Having an enrolment date is not depriving anyone of a vote

Radio NZ report:

Labour Party leader Chris Hipkins said the Electoral Commission should make sure the system ran smoothly and “taking away the right of thousands of people to vote” was not the answer.

“Thousands of people enroled and voted on the day. If they’re saying they’ll stop that happening they’re basically saying that thousands of people won’t have their vote counted.

This is a nonsensical argument. Saying that not allowing someone to vote because they didn’t;t enrol in time is depriving someone of their vote is like arguing that now allowing someone who turns up at 7.10 pm to vote, is depriving them of the right to vote.

Allowing people to enrol on election day causes massive logistical problems, and it is not unreasonable to expect people to enrol before election day – especially as doing so is mandatory.

In Germany you must register 21 days before the election. In Australia it is 26 to 51 days before an election. In the UK it is 16 days. In Sweden it is 30 days. Ireland is 18 days. France 37 days.

For NZ the sensible thing to do would be to set a deadline of the day before advance voting starts. Then during the voting period, the sole focus can be on voting not registering.

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