It’s almost time to vote!

Over 7,500 Buller voters will be able to cast their votes in the 2013 local authority elections from this Friday, 20 September.

From that day, voting papers will be mailed to all electors who were registered on the electoral roll as at 16 August, with all papers expected to be delivered by Wednesday 25 September.

People who have not received papers by then should contact the Electoral Officer at the Buller District Council.

The voting papers will use both the Single Transferable Voting (STV) and the First Past the Post (FPP) voting systems.

The West Coast District Health Board election will use the STV voting system to elect its members.  For these elections voters are required to rank the candidates they want to vote for in order of preference (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, etc).

The Health Board have also decided that the candidates’ names on the voting paper for this issue will be arranged randomly (computer generated), so that it will be very rare if any two papers list the candidates in the same order.

In fact, the odds of this happening are almost 40 million to one, and with something like only 24,000 electors through the whole Coast, it would be a very rare occurrence to have two papers alike.

The remaining issues (Mayor, District Council, Regional Council, and Development Trust) will be using the FPP system.  For the FPP system voters are required to put a tick alongside the candidate/s they wish to vote for.

The candidates for the District Council – Mayor and the district wards – as well as the Development Trust have been drawn pseudo-randomly, while the Regional Council have elected to have its candidates in alphabetical order.

It should also be noted that there will be no elections for the Inangahua ward of the Council, or for the Inangahua Community Board, since the number of candidates in these issues matched the number required.

Even though, as stated above, the electoral roll closed 5 weeks ago, persons who are eligible may still enrol, by filling out the appropriate form available from Post Shops or the Council office, or online at www.elections.org.nz.

Once this has been completed, these persons can then apply for special voting papers from the Council.

The last day to enrol is Friday 11 October.

Election day is Saturday 12 October with the close off time of 12 midday.  Voting papers must be with the Electoral Officer by this time, to be included in the count.

This means that it would be in interests of the voters, especially if posting back the voting papers, to ensure that these are lodged with NZ Post early enough to reach the Council by the deadline.