25 July 2011
Are you a Permanent Resident / Citizen? Then register to vote
When we became Permanent Residents, one question I had was if we needed to register as votes, of if we already had the right to vote at all. It did not seem important at that time, so I sort of forgot about it. And then I received a letter from Elections NZ indicating that it is a legal requirement to be a registered voter, and that I should enrol.
So enrol I did.
It was a seriously easy task, especially with the enrolment process done online. All you need to do is enter your name, address, contact information, and answer a couple of questions on your residency. They require that you sign the form, however, but this is made convenient by producing a printable PDF with the entries you made typed in already. So all you need to do is sign the form then send it back by post (fee of charge within NZ), fax (wow, haven't made a fax for years!), or by email (which I did).
Is there a penalty for not registering? Yes.
To quote the statement in the PDF: "It is an offence not to enrol if you are qualified to do so. People who are convicted of the offence, face a fine of up to $100 for a conviction, and up to $200 for a further conviction."
I would rather spend my $100 dollars in something other than a penalty! You may also register now and treat me to a bottle of beer for saving you a hundred bucks! So be quick and register. Visit the website at elections.org.nz