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Cyclists vote early to begin their own race

Nov 24th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News

THE Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge isn’t letting a little thing like a General Election get in its way.

More than 9000 people have enrolled to compete, with around 25,000 extra people expected to show up in Taupo for the event on Saturday.

Reminders were sent out to participants via e-newsletters, media releases, and Facebook messages, urging them to cast a special vote before the race.

“We’ve worked closely with event organisers to ensure that all participants have received information on how to vote in advance, and encouragement to vote before they leave home,” says Anna Sutherland of the Electoral Commission.

Many competitors have made the effort to vote already, or are planning to do so before election day.

“I’m absolutely voting,” says competitor Jan Quin.

“Me, my brother and his girlfriend, we’re all racing and we’re all voting early.”

Jan was also reminded to vote at the Tour de Whiteman’s Valley prize ceremony, held earlier this month and says most participants have been told to cast an early vote.

“There’s almost 10,000 people doing the race, if each person brings at least one supporter, that’s a lot of potential votes,” she says.

Organisers say they were aware of the significance of the date and did not think it would impact enrolments.

“We expected a slight impact on entries due to elections however we felt the Rugby World Cup tournament was probably going to impact on our entries more, due to people spending their cash on RWC tickets instead,” says Samantha Farr, Media Director for the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.

The Electoral Commission have processed more than 140,000 advanced votes and have worked closely with the Taupo Cycle Challenge.

Extra voting facilities have also been made available in the Taupo area to coincide with the period people will be collecting registration packs on the day before the race.

“We’ve also provided five additional polling places in and around the race village, including a marquee to help cater for additional voters in the area, two additional polling places in the vicinity of the CBD to assist with additional race supporters and riders, and a new polling place at Motuoapa, one of the relay exchange points,” says Anna.

“Ideally, we’d like to remind people to vote before they leave home, as it’s quicker and easier to vote in your own electorate, in advance or on the day.”

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