The Press reports:
Labour leader David Cunliffe might have fallen foul of the law with a message posted on his Twitter profile on the day of the Christchurch East by-election.
The Electoral Commission is looking into the tweet by Cunliffe on Saturday urging Christchurch East residents to get out and vote for the successful Labour candidate Poto Williams.
“If you are resident in Christchurch East don’t forget to vote today – for Labour and Poto Williams!” he wrote.
Under Electoral Commission rules, no campaigning of any kind is allowed on election day. …
He said he was not aware of the rules at the time it was sent. He would co-operate with the Electoral Commission if it investigated.
David Cunliffe has been a candidate in five general elections, and even the lowliest candidate knows you can not campaign on election day. The Leader of the Opposition can not plead ignorance of the law.
If the leader of NZ’s second largest political party can campaign without consequences on election day, then how could the Electoral Commission expect anyone else to take the law seriously?
The tweet may not have had a huge impact, but I can’t see anyway the Electoral Commission can not refer it to the Police without setting an awful precedent.
UPDATE: The Electoral Commission wrote to all parties contesting the by-election the day before, telling them what the rules are for e-day and they even specifically referred to not using Twitter to campaign.