You can now enrol to vote on election day

If you forget to join the electoral roll come election day, your vote will now still be counted. 

The Electoral Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament on Wednesday. It will allow people to enrol to vote and update their details on voting day itself.

Justice Minister Andrew Little says there won't be a repeat of 2017, when about 19,000 potential voters were disenfranchised on voting day as they weren't enrolled.

"Thousands more didn't have their votes counted because their details weren't up to date."

Voting booths in supermarkets and malls will be a new addition this year too, while changes to improve the efficiency and timeliness of overseas, postal and dictation voting are yet to come. 

"We've made it easier for New Zealanders to exercise their democratic right to vote," said Little.

National opposed the changes, MP Jo Hayes saying people had a "personal responsibility" to ensure they were enrolled ahead of time.

"If people get it into their heads to get enrolled before that, then there's increasing participation that way," she told Waatea News in February.

"For somebody to roll out of bed on the day of the election and think, 'I don't know if I'm enrolled or not?' - is that personal responsibility? I don't think it is."

MP Nick Smith also said letting people enrol on the day would see a 10-day delay in getting election results.

"It means for another 10 days elected representatives are twiddling their thumbs, not getting on with the business of running the country, while we wait for an election outcome," he told Parliament.

National also argued changes to the electoral system should be developed on a cross-party basis, MP Mark Mitchell saying their significant change - banning all prisoners from voting - as only affected "a very small part of our population".

ACT and independent MP Jami-Lee Ross also opposed the changes.

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