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South Canterbury residents are¬†encouraged to vote ahead of Saturday’s election if they are out of town for the long weekend, the Electoral Commission says.

More than 445,000 voters had cast their votes in advance across the country by Tuesday, chief electoral officer Alicia Wright said.

Advance voting booths would be open across the region until late tomorrow evening. There are two in Timaru and others in Fairlie, Temuka and Waimate.

Those going away ahead of Monday’s South Canterbury Anniversary Day could vote in advance, or if not enrolled, they could enrol and vote at the same time, she said.

“We don’t want anyone to miss out, so if you’re going away for the anniversary weekend, plan ahead and vote before you go.”

However, voters could still turn up to vote at any voting booth on election day if they could not vote in their electorate in advance, she said.

“It just means you’ll have to cast a special vote, which takes a little bit longer.”

Those unable to get to a voting place either during advance voting or on election day should contact their electorate’s returning officer for assistance, she said.

Advance voting locations and hours around South Canterbury:

St John’s Temuka hall, 47 King St, Temuka, which is open today and tomorrow from 10am to 4pm.

Timaru voters can vote at 187 Stafford St between 9am and 8pm today and tomorrow from 9am to 5pm, or at the Timaru Indoor Bowls Stadium, 20 Ranui Ave, from 9am to 8pm today and 9am to 5pm tomorrow.

Fairlie voters can head along to the Mackenzie Community Centre, 53 Main St, between 11am and 2pm today.

Waimate residents can cast an advance vote at the Waimate Events Centre, 15 Paul St, between 10am and 2pm today.

For a full list of September 23 election day voting locations, candidate details and other election rules and information, visit www.elections.org.nz.