The fact the newspaper can publish this the day before the Chief Electoral Office publishes all the final results, shows how wrong their policy is to keep all the final results secret until the last one is done. Election results should be disclosed the moment they have been certifed and checked as correct. There is no redeeeming value in having the Chief Electoral Office keep them secret so it can release all 70 of them at the same time.
Each electorate gets through its final count at a different pace. Once the final count has been certified, and sent to Wellington, then it should be published as soon as possible after the Chief Electoral Officer has verified it.
By delaying the final counts, you get two classes of citizens. People like me have had progress reports from people on the ground scrutineering at some of the counts. So I know stuff such as the fact the majority in one marginal seat has grown to almost 1,500, not shrunk. But this should be public to everyone – not just a few insiders.
It would also allow those three candidates affected by the party vote count (National’s Cam Calder, Labour’s Damien O’Connor and the Greens Kennedy Graham) to have a pretty good idea by now of whether any of them are in or out. Why keep them waiting another day just for the sake of a stage managed announcement?
I’ll be adding to my list of desired electoral law changes, that the Chief Electoral Office should release all results the moment they are certified correct, and not hold them back for one big announcement.