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Delayed election sees 5000 more young people eligible to vote

About 5000 more nearly 18-year-olds are now eligible to vote after the election date was delayed to October 17, according to Stats NZ.

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Pushing the election out a month give political parties more potential voters to reach. Source: 1 NEWS

It’s prompted a range of reactions from students at Katikati College near Tauranga. 

Student Rylee Jeffrey, who is turning 18 on election day, said she was “pretty nervous” about having to make a choice.

“It's a big decision that I'm going to have to make,” she said.

She said politicians could do more to relate their policies to the younger generation “because a lot of it is to do with the older generation”. 

Student Taine Horgan said he wanted to see political parties take “a little more initiative” to reach out to younger people.

“Everyone's focused on the politicians themselves rather than the parties."

Uncertainty for youth vote, as fewer young people enrolled to vote so far this election

Alexia Munro, another student at the college, said schools should be upping their civics education.

Katikati College dean Angus Donaldson said students needed to learn how to tell the difference between reliable and misleading information. 

But the students had the same message to their peers: “Have your say.”

Meanwhile, nearly 3000 people are expected to die in the month-long window of the election's delay. 

Wellington teen 'freaked out' on hearing she can now vote at this year's delayed election

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the election would be moved from September 19 to October 17.

Ms Ardern said an election needed to be based on participation of voters and ability of the electoral commission to ensure all groups can participate safely, the ability to have a fair election and "certainty, and ultimately the need for an election to be held in a timely way". 

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Jacinda Ardern made the announcement after days of uncertainty amid the Auckland Covid-19 outbreak. Source: 1 NEWS

"It is clear the re-emergence of Covid in Auckland.. is cause for concern," she said. 

New Zealand First, National and ACT all asked for the election to be postponed.