With far too many annoyances, disasters and controversy, 2020 continues to be the year that no one wanted. Lockdowns, a punch to the economy, death, fires, a moratorium on hugging, and every other social restriction, has crowned COVID 19 as king of this year’s Bad Times Ball. 

Election Update 

After a 102 sweet days of sunshine and COVID freedom, a resurgence of a newly found community cluster of COVID 19 in the Auckland region has now forced our election to scramble to a new date. In accordance with the powers of the New Zealand Prime Minister, this week Jacinda announced that the general election will be postponed by one month. The new elections are scheduled for October 17th. As usual, it’s a Saturday, so set a sticky note on the fridge or a reminder in your phone.

2020 Cannabis Referendum Update

Along with the general election, the referendum on legal cannabis for recreational use and legalising euthanasia will also be delayed. Both sides of the cannabis debate believe it will benefit their side. Bob McCoskrie from conservative Family First is on a national tour to “no” votes on both referendums and believes that more time will benefit the “no” campaigns. Cannabis advocate and Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick told scoop.co.nz

“There’s just greater opportunity to have those conversations with people and in my experience, unless you’re approaching somebody who is not all too willing to open themselves up to the evidence, most people do end up coming around to the fact that a more sensible control and regulation of cannabis makes far more sense than the status quo that we’ve got.”

Who can Vote and How? 

New Zealand law requires that you must be over 18, a permanent resident and lived in New Zealand for more than 1 year continuously in your life to vote. Sorry, but there won’t be any mail in voting, all voting must be done in person on Saturday October 17th. Currently, the election commission is making plans to carry out voting as if the whole country is in Level 2, meaning social distancing, contact tracing and the sweet smell of hand sanitizer. For vulnerable populations or those unable to vote in person, special permissions are granted for “takeaway voting”. 

Hopefully, you’re already enrolled! Set that iCal reminder for October 31st and let your vote be heard. 

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