Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Election '11: the special votes

80 Responses

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Sleep is for the sleepy :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Bryce Edwards,

    Turnout was about 68.8% - based on the estimated total number of votes cast (2,254,581) as a proportion of those eligible to vote (3,276,000).

    This formula is the more commonly/modern/comparative used way of measuring voter turnout (as opposed to just votes as a proportion of those *enrolled*).

    Bryce

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    I think it is worth remembering that the MMP vote is only the Advance votes as the Referendum votes were not counted on the night

    Advance votes, specials votes done before election day?

    Could be interesting yet although I see my voting pattern was the majority one

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    From a quick and partial look, there's no specials in the Maori seats, that seems odd to me. Perhaps they're just not counted?

    I understand your formula, however two or three Auckland seats must surely be too close to call.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Waimakariri could be another change. Cosgrove is 400 behind Wilkinson which sounds an unlikely change but the Greens candidate was telling voters to electorate vote Labour and party vote Green as a strategic measure. Many of the earthquake incomers from outside Waimak are expected to have cast special votes; the question is whether they voted in their previous electorate or in Waimak. A lot of the displaced are from traditionally Labour areas, so are more likely to be Labour voters.

    National was desperate to get that seat and did a deal with Act not to stand a candidate. That combined with boundary changes in the last few elections mean National did worse than they could have been expected to do.

    Also, if the Greens pick up a little more on the party vote, won’t they get the list down to Mojo Mathers? I understood that she would be in with 11 percent party vote.

    If those numbers stack, what does it mean for seats in the House?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    Advance votes, specials votes done before election day?

    Advance votes were a mix of advance Ordinary Votes, and advance Special Votes.

    E.g. for polling places in downtown Wellington you could cast an ordinary vote for Wellington Central, Hutt South, Rimutaka, Ohariu, Mana, Rongotai or Te Tai Tonga (catering for all the commuters who come into Wellington).

    You could also cast an advance Special vote if you were enrolled in another electorate - e.g. if you were visiting from Auckland Central.

    The Advance Ordinary Parliamentary votes were counted yesterday between 2pm and 7pm (in locked rooms guarded by a security guard), no cellphones allowed.
    The Advance Referendum Votes for those who cast advance Ordinary Votes were also counted yesterday afternoon.
    The Advance Special Votes (and the referendum votes for those who cast special votes) will be counted with all the other special votes later.

    Counting the special votes is a more involved, 2-stage process, where first the envelopes are sent to the home Returning Officer, declarations are checked to make sure the voter is on the roll, before the other side of the envelope is opened, the referendum and parliamentary votes extracted, and then counted.

    It's correct to say that the Referendum votes by and large have not been counted - only the ones cast by people who cast an advanced Ordinary Vote have been.

    I've no idea what the pattern will be - I've been so busy as an election trainer focussing on the process of voting that I've paid next to no attention to the campaign.

    Was very surprised though, to come home, and find so little analysis online from stuff and nzherald - no list of who was in/out or on the margins. I presume TV had all that.

    What there was was some glaring inaccuracies - like saying that 1/3 of the people who voted for change voted informally in part 2, when everyone had the chance to vote in part 2.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser, in reply to Paul Williams,

    From a quick and partial look, there’s no specials in the Maori seats, that seems odd to me. Perhaps they’re just not counted?

    It’s a function of how the special votes are recorded. There aren’t any wholly Maori Polling Places. Each Polling Place will also have at least one General electorate.

    Polling Places were asked to report how many Special Votes were returned to that polling place, and for administrative simplicity, this was always returned on the return for the home General Electorate (i.e. anything cast in any polling place in Wellington Central will list all the Special Votes that went into the Special Vote ballot box – for any electorate – in that polling place)

    Which means, and I’ve just realised this, that when it says e.g. 3000 special votes in the Wellington Central, that means that polling places in Wellington Central took in 3000 special votes, not that there were 3000 special votes for Wellington Central.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    Further to Paul's question again:

    Have just realised, the fact that there were 3,717 special votes received at polling places within Christchurch Central doesn't mean that there are 3717 votes to be split between candidates in that electorate.

    Some of them will be - they'll be Special Votes issued to Christchurch Central voters who were late to enrol, or on the unpublished roll etc. But many of those 3717 will be for other electorates.

    Conversely, people from Christchurch Central who voted, e.g. in Auckland Central will have had their special vote listed in the results as being received in Auckland Central.

    So at this stage, there's no knowing how many special votes there will be for Christchurch Central until the electoral machine moves a step or two further on over the next 2 weeks.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth, in reply to Rachel Prosser,

    Ah, this will also be highly relevant for Chch Central, Waimakariri and Waitakere

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    If the projection holds, it would be Mojo Mathers in as the 14th Green MP, and National’s 60th MP, Aaron Gilmore, out of Parliament after one term

    I don't think you have to be either from Christchurch or connected to the Deaf community to really hope this happens. Couldn't be better, really.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis, in reply to Rachel Prosser,

    Thank-you for clearing that up
    Makes the specials a real lottery for those on close margins

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    Always has been. I am disappointed that we still have to wait at least 10 days for a result. In 2011, you'd think that specials could be got to returning officers a lot faster.

    I put that to Simon Power recently but sadly he didn't share my view.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Mandy S,

    It is a bit annoying, I enrolled a month ago and still had to cast a special vote on the day......at the polling booth in the electorate I am enrolled in...it is a very fiddly process with a complicated 2 part envelope with codes that are covered up by tape...so I am not surprised it takes so long...I think the bulk of the special votes may be people in my position rather than advance and out of electorate votes.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Phil Lyth,

    Always has been. I am disappointed that we still have to wait at least 10 days for a result. In 2011, you’d think that specials could be got to returning officers a lot faster.

    Are we really such an ADHD culture that we can't wait? Yeah, I'm sure there a few anxious people in marginals - always has been, always will be - but widdums. We have a caretaker government and perfectly serviceable constitutional norms to prevent the country collapsing into anarchy and old night.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Phil Lyth,

    I've been thinking about this and I reckon we could have a system where traditional enrolling to vote is optional.

    If you enrol to vote in advance, you get sent a voting card and can go along, show it at any polling station in NZ and vote. If you don't enrol, or don't have the card, then you go along, show some ID and vote.

    In the backend, there's an (unpublished, but auditable) database of eligible voters, based on driving license, IRD and Internal Affairs records. That allows anyones eligibility to be determined instantly. The polling stations can print any out-of-area ballot paper as well as having copies of their own. There's no need for a verification process of "special votes" anymore, so the count can proceed quickly, even for out-of-area votes..

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    from Christchurch or connected to the Deaf community

    does seem like a win-win prospect :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • JLM, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I don't think you have to be either from Christchurch or connected to the Deaf community to really hope this happens. Couldn't be better, really.

    If you know Mojo, you want it even more, whatever community (I'm neither of the above)

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 240 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Austin,

    The other thing to note of course in the above scenario is Nats + ACT + UF = 61 seats from 122, so they then need the Maori Party. If I were Tariana and Pita I'd be thinking hard about what I want from my coalition agreement...

    Wellingbottom • Since Jul 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Alas, isn't it 61 from 121? Almost makes me wish the MP had taken another seat!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2097 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Steve Austin,

    The other thing to note of course in the above scenario is Nats + ACT + UF = 61 seats from 122

    I'm not sure what scenario you're talking about, but unless it is Katene winning Te Tai Tonga, then the number of seats is 121.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis,

    "Always has been. I am disappointed that we still have to wait at least 10 days for a result. In 2011, you’d think that specials could be got to returning officers a lot faster."

    It's also to allow time for overseas votes to be returned ... Kiwis voting in London, for instance, have their votes flown back to NZ and distributed to their "home" electoral districts. Then there also needs to be time to compare the electoral rolls from each polling place, investigate any cases of impersonation - where a voter is shown to have received more than one ballot - and remove from the count those ballots that were improperly cast.

    So, it's not just a case of sending a few votes from Auckland to Christchurch and counting them ... the announced result will be (unless a judicial recount takes place, or electoral petition is mounted) THE final result. So it does take some time to get this absolutely right.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    it does take some time to get this absolutely right.

    I think it's great that all our votes get physically counted, under scrutiny, twice! And can be counted again if there's any doubt.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3890 posts Report Reply

  • Cushla McKinney, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Don't the Nats lose a vote if they make Lockwood the speaker again?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Cushla McKinney,

    no

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    So it does take some time to get this absolutely right.

    Yup - and it's also worth remembering that New Zealand does things like this because our electoral system is internationally respected and the results taken seriously. Getting the basics of a credible election result done right rather than done right now is important in ways far beyond the obvious.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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