THE Opotiki District Council is encouraging voters to make sure their voting papers are returned in the post by Saturday.

This is to ensure they are received before voting closes at noon on October 12.

“After Saturday, October 5, we recommend voting papers are dropped in to the ballot box at our office at 108 St John Street.

“We want to make sure all eligible votes are received in time to be counted,” said chief executive Aileen Lawrie.

“Each business day during the voting period we’re posting the voting stats on our website.

“As at October 1, returned votes are up over 4 percent on the 2016 returns for the same period.

“This is great news for democracy in our district and we hope the numbers continue to rise.

The things council does affects voter’s daily lives so it’s important they have their say on what matters to them by voting,” said Ms Lawrie.

As of October 1, council statistics showed that 22.64 percent of the district’s 5741 enrolled residents had placed their vote.

In the 2016 election, there was a 41.8 percent rate of voter participation.

Electoral rolls have now closed but people can still enrol to vote, or check and update their details at vote.nz or by phoning 0800 36 76 56.

Once this is done, they can go to the council office and cast a special vote.

“With keen interest in this triennium’s elections, voters and candidates may wish to download the Antenno app to receive an alert directly to their phone when results start going up on our website,” said Ms Lawrie.

“We are hoping initial results will be loaded a few hours after voting closes on October 12 and we expect preliminary results to be online on Sunday, October 13.”