Some electoral tweaking

January 22nd, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Late last year the Justice and Electoral Select Committee reported back the Electoral Amendment Bill, which was implementing recommendations from the 2011 election inquiry.

There’s a few changes made by the select committee. They are:

  • Removing the proposed ban on displaying streamers, ribbons and rosettes on election day
  • Allowing the High Court to order a recalculation of the allocation of list seats if there is a successful electorate electoral petition
  • Requiring voters to verbally confirm their identity when being issued voting papers, so one can’t just use an Easy Vote card to get issued voting papers

All seem very sensible.

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13 Responses to “Some electoral tweaking”

  1. Monty (978 comments) says:

    Oh dear. The unions will hate the third recommendation. Maybe a second form of identity should also be encouraged

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  2. alwyn (427 comments) says:

    How long does it take to get an electoral petition through the courts? If a party won an electorate and got, say, 3 members extra in on their coatails does it mean that six months later, if the person lost their seat the whole party would be kicked out of the house?
    I thought that the principal was to get a decision and some certainty within a few weeks of the election. This would seem to greatly favour an electoral petition for any case of coattail members.

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  3. Shazzadude (529 comments) says:

    I quite like the no advertising on election day rule. Just look at Australia on election day, it’s an absolute mess.

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  4. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    How long does it take to get an electoral petition through the courts? If a party won an electorate and got, say, 3 members extra in on their coatails does it mean that six months later, if the person lost their seat the whole party would be kicked out of the house?
    I thought that the principal was to get a decision and some certainty within a few weeks of the election. This would seem to greatly favour an electoral petition for any case of coattail members.

    The last serious election petition was 2005. The election was on 17 September. The result of the election petition was presented in Parliament on 13 December.

    Yes. It does mean that. Would also affect the hole that the Paula Bennett case showed (if Paula had lost an election petition because the count was wrong, she’d have been out of Parliament, even though she was highly placed on the list). There is a balance to be drawn between certainty and fairness, and in my opinion, the current rules don’t draw it in quite the right place. This is a good change.

    I should note that the change to allow the High Court to order the list to be done again was in the original bill. The amendment that the SC has made is about how it goes about doing that: the bill would originally have required the Court or lawyers to do it; instead, if the Court changes an electorate result, it will now just tell the Electoral Commission: we’ve changed this electorate result, do the list thing again. It’s a minor change to the bill itself, but makes things a little cleaner.

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  5. BeaB (2,125 comments) says:

    I still can’t understand why we are adult enough to exercise our vote but cannot be trusted to see a billboard, brochure or poster.

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  6. Shazzadude (529 comments) says:

    BeaB “I still can’t understand why we are adult enough to exercise our vote but cannot be trusted to see a billboard, brochure or poster.”

    If they didn’t influence, then no-one would use them in the first place.

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  7. alwyn (427 comments) says:

    Thank you G.E.
    I approve of it also, for much the same reason you do. I just didn’t realise that they were going to do it because of the certainty principle (learn to spell alwyn, it isn’t principal).
    It is likely to give the Court a reason to kick these along isn’t? It could fairly easily cause a change in Government if it is one of the minor parties with possible coattail members on either side of the petition.

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  8. BeaB (2,125 comments) says:

    What is wrong with being influenced? We are used to it in every other area of life and can make up our own minds. Or not.

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  9. OneTrack (3,114 comments) says:

    “If they didn’t influence, then no-one would use them in the first place.”

    What is the difference between an influence at 11pm on Friday night compared to one at 8am Saturday morning?

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  10. J Bloggs (241 comments) says:

    BeaB & OneTrack: Because without that ban you get the situation that they have in Aus, where you have to run a gauntlet of party and candidate supporters pushing flyers, waving placards, and otherwise getting in your face, just to get into the polling station.

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  11. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Requiring voters to verbally confirm their identity when being issued voting papers, so one can’t just use an Easy Vote card to get issued voting papers
    All seem very sensible.

    You’re kidding, right? You can just rock up, repeat a few details verbally and get a voting paper, and you consider that sensible?

    The law should require photo ID. Either that, or allow verbal confirmation of age at the pub.

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  12. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    You’re kidding, right? You can just rock up, repeat a few details verbally and get a voting paper, and you consider that sensible?

    The law allows any scrutineer to require that any voter sign the equivalent of a statutory declaration affirming that they are who they say they are before being issued a voting paper.

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  13. Paulus (2,632 comments) says:

    Other voting recommendations

    Only New Zealand Citizens can vote.

    Local Government – only those who are named on the Rating register with Council can vote – sure it was like that 30 + years ago.
    e.g. if you owned more than one property you had more than one vote – after all you pay rates on each property.

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