Voting by post too hard for youth - study

A University of Otago researcher says one barrier to voting for some youth is not understanding the postal system. 

Nearly half of all young voters think it's too hard, according to Kyle Whitfield's study.

"Forty-five percent said that postal voting wasn't easy or straightforward," he told Newshub.

And a majority of 18 to 24-year-olds - 84 percent - would like an electronic option. 

"Having a combined or dual system - one where there's e-voting and postal voting - I actually think it would encourage people to vote," said Whitfield.

"It needs to be well-tested so there are no flaws, or people can't hack into it."

His research also suggested it's a myth that young people have little interest in voting, with 60 percent of those surveyed planning to have their say.

But Whitfield says having such little information on candidates is stopping some people from voting. 

"The statistics show that councils, the Electoral Commission or officialdom should be including more information," he told RNZ. "Currently, the word count for the candidate information booklets is 150 words. This is very inadequate."

While fewer than half of all eligible voters even bother in local government elections, only about a third of people under 24 take part.