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Returning Kiwis in Covid-19 isolation facilities to vote by phone this election

Returning Kiwis will be able to vote by telephone while in managed isolation this election.

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The service will be available starting 5 October. Source: 1 NEWS

It is estimated up to 5000 people will be in managed isolation or quarantine during the October 17 election and referendum.

To enable returnees in the country’s 32 managed isolation facilities to vote safely, the Electoral Commission amended the electoral regulations last week to allow them to vote by telephone.

Arriving travellers will use dictation voting, which is an option usually only offered to those who are blind, living in remote locations overseas or aren’t able to physically mark their voting papers.

“We looked at a range of options, but all of them involved more contact with individuals in isolation because of Covid-19,” chief electoral officer Alicia Wright says.

“Dictation voting neatly avoids any contact risks.”

Wright says the service will be available from October 5 until the end of voting on election day.

Travellers will be able to use their mobile phones or a landline from their hotel rooms.