In other words, they play a significant role in citizens’ daily lives.
But, as is the challenge in many local elections, voter turnout has been low, especially among the district’s younger residents.
To combat this in its 2019 election, the New Plymouth District Council launched a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging people to vote.
Ballot boxes were placed around the district — at libraries, art galleries, supermarkets, and more. These were available from September 20 until voting closed at noon on October 12.
But parking and making the trip into a building to drop off a ballot adds extra steps. To make voting easier for those on the go, the city set up a drive-through voting booth near the civic center. This was available on National Vote Day (October 5) as well as on the final day of voting (October 12). Those who used the drive-through to drop off ballots were treated to free ice cream, aka “Vote Cones.”
Other efforts to boost participation among younger demographics included free ice cream, (aka “Vote Cones"), a Vote Day skateboarding contest at a skatepark (where a vote box was placed), and a $30,000 marketing campaign featuring a 💩 emoji encouraging people to “give a s**t, vote today.”