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Vote here ... Manager Anne Hore outside Oamaru's advance voting base in Thames St. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

Can’t make it to a polling booth on September 23 to vote in this year’s general election? Don’t fret.

Oamaru’s sole advance voting base opened on Monday at the former Omru Blue building at 34 Thames St, between Bracken’s Print and The Roost Cafe, and will be open until September 22.

Manager Anne Hore said anyone could come and vote before election day on Saturday, September 23.

While many voted early if they were going to be overseas on polling day, she said it was often convenient for the elderly or disabled to also vote ahead of time as they did not necessarily have the ability to make a special trip at the weekend.

“They don’t need to have a reason. If they want to come in, they can just pop in and do it, instead of someone having to bring them in at the weekend.

“It’s a personal thing for everyone . it’s just so convenient.”

The last time the nation went to the polls, in 2014, about 30% of voters in the Waitaki electorate cast an early vote.

This time, it was expected to increase to 50%, Mrs Hore said.

The advance voting base is not open on polling day.

Meanwhile, a new requirement has been introduced for the election.

Before people cast their votes, they are required to speak their name to the election staff member, who will then repeat it.

“It’s a legal requirement now,” Mrs Hore said.

“But if people can’t speak, they can indicate using their voting card. We’re not the police – we’re just making sure we are meeting all the requirements. The only thing is we repeat their name back to them .. in case we get scrutineers come in.”

Advance voting in Oamaru is open from 10am to 4pm each weekday until September 22 and from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, September 16.