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With days left to go, early voting for 2020 election surpasses all early votes in 2017

More than 1.28 million people have voted, the latest advance voting statistics show, as election day nears. 

A ballot box at a voting station. Source: 1 NEWS

It means more advance votes have been cast so far in the 2020 election than the 1.24 million who voted early in 2017. 

There is still four days left of early voting before the election on Saturday. 

Yesterday, 124,713 votes were cast, bringing New Zealand's total to 1,282,478. 

Voting over the weekend saw 453,426 people cast their vote. 

It comes as most party leaders and the Electoral Commission have pushed early voting amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

NZ First leader Winston Peters, however, urged voters to hold off until election day, saying "only a fool tests the water with both feet".

"Know all the facts first," he added.

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Chief electoral officer Alicia Wright says it will keep queues short and help with social distancing. Source: Breakfast

On October 2, the Electoral Commission urged people to "vote early and vote local" this year to help with social distancing. 

Chief electoral officer Alicia Wright told TVNZ1's Breakfast voting early in the General Election was "the right thing to do".