go to the polls

8:22 pm on 25 November 2011

More than 2600 polling places will open at 9am on Saturday as voting begins in the 2011 general election and the referendum on New Zealand's voting system.

Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden says it is more important than ever this year for people to have their say.

"Not only will we be voting for the politicians who will represent us in Parliament, we'll also be voting for the system we use to elect them in the future," he said.

Anyone enrolled by midnight on Friday can vote.

People working on Saturday, who haven't had a reasonable opportunity to vote on election day before starting work, must be allowed to leave no later than 3pm to vote.

Under electoral law, an employer isn't allowed to deduct the staff member's pay for that time.

Electoral law also says all hoardings must have been put away and no advertising of candidates, parties or their policies is allowed.

The Electoral Commission says the busiest time is at polling places is usually 9am - 11am.

The 2655 polling places stay open until 7pm on Saturday.