. . . Local Government New Zealand says it looks like voter turnout this year could be the worst on record.
People living in smaller regions are putting some of our main centres to shame. A week out, the centres with the highest voter numbers are central Hawke’s Bay, with 32 percent, Horowhenua, with 31 percent, Clutha, with 32 percent, and Timaru, with 32 percent.
Compare that to the lowest voter numbers. In Auckland only 14 percent of people have voted. Hamilton’s the same, and even the capital’s not much better, with 17 percent.
Dunedin has had the biggest drop in the country, down from 26 percent to just 17 percent.
I would point out that voting doesn’t close until 12 October, and in the meantime candidates are politicing, withdrawing, being “exposed”, changing their stance, pork barreling, and destroying their credibility. Why would you vote early when the candidate you may vote for can fit into all or any of the above categories? . .
That could have something to do with it.
I had a 50/50 toss up between two candidates in a previous election, voted early then later, but before polling closed, learned something that would have persuaded me to vote for the candidate I didn’t.
That’s one of the reasons I haven’t yet voted but I will, at least for councillors and mayor.
However I think LGNZ is right to blame the system too:
Local Government New Zealand says figures are down almost everywhere and the problem lies in the voting system itself. It says the mail system lacks urgency and excitement, and they’ve made it so easy that nobody’s really bothering to participate. . .
Postal voting makes it easy for people to ignore or lose their papers, forget to post them and to use other people’s votes.
That’s if people get the voting papers in the first place.
. . .In parts of Auckland, voters are yet to receive voting packs and candidates are concerned delays could alter the election outcome.In other parts, voters have received two sets of voting papers.
Tauranga and Gisborne police are also investigating two incidents.
In Tauranga, 290 voting packs were in two mail sacks that disappeared. In Gisborne, a man purporting to be a council volunteer went house-to-house offering to post completed ballot papers. . .
There is none of the sense of community participation you get by turning up at a polling booth either and this is something those advocating for electronic voting should keep in mind if they mean people can vote by computer from home.
However, it’s not only the voting system to blame.
People are even less engaged with local body politics than national ones and because of that are far less inclined to vote.
This entry was posted on Monday, October 7th, 2013 at 7:00 am and is filed under politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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