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Make it count! . . . Waitaki District Council returning officers David Blair and Carole Hansen urge everyone to vote by by noon tomorrow. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

If you have not voted in the local government elections, you still have time.

Tomorrow is the last chance for Waitaki residents to have a say in who runs their district and regional councils, health board, and licensing trust for the next three years.

Voting closes at noon tomorrow.

It is too late to mail your voting paper, but you can take it to the ballot box in the foyer of the Waitaki District Council headquarters in Thames St, Oamaru, or make a special vote there until closing time.

Palmerston people can place their votes in the ballot box at the Waihemo Service Centre until 3pm today. Council staff will be there from 1pm to 3pm to allow residents to cast special votes.

It takes 10 to 15 minutes to make a special vote, Waitaki electoral official David Blair said.

The Waitaki District Council’s caravan, dubbed Wanda, will be parked at its headquarters tomorrow and a sausage sizzle will help to lure in last-minute voters.

A total of 50.7% of eligible voters exercised their right in 2016, giving Waitaki the seventh-highest voter turnout in New Zealand.

At 6.27pm on Tuesday, 41.80% of eligible votes, from 6606 people, had been received. At the same point in the previous election in 2016, 42.96% of votes were in.

The Oamaru ward was in the lead so far – 4310 votes, representing 42.64% of voters, have been received.

The Waihemo ward had reached 41.16%, thanks to 694 voters.

In the Corriedale ward, 40.64% of votes have come in, from 1175 people.

The Ahuriri ward lagged behind on 38.23%, from 427 voters.

Mr Blair said it appeared the overall turnout was likely to be about 50% again this year.

Councils, the New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers and the Electoral Commission were always trying to figure out ways of encouraging more people to vote, he said.

Electronic voting had been discussed as a future prospect, but research showed it did not improve the statistics, Mr Blair said.

“Only those interested in voting are going to vote.”

Today is the last day to enrol to vote, by going online to vote.nz/enrol-to-vote/ or phoning 0800 36 76 56.