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Jump In Youth Voting

Press Release – Electoral Commission

There was a big increase in the number of young people turning out to vote at the 2020 General Election. This election we saw more people enrolling across the general and Mori rolls and more people voting, says Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright. …

There was a big increase in the number of young people turning out to vote at the 2020 General Election.

“This election we saw more people enrolling across the general and Māori rolls and more people voting,” says Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright.

Official turnout including all votes was 82.2%, the highest since 1999, and the final enrolment rate was 94.1%, the highest since 2008.

“An age breakdown released today on www.elections.nz shows the biggest gains in turnout in the younger age groups,” says Alicia Wright.

“The younger people are when they start voting, the more likely they are to be voters for life, which is important if we are to continue to have high participation rates in future elections.”

For the 18 to 24-year-old age group:

  • 43,293 more voted this election.
  • Since 2014, the turnout of enrolled voters in this age group has increased 15.3% (attachment A).
Numbers of people voting broken down by age
  2017 2020 Increase % change
18 – 24 230,783 274,076 43,293 18.8%
25 – 29 183,209 217,515 34,306 18.7%
30 – 34 191,438 230,991 39,553 20.7%
35 – 39 200,650  228,369  27,719 13.8%
40 – 44 217,663  225,982  8,319 3.8%
45 – 49 248,192  253,916  5,724 2.3%
50 – 54 248,967  261,133  12,166 4.9%
55 – 59 251,537  268,894  17,357 6.9%
60 – 64 222,242  248,906  26,664 12.0%
65 – 69 201,523  216,666  15,143 7.5%
70+ 409,650  468,038  58,388 14.3%

Alicia Wright says there were also significant increases in the numbers of Māori enrolling and voting this election.

  • There were 58,674 more voters of Māori descent enrolled on the Māori and general rolls.
  • The number of Māori voters increased by 51,326.
  Total enrolled Voter numbers
2017 2020 % growth in enrolment numbers 2017 2020 % growth in voter numbers
Non-Māori descent 2,821,211 3,014,108 6.8% 2,266,874 2,504,180 10.5%
Māori descent 476,798 535,472 12.3% 338,980 390,306 15.1%
All voters 3,298,009 3,549,580 7.6% 2,605,854 2,894,486 11.1%

Figures

The breakdown of turnout by age and Māori descent for each electorate for the 2020 election is available online at https://elections.nz/stats-and-research/2020-general-election-voter-turnout-statistics/.

Tables in the attached document show the turnout by age as a proportion of eligible and enrolled voters, turnout compared with recent elections, and Māori enrolment and turnout.

More detailed statistics from the 2020 General Election, including votes taken in each voting place and special vote statistics, are also available online at www.electionresults.govt.nz.

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