May 26, 2014
Mahuta keen on compulsory voting
Labour’s Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta is keen to see discussion of compulsory voting.
Voter turnout has fallen over the past three decades from 89 percent in 1981 to 69 percent in 2011, with Maori rates even lower.
Chief electoral officer Robert Peden compulsory voting is not the silver bullet for electoral participation but it needs to be looked at.
In Australia where voting is compulsory, enrolment is lower than in New Zealand and there are more spoiled voting papers.
Ms Mahuta says too many people take their right to vote for granted.
"Look at the world around, people who fight to exercise their right to vote and how complacent we are here in New Zealand – we just can't be. And at a time when our demographics are changing in New Zealand, Maori can ill-afford not to participate in the voting process," she says.
Nanaia Mahuta says the number of younger candidates it has like Tamati Coffey in Rotorua should help encourage younger people to vote, and Labour will also target first time voters with some edgy policies.
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