GET READY AND VOTE FACILITATION GUIDE General Election and Referendum on the Voting System.

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1 2011 General Election and Referendum on the Voting System GET READY AND VOTE FACILITATION GUIDE Electoral Commission PO Box 3220 Wellington

2 USE THIS BOOKLET TO HELP YOU TALK ABOUT THE GET READY AND VOTE DVD WHO IS THIS PACK FOR? This pack is for people with disabilities, their families and carers. It supports the DVD which looks at: why it is important for people with a disability to vote how voting works how to enrol to vote how to vote on election day HOW TO USE THIS KIT Set a time to watch the Get Ready and Vote DVD with your family or group. Before you start you will need these things: DVD player Get Ready and Vote DVD and facilitation guide Black or blue pen for filling in forms Electoral enrolment forms This booklet has discussion points and support notes to help your group use this resource.

3 CONTENTS Part 1 What is government? 4 Part 2 Who can vote? 6 Part 3 Enrolling to vote 8 Part 4 Make a plan for voting 10 Part 5 What are we voting for? 12 Part 6 Election day 14 Centre Pullout Election plan This kit was produced by the Electoral Commission, PO Box 3220, Wellington, New Zealand, developed with the input and support of IHC and Idea Services. Thanks also to the Victorian Electoral Commission for sharing their facilitation guide with us.

4 WHAT IS GOVERNMENT? PART 1 Watch Part 1 of the DVD. Starter questions for discussion What are some of the issues that affect you in your community? Who makes the decisions about the issues that affect you?

5 SUPPORT NOTES PART 1 In New Zealand we elect people to make decisions on our behalf. This is called a representative democracy. We vote for the political party we think should lead the country, and for a local person to represent our community. In New Zealand there are different levels of government. Each level is responsible for different services in our community, for example: Community Board/City Council Council housing Local roads and streetlights Playgrounds and local parks Regional Council/District Council Public transport Regional parks, rivers and beaches Water management Central Government Education Health care Benefits and social welfare Employment

6 WHO CAN VOTE? PART 2 Watch Part 2 of the DVD. Starter questions for discussion Who can vote? Why is it important to vote? Who in our group has voted before? The next New Zealand General Election will be on Saturday 26 November, What do we need to know to vote in this election?

7 SUPPORT NOTES PART 2 If you want to have a say about the different issues in our community - and are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident aged 18 years or older - you should enrol and vote, regardless of whether or not you have a disability. If you need help to fill in an enrolment form or a voting paper you can take a friend or relative to help, or you can ask for help from an election official.

8 ENROLLING TO VOTE PART 3 Watch Part 3 of the DVD. Starter questions for discussion What is the electoral roll? How do you enrol to vote? Is any one in our group enrolled to vote? If anyone would like to enrol to vote - fill out the forms provided. Do it now so you don t forget! You can check if you are enrolled by visiting

9 SUPPORT NOTES PART 3 The electoral roll is a list of people who can vote in an election. You must enrol to vote if: you are 18 years or older, you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and, you have lived in New Zealand for one year or more without leaving the country. Can someone help me fill in the form? Yes, you can ask someone to help you. They should read out everything on the form so you understand what you are signing. What if I am unable to sign the form? If you are physically unable to sign the form, someone can sign it on your behalf.. That person must be: someone to whom you have granted power of attorney, or someone who is already enrolled as a voter, and who says on the form that the form is being signed and returned on your direction. The person signing the form must also say on the form that you are physically disabled. If the application is for a person who is unable to understand the form or the process, then someone else may be able to apply for them. Call for details. Will I be fined if I have not enrolled in the past? No. Enrolment is compulsory but you will not be fined if you have never enrolled to vote before now. All forms are available: From By calling

10 MAKE A PLAN FOR VOTING PART 4 Watch Part 4 of the DVD. Starter questions for discussion What do the people in the DVD say about going to vote? What do we need to learn before we go? On your election plan, fill out how you will vote in the election and how you will find out who to vote for. If you live or work in a residential care facility, write the election date in the house diary.

11 SUPPORT NOTES PART 4 Here are the different ways you can vote in 2011 General Election on Saturday 26 November: At a polling place on election day About a week before election day you will receive an EasyVote pack which lists the polling places in your area. It also lists which polling places have wheelchair access. Polling places are open between 9:00am and 7:00pm on Saturday 26 November. At an advance voting facility If you can t get to a polling place on election day, you can vote in advance. Advance voting facilities are open from 9 November 24 November. Opening hours and locations will be available from or from 2 November. If you can t get to a polling place If you are unable to get to a polling place because of special circumstances you may apply to cast a special declaration vote. Special declaration voting papers are available from Returning Officers from Wednesday 9 November until election day. Before election day you can: complete and post the application for special declaration voting papers to your returning officer, or ask someone else to complete the application for special declaration voting papers and take it to your returning officer or advance voting place; or apply by fax, or telephone to your returning officer. On election day you can ask another person to apply to collect your voting papers for you from a polling place.

12 WHAT ARE WE VOTING FOR? PART 5 Watch Part 5 of the DVD. Starter questions for discussion How do we choose the politicians who will represent us? How do we find out who the candidates are and what they stand for? What else are we voting for this year?

13 SUPPORT NOTES PART 5 Voting in the General Election MMP is the system we currently use to elect our Parliament. Each voter has a party vote and an electorate vote. Your party vote is for the political party you choose. This vote largely decides the total number of seats each political party gets in Parliament. Your electorate vote is to choose the MP you want to represent the electorate you live in. The candidate who gets the most votes wins. Find out more about the General Election and Referendum on our Voting System at Voting in the Referendum on the Voting System There s a Referendum taking place at the same time as the 2011 General Election. The Referendum gives you the chance to have your say on the voting system you d like to use to elect our Parliaments in the future. You will be asked two questions: The first question asks whether you want to keep MMP (which is the voting system we use at the moment) or whether you want to change to another voting system. The second question asks which of four other voting systems you would choose if New Zealand decides to change from MMP. When you go to vote, you ll be given your two papers. If you only want to complete the orange Parliamentary paper, that s ok. Put the blank purple Referendum paper in the purple ballot box. If you want to vote in the first Referendum question, but don t know what to choose in the second question, that s ok too. Your first vote will still count. Find out more about the Referendum and the options at

14 ELECTION DAY PART 6 Watch Part 6 of the DVD. Starter questions for discussion What information should you take with you when you vote? What happens when you go to a polling place? How do you fill out the ballot papers? When you vote can you ask for help? Can you take someone to the polling place with you?

15 SUPPORT NOTES PART 6 EasyVote pack Enrol by 26 October and your personalised EasyVote pack will be sent to you about a week before election day. The pack has all the information you need to vote. It includes a list of parties and people to choose from, and a list of where to go to vote. It also tells you more about the Referendum on the Voting System. It will also include your personalised EasyVote Card, which shows your name, electorate and where your name is on the electoral roll. To make voting easier, take your EasyVote card with you. If you do not have your EasyVote card, you can still vote. Tell the officials your name and address, and they will give you your voting papers. If you are not voting near where you live, or if your name is not on the electoral roll at the polling place, you will need to fill in another form. Tell someone at the polling place. They will show you what to do. Can I take a support person? Yes. You can take someone with you to the polling place to help you fill in the voting papers. Remember, no one should tell you who you should vote for. It is up to you.

16 HOW TO CONTACT US You can get more information from the Electoral Commission. Website: Postal address: Electoral Commission PO Box 3220, Wellington 6140 Phone:

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