Advance votes total 1.2 million, smashing record
Advance voting continued to accelerate on Friday, with 253,000 hitting booths (see charts below).
Last election, 717,579 (or 29.7% of registered voters) cast an advance vote, more than double 2011. This year, participation was helped by more booths (485 vs 295 in 2014) and more in public places
But despite the heavier participation overall, the under-30s continue to lag their (poor) participation in 2014. See the latest enrolment stats below.
A spokeswoman says counting of advance votes will begin from 9am on Election Day, with totals not revealed until after polling places close at 7pm.
The increase in advance voting means New Zealand should get a good handle on the state of the parties soon after 7pm.
It also means the Election Day ban on political advertising is increasingly redundant.
Although early voting is heavy overall, new statistics from the commission show the under-30s continue to slack.
That has to be of concern to Labour and the Greens, given polls from Horizon and others show young people disproportionately support the challenger parties. According to Horizon's numbers, 52% of those aged 18-24 support Labour vs 25% for National.
Of 25 to 29-year-olds, only 76.79% are enrolled this time around, vs 81.82% by election day 2014.
Anecdotal evidence pointed to a possible last-minute youth-surge on Thursday and Friday, with some enrolling as they voted. But final statistics won't be known until special votes are counted. Special vote counting starts on Sunday and can take up to 10 days.
While the under-30s slacked, enrolment has again been high in older age brackets, which heavily skew toward National.
Overall, 91.10% of the eligible voting population was enrolled by September 22, slightly down on election day 2014 (92.6%).
Enrolment to Sept 22, 2017
Enrollment to Election Day, 2014
Source: Electoral Commission. Advance voting surges ahead of 2014