Westland enrolments at lowest level

By Janna Sherman
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Westland is lagging in enrolment numbers for the September general election with the lowest turn out of voters so far in the West Coast-Tasman electorate.
Estimates of the number of voters needing to enrol are based on population statistics from 2013 census data.
Of the 3298 eligible people still to register 1242, or 38% are from the Westland district.
West-Coast-Tasman registrar of electors Sue Gage said the main lag was in potential voters under the age of 35 with those in the 18-24 year age bracket the least enrolled.
About 260 Westland people in the age group are still being sought.
Across the electorate it is 933, statistics show.
Mrs Gage said the importance of enrolling was highlighted to Westland High School students during her visit this week.
“The most often heard excuse for not voting in an election is ‘my little voice won’t make a difference’. Yet, history is full of instances probing the enormous power of one single vote,” she said.
“In many cases the course of nations has been changed because one individual ballot was cast.
“In 1917 one vote placed King George I on the throne of England and restored the monarchy”.
Former United States presidents Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Rutherford Hayes also all got through by a margin of one vote, Mrs Gage said.
“One vote does make a difference and if your not on the roll you can’t vote.”
The cut-off date to get on the election roll is August 20.
Mrs Gage said people could register on-line.
However, they needed to be sure to complete the enrolment process by printing out the form, signing it and sending it back.
Electorate-wide 93.27% of an estimated 49,020 eligible voters have enrolled to have their say on the September 20 election.