Election Fraud

January 23rd, 2008 at 3:16 pm by David Farrar

No Right Turn blogs about a report a Council of Europe report criticising the UK electoral system as open to fraud:

Rather than having individual registration like New Zealand does, the UK handles electoral enrolment on a household level. Apparently, once a year they send someone round, and the “head of household” (itself a fairly archaic concept) tells them who lives there. The potential for the creation of bogus enrolments is obvious, and compounded by the limited ability of electoral officials to conduct checks. Throw in a recent move to push postal and proxy voting to boost enrolments, and the entire system is looking highly vulnerable. It needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st (or even 20th) century, before these flaws are exploited.

No Right Turn should be more worried about the massive vulnerability to fraud that the NZ electoral system has.  As least the UK one has face to face contact- we are far worse than that.

  • There is absolutely no check done of enrolments in NZ vs eligibility to enrol.
  • People aged under 18 could enrol, visitors can enrol, illegal immigrants can enrol, people on work visas can enrol.  Sure it is illegal to do so, but shouldn’t there be something as basic as a register of citizens and permanent residents that enrolment details can be checked against.
  • One could invent half a dozen fictitious people at your household and enrol them just by filling in and signing a form for each – no one will check signatures unless you are so stupid you send them all in together.
  • No proof of ID is required when enrolling
  • Even worse, no proof of ID is required when voting – anyone can turn up and vote claiming to be someone else.
  • If you cast votes on behalf of someone who didn’t themselves vote, you will probably never get caught.
  • If you know how someone is likely to vote and want to get it disqualified, then you could also cast a vote under their name at another polling booth, and both votes would be disqualified unless they do a full investigation.
  • You can enrol up until the day before the election, and then special vote the next day, giving parties and candidates no time to scrutinise if the enrolment is suspicious.

I can’t think of a system more open to abuse than one with no eligibility check for enrolment, no proof of ID for enrolment and no proof of ID for voting.

These will all be issues I hope can be covered off by a full review of the Electoral Act.

No tag for this post.

76 Responses to “Election Fraud”

  1. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    Great – now Tutae and his mates have another plan to steal the election. How many fakes could they enrol by November?

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  2. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Why didnt they look at these issues at the same time they were worrying about financing?

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  3. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    I’ve always been suspicious of the amount of votes for the Green Party. Those zealots are capable of anything.

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  4. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    Thank goodness NZ still has moderated like you Ratbiter.

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  5. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Is there a reason that this enrollment mess is not cleaned up or does the greyness benefit one side as much as the other?

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  6. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    DPF Good grief You have now let the Sth Auckland Labour Partys cat out of the bag.

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  7. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    To paraphrase Robinsod on another, less intelligent blog; go stick your head in a pig, sonic.

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  8. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    I still think it would be difficult to do any serious electoral fraud (in large enough amounts to change the result) for one thing people who are moderating the elections tend to notice if you turn up to the same polling station more than once. So the no ID for voting thing is not so much of a worry.

    I’m always more concerned about proxy votes and postal votes, far easier to rort and the job can be done with far fewer people.

    However I’d need to see some evidence of fraud on a scale to warrant making voting more difficult, never mind some central “Register” of who is entitled to vote and who is not (imagine the staff you would need to keep it up to date with birthdays, deaths, immigration and emigration)?

    [DPF: An electorate can have 30 - 50 polling places. And if births and deaths and immigration databases are computerised, then a roll of eligible voters should be quite easy to produce. In fact a register of citizens is something which would have many uses]

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  9. Mark (497 comments) says:

    Good post David.

    Also in the last election they introduced those enrolment cards which I think don’t help either.

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  10. Waymad (136 comments) says:

    So, for the Electoral Roll as well as the Interweb, no-one knows you’re a dog…

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  11. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    Why would anyone come up with a list of illegal voting methods.

    And put them on a well known public blog.

    Especially someone who doesn’t support illegal voting methods; and in a time when the encumbent party and it’s supporters are out of ideas; have a history of thieving and using ideas; and are desperate enough to try it?

    the short thrill of saying:

    “Hey look they’re using an idea I thought up two months ago…”

    kinda pales by comparison to the stolen election wouldn’t you think?

    same thing happened with the anti-EFB posts.

    The National Party seem to have finally figured out not to release any new policy until Labour have no time to steal and implement it. Take a leaf from their books.

    [DPF: No worry about Labour stealing these illegal voting methods off me. I copied them all from what Labour did in the 1970s and early 80s in Auckland, so they know them all anyway.]

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  12. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    “Why would anyone come up with a list of illegal voting methods.”

    It’s hardly rocket science is it?

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  13. paulhelen (99 comments) says:

    Sonic: with respect I think you overestimate the IQ of the average NZ’er.

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  14. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Dear sonic sooooo naive. let me explain I have a long and complicated name thats not let us say common in my society. So I (or someone else) registers that name using a combination of just slightly different spellings you know one letter different each time.

    On polling day I now visit a number of polling station and carefully identify myself using each one of the combinations only once.

    The later cross check shows that each name on the roll appeared only once .

    thats why in some countries voter have to dip their finger in ink after they have voted..

    In the case of Socialist voters Id prefer to see them branded on their bums with a hot branding iron just to make sure they didnt cheat

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  15. virtualmark (1,528 comments) says:

    Our current arrangements seem to be stuck in a bit of a homely 1950’s timewarp where everyone behaves altruistically.

    I’ve long thought it’s completely strange we don’t have to show a passport or birth certificate or similar in order to enrol, and in order to vote.

    That said, I don’t think there’s ever been any serious allegations of widespread fraud. But strikes me it’d be wise to take all reasonable precautions to make sure it can’t happen.

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  16. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    And how many votes could that person cast in a day gd? 10? 20 if they worked hard from dawn to dusk?

    Total effect of 20 votes in a general election=0

    Thats what I mean about that sort of fraud, it’s time consuming, easy to get caught and ultimately pointless.

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  17. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    sonic Not if you have a number of people doing it All for the common good of course

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  18. Andrew Bannister (213 comments) says:

    gd, you don’t even need to be that sneaky – you can just make up complete bullshit names and get away with it. You could enrol yourself Count Gooseberry von Raspberry and vote.

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  19. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    To continue, proxy voting is a different matter, then you can, with a little work, make an impact.

    A party worker turns up to an an old people’s home (where they are unlikely to to turn out) and gets them to sign proxy forms (using some tale of ensuring they get to vote) 50 residents a home, 20 homes per party worker.

    Now that can be effective.

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  20. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    “could enrol yourself Count Gooseberry von Raspberry”

    People do actually read the register of electors Andrew, especially when you are canvassing. If someone registered 20 times and got all those forms sent to the same address you would notice.

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  21. Andrew Bannister (213 comments) says:

    I think sonic is right though, it is unlikly to make a big difference. Remember that enrolment forms are linked to a physical address.

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  22. Andrew Bannister (213 comments) says:

    ah, beat me to it.

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  23. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    Sorry.

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  24. Waymad (136 comments) says:

    OMG, DPF, what have you started? How many Sonic. H Hogg’s will vote this election? Why, I’ve got one in my very own garden, to judge from the droppings each day….

    Shame, shame on you for sharing this perverse incentive;->

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  25. unaha-closp (1,155 comments) says:

    Total effect of 20 votes in a general election=0

    Except in Tauranga, Epsom, Ohariu-Belmont or the Maori seats. A small swing could be quite influential.

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  26. unaha-closp (1,155 comments) says:

    I can’t think of a system more open to abuse than one with no eligibility check for enrolment, no proof of ID for enrolment and no proof of ID for voting.

    We have an apparently high election turnout compared to other countries. Perhaps the explanation for this is more to do with the degree to which we have made fraud easy, rather than the actual numbers going to vote.

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  27. Andrew Bannister (213 comments) says:

    Perhaps the explanation for this is more to do with the degree to which we have made fraud easy

    unaha-closp, small scale election fraud might be relatively easy, but it is unlikely to be the reason for our high turnout. Oh look, an alien space-ship.

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  28. Mausie (8 comments) says:

    I think even if you could get a hundred people conspiring to cast 20 votes each at the polls, you’re never going to make an impact under MMP. The only way there would be any point would be in marginal seats under an FPP system, or (under MMP) in a marginal seat to turf out a candidate whose seat is what keeps their part in parliament. And even getting a hundred people to do it is a large-scale conspiracy which, through it’s sheer size, is likely to get caught. So it’s a big risk with little reward.

    The benefits of closing the gaps in the system don’t, I think, outweigh the costs. You want to disenfranchise a voter because they don’t have a driver’s license or passport? I don’t. You want to make voter registration a difficult process? You’d lose voters if you couldn’t stand there on the street and get them walking past. The only suggestion DPF makes that wouldn’t make registration or voting inconvenient and thus reduce participation is having a register of eligible voters to check against, and the logistics of that seem difficult and the idea doesn’t exactly gel with the ideals of small state and individual freedoms usually espoused in these parts.

    As Sonic says, the real worry would be in votes where voters didn’t have to present themselves, or with tampering after the votes have actually been cast.

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  29. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    And OF COURSE the Clark regime is FAR TOO honourable and free of any taint of impropriety to actually RIG an election……………..They’d NEVER get SO DESPERATE to cling to power that they’d LOWER their PRINCIPLES at all, now would they…….

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  30. Wycroft (873 comments) says:

    You might not change the whole election, but try telling an electorate MP who gets turfed out by 10 votes that it’s not a big issue! That happens.

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  31. Graeme Edgeler (3,279 comments) says:

    even if you could get a hundred people conspiring to cast 20 votes each at the polls, you’re never going to make an impact under MMP. The only way there would be any point would be in marginal seats under an FPP system, or (under MMP) in a marginal seat to turf out a candidate whose seat is what keeps their part in parliament.

    Potentially a marginal party hovering near the 5% threshold too. The Greens were around 6000 votes over the threshold, and NZF around 16,000, at the last election, slightly closer and your 2000 illegal votes could be the difference between a centre-left and a centre-right government.

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  32. Tauhei Notts (1,672 comments) says:

    I think it was in Hunua in 1981 that all of the dead people who voted, to a person, all voted Labour.
    That was the one that Winston Peters contested; or was it 1978?

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  33. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    I don’t know if its really proper to say this, but I was a scrutineer and bemused at the sight of people who’d come along with passports or other forms of photo ID, only to have them waved away.

    Mausie wrote:
    I think even if you could get a hundred people conspiring to cast 20 votes each at the polls, you’re never going to make an impact under MMP.

    That’s not the point, Mausie, electoral fraud undermines the credibility of the whole process. Darren Hughes has a majority of 382 in Otaki, and by my count four other seat (three Labour, one National) are held with majorities of less than a thousand. Now they were all hard fought, but everyone (except Winston Peters) accepted the result as fair and credible.

    And I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy nut, but I wouldn’t put it past some of the wingnuts around here (of both the loony left and rabid right) to decide that a little electoral fraud would be worth the risk to help keep the Liarbore Dykeocracy/Bushitler’s Bitches off the Treasury benches. (Remember, we’re not talking about entirely rational people so adjust your expectations accordingly.)
    I’d be the first person to say give our electoral agencies three cheers, because they bloody deserve it. But there’s a degree of “it can’t happen here” complacency I find unsettling. And when I hear people saying, in effect, that a little bit of electoral fraud isn’t really that big a deal astounds me.

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  34. Rex Widerstrom (5,342 comments) says:

    Redbaiter says:

    I’ve always been suspicious of the amount of votes for the Green Party. Those zealots are capable of anything.

    Good god Red the miracle is that any of them are organised enough to vote at all, surely? I remember debating their “co-leader” Ms Fitzsimons one election. The topic was energy – generation, transmission lines etc. We all had our say, then she got up. We all got treated to a homily on her composting toilet. And that, remember, is the the top of the party tree (excuse the pun).

    If I was going to choose anyone to organise anything whatsoever, other perhaps than the crocheting of a hemp jumper or the filling of a bong, it wouldn’t be the Greens upon whom I relied.

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  35. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Mike Williams just delivered a big MEA CULPA on one news, well done DPF and WhaleOil for hanging these numptys by their own anti democratic legislation.

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  36. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    less of the ‘it couldn’t happen here’ stuff, people, it is naive. It can, and if the EFA has not given the government enough murky and disputable areas with which to contest a result, the shennanigans of the ‘rabid’ left (ie The Standard) can ride shot-gun to cajole intimidate and brow-beat us into acceptance. If that fails, surely a compliant judiciary, GG, Chief Obudsman, and Electoral Commission might help? If all else fails we can rely on ‘public interest’ to rescue anyone from gettitng charged? Finally, if you think it would be too brazen a thing to contemplate in a western democracy see: http://www.newstatesman.com/200411290018 for how the yanks do it.

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  37. Tina (687 comments) says:

    Shock horror….you don’t mean that Taney has been less than honest?

    Surely not….dishonourable thought.

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  38. Inventory2 (10,246 comments) says:

    It’s true, and I have put the quote in bold!

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/01/standard-saga-continues.html

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  39. Sue Bilstein (4 comments) says:

    I remember in 2005, the swing to National was very strong. And then those Labour party votes started rolling in from south and west Auckland – and went on and on rolling. I wondered then.

    Face it, with what the Labour Party have shown us over the years about their immoral standards, anything is possible.

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  40. Fred (176 comments) says:

    Well there is a bias issue that needs to be counteracted. The rationale of the EFA is that advertising $ buys votes; now there will be a section of the community who will miss being exposed to the positive messages of the government because they are working long hours on minimum wages, plus they are likely to have trouble getting to the polling booths. These very people are the ones that are going to be severely impacted by a right wing government. Therefore for the good of these people someone needs to do something about making sure that they are fairly represented.

    We have a definition of acceptable corruption to refer to.

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  41. Michael E (274 comments) says:

    There is an easy way to prevent double voting without resorting to registers or ID cards, and it is commonly used overseas – You make all voters did their index finger into a special ink once they’ve cast their vote. The ink dries quickly and takes a couple of days to wear off.

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  42. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Sorry folks, but I need to reality check my own arse here:
    Darren Hughes has a majority of 382 in Otaki, and by my count four other seat (three Labour, one National) are held with majorities of less than a thousand.

    Sorry, but I got that wrong. In the 2005 election, there were four seats in total where the winner ended up with a majority of less than a thousand.

    They are (in alphabetical order):

    Hamilton West: Martin Gallagher (L) – majority 825
    Otaki: Darren Hughes (L) – majority 382
    Rotorua: Steve Chadwick (L) – majority 662
    Tauranga: Bob Clarkson (N) – majority 730

    And for Mausie’s benefit, a further six were held with majorities of less than two thousand:

    Banks Peninsula: DYSON, Ruth (LAB) – 1,923

    East Coast: TOLLEY, Anne (NAT) – 1,219

    Otago: DEAN, Jacqui (NAT) – 1,995

    Taupo: BURTON, Mark (LAB) – 1,285

    Ikaroa-Rawhiti: HOROMIA, Parekura (LAB) – 1,932

    Tainui: MAHUTA, Nanaia (LAB) – 1,860

    {Source: http://2005.electionresults.govt.nz/}

    Now, I wouldn’t be too upset of all those Labour nit-wits were delivered their marching orders this E-Day. But I’d rather be done on the basis of one live, duly qualified and registered human being, one (and one only) ballot paper.

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  43. bruceh (102 comments) says:

    This post reminds me of the *cute* saying of a friend who ia a former Labour Party activist to the troops on Election Day – Vote early and vote often

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  44. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    bruceh that is cute, but given that the left are ‘better at it than we are’ (ie activism) and that recently they have proven themselves to be quite unscrupulous, visceral and evidently working on a moral compass which ttelles them ‘the ends justify the means’ is it too long a bow to draw?

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  45. jocko (111 comments) says:

    This post reminds me of other pernicious electoral practices represented by
    “It’s not the voting that counts, it’s the counting that counts.”
    Witness The Philippines (Marcos era), now Kenya….maybe ? South Auckland (2005)….elsewhere too this election?

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  46. toms (301 comments) says:

    Given how the white-right who post here are still bitter and haven’t got over the South Auckland vote getting Labour home in 2005, I was wondering how long it would take DPF to reach into his US Republic bag of tricks and pull out some Jim Crow laws for us.

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  47. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    Yeah sure toms. DPF engineered a post by No Right Turn, who is a close friend of his. He then pulled out his preprepared post on how we should take the vote off all the poor people and the black people, and put it up. And it was all such a cunning dog whistle that he didn’t actually say that, but it is what he really meant.

    How about you stop trying to read between the lines, and just read what was actually written.

    And for my un-pc comment of the week (and one for the guys) do you ever have that experience when you are talking to your partner about something, and they start reading something into what you are saying. Something that wasn’t there at all – you meant exactly what you said. But they are imagining something entirely different. Does that experience at all remind you of debating with a lefty?

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  48. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    I was wondering how long it would take DPF to reach into his US Republic bag of tricks and pull out some Jim Crow laws for us.

    And one never had to wonder when TomSewer will reverse the usual flow between arsehole and mouth, then spew all over his keyboard. Yesterday, Americans marked Martin Luther King, Jr Day in all manner of dignified, inspiring and joyous ways.

    Mr. Sewer’s (belated) contribution was an astoundingly ignorant and trivial invocation of ‘Jim Crow’.

    Take a bow, fucktard. You might like to try reading some history — preferably a big boy book where there are lots more words than pictures.

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  49. Frank. (607 comments) says:

    We must all be in Fantasy Land.

    All the more need for an Electoral Royal commission

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  50. natural party of govt (461 comments) says:

    It is always in the interest of the right to put as many barriers to enrolment and voting as possible and in the interest of the left to keep them as low as possible. At least that is the accepted wisdom. Helped Bush in Florida in 2000.

    Didnt help John Howard though.

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  51. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    It is always in the interest of the right to put as many barriers to enrolment and voting as possible and in the interest of the left to keep them as low as possible.

    Really, NPoG? I thought it was in everyone’s interest that our electoral process wasn’t tainted by fraud and corruption? You don’t have to look very far to see just how unstable a country can be when election results are widely seen as not being worth the paper they’re printed on.

    But I guess that requires getting a little beyond the tired old (non-)thinking of mindless partisanship.

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  52. natural party of govt (461 comments) says:

    “I thought it was in everyone’s interest that our electoral process wasn’t tainted by fraud and corruption? ”

    Indeed, that is the cover.

    There is, of course, zero evidence of fraud and corruption but in this area of professional politics if a party can get a slightest margin of advantage through a tightening or loosening the rules they will always try it.

    I don’t believe DPF really thinks there is a problem with fraud especially with MMP, but clearly National strategists believe that increasing procedures is more likely eliminate the poorer and less educated than the wealthier and more educated, so even though it will not eliminate many people, it will provide a slight edge to National.

    Very smart thinking.

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  53. Insolent Prick (417 comments) says:

    Bullshit, NPOG.

    Does having to show two forms of ID prevent poor people from opening a bank account? I don’t think so. Do such onerous measures prevent poor people from enrolling their children at school? No, it doesn’t. Do such obstacles prevent low-income people from getting a library card, or a driver’s licence, or a phone or electricity account? Does it prevent people from getting an IRD number? No, they don’t.

    The least fortunate people you claim to speak for have to provide identification when enrolling, and claiming, a welfare benefit. How is it disenfranchising to require them to supply the same level of identification when they vote?

    That’s as spurious as saying, for example, that a fingerprint-scanning ID system discriminates against people who have no hands.

    Simple, prudent measures can, and should be put in place to prevent voter fraud. Voter fraud has happened in New Zealand before, in recent history. It hasn’t massively affected the outcome of an election, but nor has occasional welfare fraud massively affected New Zealand’s fiscal position. That doesn’t mean you don’t put in place prudent, reasonable measures to stop it happening.

    A simple mechanism would involve a person producing photo ID when they turn up to vote. Those who don’t bring their ID should have to sign a statutory declaration that they are who they claim to be, and live at the address they claim to live in. Those statutory declarations should be subject to audit.

    That wouldn’t disenfranchise anybody, and would go a long way to ensuring a safer voting system.

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  54. natural party of govt (461 comments) says:

    “Does having to show two forms of ID prevent poor people from opening a bank account? I don’t think so.”

    Whoever said it did?

    All I am saying is raising the bar, by conventional wisdom, favours the right. Conventional wisdom could be wrong, but it is the conventional wisdom.

    For example when I was 18 I didnt have a drivers licence and I dont remember having a school photo ID either, although perhaps they do now.

    And of course people some people dont always carry ID on them. The conventional wisdom is they are more likely to be inclined to the left.

    There is no evidence of fraud affecting NZ elections and with MMP it is a non issue anyway.

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  55. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Indeed, that is the cover.

    Your mind-reading abilities are so sharp you should audition for the next series of Sensing Murder. But, once more, I just don’t get the mindset that can blithely opine that voter fraud is ever a “non issue”. What about the idea of being proactive, rather than ‘reactive’ when the next electoral petition might just have some more serious consequences than a single MP? Or how about the even more cranky idea that there’s a happy medium between access and security?

    I certainly find it bizarre that nobody would question someone having to produce valid ID on request to buy beer or a pack of cigarettes in a supermarket, but even suggest doing the same before being issued ballot papers in a general election and it’s part of a cunning plot to disenfranchise blacks and poor people. ‘Cause that’s just what nasty rich white right-wingers do for fun.

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  56. natural party of govt (461 comments) says:

    Craig, I think the reason is that in general the community wants to discourage people from smoking and encourage voting.

    That is the community sans that essential element, the gay, maori national party voters.

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  57. Jesus Crux (123 comments) says:

    Can you please do one for welfare fraud? The electoral fraud thing doesn’t really help me at all.

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  58. Gerrit (107 comments) says:

    There is one quick check method and that is to compare the number of votes in each electorate verses the number of people in the electorate.

    After all the electoral commission sets the electoral boundaries base on population so that each electorate is roughly equal in size (40,000 in each).

    Maybe that is why we have such a high voter turnout. In reality we only have 30% voting and the other 55% is the double dippers.

    Having said that we do need to look at potential election fraud. And as an aside, never ever allow electronic voting and counting machines unless the software is open sourced and viewable to any programmer to inspect for “one for you, two for me” software coding.

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  59. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    That is the community sans that essential element, the gay, maori national party voters.

    *sigh* Thanks for playing, NPoG. But my vote has been tediously unsuppressed over the last eighteen years – despite the fact those nasty racist, homophobic, poor-hating right-wingers have been in charge for around half that time. Seriously, Pog, got anything serious to contribute to this discussion?

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  60. Flashman (184 comments) says:

    Maintaining the integrity of the voting process is essential.

    It’s absolutely crazy that NZ does not require a voter to produce some form of positive ID at the voting station and that the use of ultra-violet ink is still not on the radar set.

    I agree 100% with the previous poster who observed that NZ is well and truly stuck in a warm and rose-tinted 1950’s caravan-holidays-at-the-seaside when it comes to running elections.

    In the NZ of 2008 however, the temptation for political actors inside and outside the system to give their preferred party a helping hand is likely to be compelling; and in a marginal seat this could be decisive. In this regard, remember that the JFK Irish election machine and the Kennedy Klan generally at the time relied a great deal on stuffing ballot boxes with the votes of long dead O’Malleys, O’ Rourkes etc..

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  61. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    “These will all be issues I hope can be covered off by a full review of the Electoral Act.”

    A royal Commission into the Electoral Act and how it can be best reformed would make a superb addition to any prospective government’s manifesto!

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  62. kevin_mcm (152 comments) says:

    Given we have a register of births & deaths it would not be difficult to compare the electroral register to that (assuming they included birthdate in the registration form). That solves the problem of phantoms being registered. Then require voters to bring proof of identity (even a power bill would be fine) or include a copy with a postal vote. Would not reduce the risk 100% but would make it very difficult to do anything on a large scale. The danger is always that fixing a problem can be worse than the problem itself.

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  63. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    Mausie: I think even if you could get a hundred people conspiring to cast 20 votes each at the polls, you’re never going to make an impact under MMP.

    There are organizations with thousands of members who have a vested interest in seeing the Labour party re-elected. And as shown, several seats are closely enough contested that 2000 extra votes could have swung the balance. It does not seem like such a stretch to me when a simple requirement to prove your identity and an identifying mark to signify that you have voted would work.

    That said, there is some scrutiny. With the last election the Electoral Commission kept on sending us letters requesting that we enroll my wife. Knowing she was ineligble to vote we never responded until they sent a letter threatening us with legal action / fines / etc. At that point, we enrolled her. And a week or so later they responded saying she was ineligible to vote.

    So there is some scrutiny already prior to getting to the booth. Once you’re there of course, all you have is somebody checking your name off a list.

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  64. toms (301 comments) says:

    Generally I refuse to argue with you Mr. Ranapai since clearly I’ve managed to get under your skin and I hoped a summer off with loved ones would give you fresh perspective. Sadly, you’d didn’t take the opportunity to hang your keyboard up over the summer like the rest of us and it’s showing. You’ve become nastier and shriller than any of the (largely youthful) “wingnuts” you so tirelessly pursue around the blogsphere on your self-appointed, self-aggrandizing one man crusade.

    We’ve all been forced to become familiar with how you feel the need to throw around appallingly common language and personal insults – a nastier, more self righteous internet bully than you has yet to emerge in the blogsphere.

    I guess you hoped being an indescriminate cynic with the volume set to “MAX” all the time would kinda cover the enormous chip on your shoulder at being a gay right wing Maori from the North Shore (wow! that’s ticking all the boxes on the Uncle Tom checklist! I’d hate myself to!), but those of us a bit older see through your wearisome vulgarity. You reminds me of an angry transvestitie, flaunting his/her sexuality on the street corner then trying to scratch the eyes out of anyone who remarks upon it.

    Dude, take a holiday a long way from an internet connection.

    Anyone who come to this site for even a cursory examination knows DPF has close ties and a deep admiration of the Karl Rove inspired U.S. Republican right. The use of Jim Crowe laws is widespread in states like Florida, and based on exactly the same “logic” as DPF has pulled out here. It isn’t to long a bow to see a connection between Mr. Farrar’s admiration of Rovian politics, the success of Labour in getting out its lower class brown base, and and calls by this site – a National Party mouthpiece – for laws that constructively will restrict poorer people from exercising their right to vote. I would have thought the best way to celebrate Martin Luther King day would be to ensure any proposal that restricts peoples right to vote is strangled at birth.

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  65. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    toms: We’ve all been forced to become familiar with how you feel the need to throw around appallingly common language and personal insults – a nastier, more self righteous internet bully than you has yet to emerge in the blogsphere

    toms: ian politics, the success of Labour in getting out its lower class brown base, and and calls by this site – a National Party mouthpiece – for laws that constructively will restrict poorer people from exercising their right

    Pot.

    Kettle.

    #00000000

    Attempts to enforce electoral integrity will not restrict poorer people from exercising their rights to vote. You need a form of ID to rent a video. Surely such a requirement is not too onerous for wanting to vote?

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  66. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    NPOG: I think you and sonic should go sit in a corner and tell your conspiracy theories to each other. I’m pretty sure that DPF isn’t taking orders from the VRWC on this one, he is just pointing out that NZ’s voting system is a long way from being fraud proof in counterpoint to a post by No Right Turn.

    As to whether to do something about it, I think we should. We will want, at some point, to introduce electronic and/or mail voting. It is a logical step, and one that our current system won’t work well with. We should start tightening up on the electoral roll to make sure only legit voters are registered on it.

    Further, I love the way the left come out with various statements that basically say that all the stupid people vote for them, and therefore we should worry about any change that might impact stupid people. What kind of advertisement is that for your party? “Come vote for us, all the other stupid people do.” And, by the way, I am including in my list of stupid people those who cannot remember to bring some id with them when they vote, which apparently will result in them being disenfranchised.

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  67. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    Toms. You can’t seriously be suggesting that Craig R is nastier and shriller than the wingnuts. You really think he is nastier than RedBaiter, D4J, Robinsod, James Sleep? Have you even been paying attention?

    Sorry Craig, I know you can defend yourself, but I just can’t understand what drugs tom is on. But then again, he is probably one of Labour’s stupid voters who wouldn’t be able to remember to bring his id with him when he votes.

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  68. David Farrar (1,880 comments) says:

    Guys arguing with TomS is like wrestling in mud with a pig. The pig just enjoys it and you just get dirty.

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  69. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    DPF: I think the more elegant quote is “like wrestling in mud with a pig. You both get dirty but the pig enjoys it.” Yeah, I know, a pedant.

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  70. Paulus (2,586 comments) says:

    Surely we can expect in some Electoral review that proof of eligibility to vote be forthcoming.
    I never ceas to be amazed how easy it appears for anybody to register, particularly as New Zealanders are a somewhat itinerant population moving often around different electorates.
    It perforce suggests that some form of electoral identity be forthcoming ie some use of our tax or a Winz registration.
    As a recent superannuitant I am amazed at the proof required to register.

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  71. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Im reluctant to raise this point but fact is we have increasing numbers of people coming to NZ from places where (cough) shall we say the ethics and morals surrounding elections are not as ours.
    It would naive in the extreme to not take cognisance of this and adjust our electoral process in an appropirate manner so we can be assured that the previous high standards continue into the future.

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  72. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    Yeah, right, its in everyone’s interests to minimise voter fraud, when it runs around 100 to 1 in favour of leftwing parties for some straaaaange reason……..

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  73. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “We’ve all been forced to become familiar with how you feel the need to throw around appallingly common language and personal insults – a nastier, more self righteous internet bully than you has yet to emerge in the blogsphere.”

    What false self righteous crap. I love the way the left complain about “language”, when the real issue is their own inclination to lie- often and without conscience.

    ..and if you must talk about “language”, there is one group of people most responsible for the breakdown of civility in society today, and once again, its the left, those sick vulgar half educated morons who have made profanity so commonplace its now virtually impossible to use a word that has the impact that such words once had. A slimy cowardly hypocrite, thats all you are Tom, and that’s all most of your friends are.

    ..and speak for yourself creep. Learn some damn manners.

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  74. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Toms. You can’t seriously be suggesting that Craig R is nastier and shriller than the wingnuts.

    No, PaulL. Toms is a textbook schoolyard bully — right down to the big, hypocritical sook as soon as someone decides to stand up and push back. Bullies don’t much like being LAUGHED at either.

    If Tom doesn’t like the way I treat him, the remedy is in his own hands.

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  75. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    Isn’t it odd that any post that Craig comments on tends to become a thread about, Craig.

    Is it him or is it us?

    After reflection.

    It is him.

    Any chance you could ever move beyond the great issue of the day being, er, you?

    Cheers

    S

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  76. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Any chance you could ever move beyond the great issue of the day being, er, you?

    Hil-fucking-larious, Sonic, considering the usual lefty tactic around here is to jack every thread into some bizarre ad hominem (and too many others, including myself, are silly enough to fall for the flame bait).

    Would you care to explain what ‘substantive’ relevance TomS’s little rant about DPF and Jim Crow had? Point me to any contribution by Ghostie that is substantive and on-topic?

    Any chance you could ever get beyond the Freudian projection — because, as I said, you lefty flame-trolls really do love to play the victim when you’re called out on your own bullshit.

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