Earlier in the year SOLGM and LGNZ were considering a joined up approach to communications around the 2019 local elections.
As part of this discussion SOLGM commissioned Katina Conomos and Elizabeth Hughes to look at whether and how 'central' promotion of local elections is done overseas (if at all) and what lessons New Zealand can take from any campaigns.
While LGNZ has now indicated it is unlikely to repeat the Vote 2016 campaign, we still believe the results of this research are interesting and useful for local authorities. Especially those thinking about their own promotional or outreach campaigns.
It appears that promotion of local elections is quite common overseas but this needs to be viewed against the institutional arrangements for running elections. In almost all cases it is an organisation equivalent to our own Electoral Commission that commissions the work.
It also appears that the focus of these campaigns is often awareness of elections rather than being solely focussed on increasing voter turnout. The research also suggests campaigns are generally more effective when targeted to particular groups rather the more broad scale approach.
This is a short, readable, challenging report. SOLGM thanks Elizabeth and Katina.