Flag referendum could top 2M votes

Flag referendum could top 2M votes

The second referendum on the New Zealand flag looks like it'll top 2 million votes, with only days to go until the result is known.

As of yesterday, 1,901,599 votes have been received eclipsing the first flag referendum and also putting it on track to be one of the most successful postal votes in New Zealand.  

The figure so far represents 60.2 percent of enrolled voters. In contrast, the first referendum which picked the alternative flag, had a 48.78 percent return rate.

Yesterday was the last day voters could send back their forms to guarantee their choice will arrive in time to be counted.

However, Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden says people can still take their forms to the PostShop before close of business on Thursday.

Replacement voting forms can no longer be issued and the commission is urging people not to leave their voting until the last minute.  

A government-initiated postal vote in 1997 on a compulsory retirement savings scheme which had an 80.3 percent return rate, with the vast majority voting against it, according to the Electoral Commission.

Preliminary results for the second and binding flag referendum will be known on Thursday night, with the official result announced on March 30.