Note to readers: information in this article is from the Electoral Commission. The term ‘partially blind’ is used. This includes and | or refers to people who identify as low vision, deafblind or vision- impaired. The Electoral Commission must use the term ‘partially blind’ because that is how the criteria is referred to in legislation.
Telephone Dictation Voting in the 2023 General Election started on Wednesday 27 September. It ends at 7pm (NZ time) on election day, Saturday 14 October.
If you’re unable to mark your voting paper without assistance you may be able to cast a secret vote by telephone dictation.
Who is eligible for telephone dictation voting?
Anyone who is enrolled to vote and is blind, partially blind or has a physical disability that prevents them from marking their voting paper without assistance is eligible to vote by Telephone Dictation at the 2023 General Election.
If you live overseas or are overseas temporarily, you will also need to be one of the following:
- NZ Citizen who has visited NZ within the last 6 years;
- Permanent Resident of NZ who has visited within the last 4 years
- A Public Servant, Member of the NZ Defence Force or a family member who is travelling with them. For more information on eligibility to vote from overseas visit Enrol from overseas | Vote NZ (or https://tinyurl.com/367rsfup)
Register to vote by telephone dictation
If you’re eligible and would like to vote by Telephone Dictation, then you need to register before you vote. You can call to register from Monday to Saturday from 9am (NZ time) until 7pm (NZ time). Registration opened on Monday, 11 September and closes at noon (NZ time) Saturday 14 October. To register you call:
- 0800 028 028 from within NZ or
- +64 4 471 2000 from overseas. Please note international calling rates may apply.
When you call to register you need to select option 1. If you haven’t registered by noon (NZ time) Saturday 14 October, you won’t be able to vote using Telephone Dictation this time, However, you can still vote:
- In New Zealand at any voting place from Monday 2 October until 7pm on election day, Saturday 14 October.
- From overseas, by downloading and uploading your voting papers from vote.nz/overseas by 7pm (NZ time) Saturday 14 October.
When you register for Telephone Dictation Voting you will be asked to choose a secret question and answer which only you know. You can choose from one of three secret questions:
- The name of your first primary school.
- The name of your first pet.
- The name of the street where you grew up.
You will be given a personal registration number once you have registered. Your registration number can be sent to you by email, text message, given to you over the phone, or someone can call you back. Make sure you’re ready to record your personal registration number if you want to receive it over the phone.
Your registration number and secret question are used to confirm that you’re already registered when you call back to vote without giving your name to the electoral official. Please don’t tell anyone your secret question or the answer to it until you call back to vote.
You’ll need to know your registration number and the answer to your secret question when you call back to vote.
How to vote by telephone dictation
If you’re registered to vote by Telephone Dictation, you can vote from Wednesday 27 September by calling:
- 0800 028 028 from within New Zealand; or
- +64 4 471 2000 from overseas. Please note international call rates may apply.
When you call to cast your vote, you will need to select option 2.
Once you’re connected to an electoral official you will be asked to provide your registration number. Do not give your name to the electoral official – they won’t know your identity and your vote is secret. The electoral official will then ask you to answer the secret question you selected when registering.
The electoral official will read out a list of the political parties and the names of each candidate standing in your electorate. They will mark your voting paper according to your instructions.
A second electoral official will confirm that the voting papers have been marked according to your instructions.
You can phone to cast your vote from Wednesday 27 September, Monday to Saturday from 9am to 7pm (NZ time) until Saturday 14 October. Your last chance to vote is on election day, Saturday 14 October from 9am to 7pm (NZ time).
Enrol to vote
You must be enrolled to make your vote count.
Information about enrolling to vote for disabled people is available at vote.nz or Freephone 0800 36 76 56.
When you register to vote for the Telephone Dictation service, the electoral official can help with questions about enrolling or enrol you to vote.