The Police have responded to my OIA request for the outcomes of the electoral complaints and referrals. I have uploaded the spreadsheet – ero-case-outcomes-as-at-28-may-2009.
There are a number of categories, I have grouped them by:
This mean the case has not been closed, or at least not notified to the affected parties.
- 9 candidates not filed expense retruns on time (7 now have)
- Labour for several advertisements being distributed on polling day in Blenheim and Taranaki
- Rodney Hide’s yellow jacket
- Nicholas Keesing for distributing election material on polling day
- NewstalkZB for prohibited election programmes with Winston Peters and Shane Jones
- Shane Jones for an election advertisement without a promoter statement
The Police have said they will update me when these are resolved. Nos 3 and 4 will be very interesting. 5 could also be a precedent about MPs on talkback during the regulated period.
- Family Party for late filing (twice) of donation returns when donation exceeded $20,000
- Two cases of double voting
- NZ First banners in Tauranga with no promoter statement
No 3 I am of course very interested in. Also to some degree with No 1.
- National Ohariu Candidate for display of ribbons on election day
- Toroa Radio for a prohibited election programme for the Alliance
- 41 cases of double voting
- Te Runanga O Kirikiriroa Trust for an advertisement supporting a party not approved by that party
- Nicky Wagner for an advertisement not authorised and no promoter statement
- ACT for a Hunua flyer not authorised and no promoter statement
- Cobb & Co Paraparaumu for an election advertisement supporting a party not approved by that party
- Dog registered to vote
- Labour boolet at Waikato University with no promoter statement
These all look reasonable sensible to deal with by warning.
- Six cases of apparent double voting
- Jim Anderton’s e-newsletter, as it had a promoter statement on website where people subscribed to it
- NZ First donation return for 2007 as Party Secretary took reasonable steps
- Social Credit for late 2007 donation return as they had a reasonable excuse
- EMA Northern for exceeding spending limit of third party ads – not an offence as Police found it was an issue ad, not an election ad
- A phone survey which may have been an election advert – isolated and no promoter known
- Jim Anderton ad in Southern Express as Police accept advert published in his Ministerial role
- Voter enrolled in two electorates – turned out to be two people with same name
No 2, No 5 and No 7 are interesting as in this case the Police have reached a different conclusion to the Electoral Commission. And of course a Judge (if it ever went to court) could have reached a different conclusion also. Now the EFA is toast, we’ll never know where the fine line between an issue ad and a election ad is to be drawn.
Once again thanks to the Police for the OIA response. It is disappointing that not all cases are yet resolved, but as I understand it the officers on the electoral team has been seconded to other jobs at various times. This is one reason I still prefer that the electoral agencies can directly refer to court, rather than go through a spcialist agency, and also the Police. The Police will always struggle to treat electoral offences as a priority against other crimes.Tags: Chief Electoral Office, Electoral Act, Electoral Commission, Electoral Finance Act, Police