The Māori Electoral Option is a period of 4 months, every 5 years, when Māori electors can choose whether to be on the Māori or the General Electoral Roll. The outcome of the Māori Electoral Option is a key factor in determining the number of Māori seats in the New Zealand Parliament. The Electoral Commission estimates that approximately 6,000 Māori voters each year request to change electoral roll, but in 2017 over 19,000 voters applied to change. Why were so many more Māori wanting to change and why did they not know they could only change during the Māori Electoral Option held every 5 years? The following year, the 2018 Māori Electoral Option saw the first net increase of Māori changing to the general roll since 1996. This article uses data gathered from the results of Māori Electoral Options 1991–2018, an anonymous survey, and evaluations of Māori Electoral Option campaigns to consider how the shifting trends in roll choices might be explained.