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Election turnout

East Coast numbers lower than national average.

More young people and Maori voted in last year's General Election — but not in the East Coast electorate.

Electoral Commission figures just released show a large increase in the number of young people and Maori voting but East Coast voter turnout in both categories was below the national average.

“An age breakdown shows the biggest gains in turnout was in the younger age groups,” says chief electoral officer Alicia Wright.

Commission figures show 43,293 more people in the 18 to 24-year-old age group voted in the general election.

“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,” said Ms Wright.

Commission figures show 51,326 more Maori voted compared to the 2017 General Election, an increase of 15.1 percent compared to an increase for non-Maori of 11.1 percent.

Across the country, voter turnout from 2017 to 2020 increased in the 18 to 24 age group by 18.8 percent, in the 24 to 29 age group by 18.7 percent and by 20.7 percent in the 30 to 34 age group.

But voter turnout in those age groups in East Coast was lower than the national average, and significantly so in the 18 to 24 age group.

Of East Coast's youngest registered voters, only 67.74 percent cast a ballot compared to the national average of 78.02.

In the 25 to 29 age group, 68.94 percent of East Coast electors voted compared to a national average of 74.38.

In the 29 to 34 age group, 70.43 percent of East Coast electors voted compared to the average of 74.51 percent.

Older East Coast age groups voted at a similar rate to the rest of the nation with the electorate's two oldest age groups showing a higher voter turnout than the national average.

Those aged between 65 and 69 recorded a voter turnout of 89.8 percent compared to a national average of 89.14 while those aged 70 plus recorded a turnout of 87.38 compared to a national average of 86.83.

East Coast Maori electors trailed the national average with the 25 to 29 age group showing the lowest turnout of only 59.50 percent compared to a national average of 65.67 percent.

Only in the 55 to 59 age group (79.22 percent to 78.61 percent) and 66-69 age group (83.79 percent to 83.54) did East Coast Maori electors vote at a level higher than the national average.

Total turnout across the entire East Coast electorate was 81.54 percent which is just below the national turnout of 82.2 percent, the highest national voter turnout since 1999.