MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Release/Statement
Headline: Changes to Electoral Act introduced
More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says.
The Electoral Amendment Bill has been introduced to Parliament and proposes 14 changes to the Electoral Act to adapt to shifts in technology and voter behaviour. These reflect recommendations made by the Justice and Electoral Select Committee’s Inquiry into the 2014 General Election.
“The changes will improve services to voters, candidates and parties. It also makes a number of other amendments to help make the delivery of elections more efficient,” says Ms Adams.
Key changes include:
- allowing electoral officials in voting places on election day to be able check a voter’s enrolment status by looking up and marking them off electronically, rather than having to rely on paper-based rolls
- permitting the counting of advance votes earlier on Election Day to ensure preliminary results can be announced in a timely manner
- allowing the Electoral Commission to use new methods of providing information to electors via email, in addition to post
- making certain forms more user-friendly to make voting easier
- banning campaigning and the display of campaign material inside and within 10 metres of Advance Voting Places.
“The regular review of our electoral laws after every General Election is an important way of keeping the legislation current and helps ensure the efficiency and robustness of New Zealand’s electoral system. It offers us the chance to continuously improve the electoral system in light of changing voter expectations and experiences throughout the election cycle,” says Ms Adams.
The proposed changes will be implemented in time for the 2017 General Election.