Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Surprisingly Sincere Up Front Guide to Voting Part 2: Everything Else

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  • Richard Wain,

    Since we don't have to provide ID, can't anyone pretend to be me?

    I would hate to get to the polls and be told someone had already voted for me!

    Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Richard Wain,

    Since we don't have to provide ID, can't anyone pretend to be me?

    I would hate to get to the polls and be told someone had already voted for me!

    So for me the corollary to this is "Do you think people who don't have ID shouldn't be allowed to vote?"

    Does New Zealand have a problem with in-person voter fraud? No it does not.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4610 posts Report Reply

  • Walter Nicholls, in reply to Moz,

    I assume there's a latinisation requirement for names as well? How far does that go - are Maori macrons ok?

    Using Gööglə I didn't find anything quickly, but my first thought was that your name should be such that Births/Deaths/Marriage would also accept it. All I could find here was "it is ... a name (for example, it must not include numbers or symbols)." which doesn't really answer your questions.

    The macrons on the other hand strikes me as obvious - it's an official language of NZ and the macrons are part of the spelling, so any Government entity that can't deal with that is severely deficient (maybe even breaking some law somewhere) . And people genuinely can get by with only a Māori name.
    Following that point of view, NZ Sign Language should be ok for everything as well, but that's probably trickier (finding people so every polling booth has at an electoral officer versant in each of Māori and NZSL is almost certainly unrealistic)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Greville Whittle,

    What can scrutineers do?

    They have to wear those little rosettes so you know they’re scrutineers. They’re largely there to watch the staff, not the voters.

    This is good to know. I live in Hamilton East and when voting in 2011 we had to file past 3-4 big guys in National t-shirts and rosettes that were lined up at the door. It was very strange and more than a little intimidating; I didn't know how to react and didn't say anything. Voting in 2014 was better, I saw a mixture of scrutineers and they were watching the staff. So I figured it was a one off.

    Hamiltron • Since Oct 2008 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Greville Whittle,

    This is good to know. I live in Hamilton East and when voting in 2011 we had to file past 3-4 big guys in National t-shirts and rosettes that were lined up at the door.

    Yeah, they should be sitting down set back behind the issuing desk, with the desks and issuing officers between them and the voters. They are allowed to get up and move around, though. If you're ever worried about the behaviour of scrutineers (and in those circumstances I would be), please have a quiet word with the polling place manager. They've got a lot to keep an eye on and they might not have noticed.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4610 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    I assume that the illegality around photographing your ballot paper, is to stop you from being able to prove how you voted in the case where you were bribed (or intimidated). Without proof the briber cannot be sure how the bribee voted.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 590 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Given there is an efficient system for people who haven't registered to turn up and vote *before* polling day (and to vote anywhere), could this be extended to allow unregistered voters to vote on polling day (with some more technology to speed registering them, maybe).

    And then possibly get rid of registering at all so people can just turn up and vote.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5523 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Walter Nicholls,

    it must not include numbers or symbols

    They're really asking for pedantry there, IMO. I'm kinda wondering if you could register 💩 as the name of a political party instead. Or more to my taste, "😍🚲❣ Party"

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1014 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Again, "Yes that's my name" would have been sufficient in 2014. This time we will ask you what your name is, and if you refuse to say, we will send you to the polling place manager. (I assume that the reasoning is that if you have someone else's EasyVote card, and I'm holding it, you might cock up reproducing the name on it.)

    I understand how weird this seems. But I'm going to beg you not to be a dick about it.

    I'm not planning on making any staffer's life harder, just curious about how absolutely pointless it seems to insist that I say my name out loud, when there's no requirement for ID, and if I aren't even using an Easy Vote card, nothing except the Roll to compare it to. Especially as the phrase "verbally give or verbally confirm his or her name" implies that a simple confirmation should be enough.

    I have no objection to stating my name in public, hell, I'm posting here under it, but I can imagine there are some people with reason to be more sensitive about it than I. If I was feeling protective about such a person of my acquaintance (again, I'm not), I might be inclined to be a dick about it to make a point, and possibly obtain a ruling on the interpretation of that "verbally confirm" bit.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 894 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    possibly get rid of registering at all so people can just turn up and vote.

    That's surprisingly practical in Aotearoa because of the comparatively liberal voting restrictions and the largely computerised systems we have for tracking people. Emma already mentioned the tablet, for example. It would be almost trivial if we had an Estonian-style national ID card (perhaps not exactly like theirs though). Personally I'd like to see it just because I like voting to be as widespread as possible.

    For those excited by the prospect of voting on basic human rights, we West Islanders find out today whether the Australian Bureau of Statistics will get to carry out a postal opinion poll on whether teh gayz should get to marry. The government can't organise an actual vote, or even promise that it would respect one if we had one. Try not to pity us too obviously.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1014 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    This is really a thing?

    I can't immediately find the refs but it definitely was in 2014. At least one NZ celebrity was publicly slapped for posting a photo, and countless others were also photographing their ballot papers and posting them to social media. Usually with good intentions, of course, for things like encouraging friends to get to the ballot box, but still....

    I don't care if people tell each other how they've voted. What matters for me is that nobody can prove how they've voted. As soon as it becomes possible to bring away evidence of a vote, it becomes possible to compel someone to produce that evidence. That opens up a big can of worms in election integrity because it means someone's vote can be influenced by how they think they might be treated afterwards because of it. (Friends, partners, family, employers, etc.) I think it'd be a useful amendment to the Electoral Act to make it clearly illegal.

    This is probably one of the most significant issues with online voting, imho, but it's an issue that's largely ignored in discussions about online voting.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1066 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to izogi,

    As soon as it becomes possible to bring away evidence of a vote, it becomes possible to compel someone to produce that evidence.

    That. Making it bluntly illegal would be very useful. I'm not sure of the penalty though, coercion makes that decision pretty fraught.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1014 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Moz,

    Emma already mentioned the tablet, for example.

    Just to note, the tablet is advance voting only, and just a trial.

    If I was feeling protective about such a person of my acquaintance (again, I'm not), I might be inclined to be a dick about it to make a point, and possibly obtain a ruling on the interpretation of that "verbally confirm" bit.

    The Electoral Commission does a review of every election, which is given to a parliamentary select committee which decides what changes will be made for the next election. That would be the most effective time and place to bring it up.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4610 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Emma Hart,

    The Electoral Commission does a review of every election

    I should do that, it's not as though one more submission will unduly tax me. But just to be clear, the second quote you replied to was Jeremy not me.

    If you wanted to make a point, finding a mute person would be the way to go. Or just developing a sore throat on the day, since I suspect a doctor's certificate wouldn't be enough to make your late vote valid. But I also expect that the staff are not going to be dicks about the rule.

    Ooh, I wonder if this will also help remove the mentally infirm? "state your full name" ... "Mary Anne-Marie, oh, I mean Anne Marie, Sarah" "sorry Ma'am, I have Mary Sarah Anne-Marie here, you're not eligible to vote". If they're not doing that what exactly is the point of the recitation?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1014 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Moz,

    But I also expect that the staff are not going to be dicks about the rule.

    You might very well think that. But I, and I cannot emphasise this enough, __couldn't possibly comment.

    But also, bear in mind, scrutineers.

    And yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to engage on the Name Issue here any more. I've said all I can say.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4610 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    I have no objection to stating my name in public, hell, I'm posting here under it, but I can imagine there are some people with reason to be more sensitive about it than I.

    I have never voted on election day and have always gone in one afternoon earlier in the week. Once there was one other voter in the polling place, the other times I had it to myself. So if your identity is a sensitive matter, this option may help you.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 280 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Lyall,

    Attachment

    I've photographed and published my unmarked voting papers several times. Not had problems with that.

    I have taken photographs inside polling place and been told off, even though Ive taken care to avoid photographs of other ballots. I would note it is common for photographs to be taken of party leaders when they vote so it doesn't look like the rules are consistent here.

    Also the design of some polling places isn't all that private. I voted in the Mt Roskill bye election at the Mt Roskill library and the "voting booths" were directly in front on windows to a public area at the entrance to the library. Anybody could have stood at the window 2m behind somebody filling out their ballots (photo attached)

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Lyall, in reply to simon g,

    Exit polls are common overseas, but not used in NZ. Is there anything to stop exit polls being conducted on Advance Voting?

    Well in 2014 I had a little run in with the Electoral Commission around an exit poll. full story here but the relevant threatening language is:

    Under section 197(1)(d) of the Electoral Act 1993, it is an offence to conduct a public opinion poll of persons who have voted (exit polls). Section 197(1)(d) states:

    197 Interfering with or influencing voters
    (1) Every person commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000 who at an election—
    (d) at any time before the close of the poll, conducts in relation to the election a public opinion poll of persons voting before polling day

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Simon Lyall,

    That proscribes the exit polling of advance voters, surely? Not voters voting *on* polling day.

    I'd be interested in how they think they have (criminal) jurisdiction over an act outside NZ.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/DLM328024.html#DLM328024
    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/DLM328023.html
    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0087/122.0/whole.html#DLM3486936

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5523 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    yes but ....

    197 (e)
    at any time on polling day before the close of the poll, conducts a public opinion poll in relation to the election:

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2543 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    197 (1)(c) would seem to preclude the publication of the results of any exit poll before the close of polls, by means of

    any statement having direct or indirect reference to the poll by means of any loudspeaker or public address apparatus or cinematograph or television apparatus

    ; but just in case there’s any doubt, 197 (1)(e) expressly forbids conducting such a poll:

    at any time on polling day before the close of the poll, conducts a public opinion poll in relation to the election

    [ETA: gah, too slow]

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1669 posts Report Reply

  • Alice Ronald,

    Emma, would you mind if I shared links to these posts on Tumblr? There's been a big push on there in the last year or so to share informational posts about voting for different elections & things.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 61 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    We should probably take it up with whoever it was who made the legal challenge that led to this change.

    Actually, we should take it up with the National-dominated select committee who in 2014 sprang it on us as a measure to counter their fantasy election fraud (i.e. make it more difficult for people to vote). See "confirmation of identity" in the report here.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1704 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Don't tell Barnaby Joyce about voting from a foreign country, OK? Just sayin...

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 253 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Alice Ronald,

    Emma, would you mind if I shared links to these posts on Tumblr?

    Absolutely go for it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4610 posts Report Reply

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