web analytics

Election day rules 2020

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 pm, October 16th, 2020 - 50 comments
Categories: election 2020, elections, Politics, The Standard - Tags:

There are some rules around Election day material on a website like ours.

This rule applies to websites and social media

Don’t post anything to social media or a website on election day that could influence voters. Also make sure your profile pictures on social media don’t include anything that could influence voters.

You may only keep existing election or referendum material up on a website or social media if all the following apply.

  • You don’t update it on election day
  • It’s only available to people who choose to access it
  • The site isn’t advertised

These rules apply from start of election day voting at 1 second after midnight until the close of polls at 1900. Obviously we don’t advertise, aren’t planning on updating it apart from comments by readers with severe moderation, and it is rather hard to argue that voluntarily leaving a comment is a forced action.

Obviously this law is kind of ridiculous and moot since I suspect that most of you (including me) have already voted. But the law is often an arse, and politicians are somewhat lazy about updating legislation to reflect reality. The two referendums tomorrow reflect that.

Traditionally, I’d just shutdown the comments on the whole site between 0000 and 1900 when the polls close. But this year we have moderators who aren’t being active on the day – including me in my bastard sysop from hell persona.

I am sure everyone who reads this site knows what that means. Comment all that you like without doing anything that looks like influencing voters in any way – including showing up or not showing up at the polls (the law is a bit ambiguous), how to vote on anything, or even material about the four questions on the ballot. Comments overnight will go into moderation until one of us deals with it. But one we have had our morning coffees or teas, I’ll release that constraint and just watch your self-restraint 🙂

Step over the line and your comment will be defaced with the offending content removed . A ban issued, and offenders will not be commenting on the election results here until a long long time after election day… So moderate yourself so we don’t have to do it for you.

You will find that all comments are off during the election day period apart from this post and Open Mike for election day. This post is about anything to do with election day – traffic, queues, idiots putting up unlawful material on election day, and how many minutes until we unmuffle you. Open Mike is for anything else.

Now because I am putting this post up before midnight. So my advice on Friday if that if you haven’t voted – then get off your lazy arse and do so. If at all possible – vote rationally and with an eye to the future. Voting conservative or for myths of any generation isn’t either – in my opinion. And no-one will be able to gainsay me here until 1900 on Saturday…

50 comments on “Election day rules 2020 ”

  1. lprent 1

    Coffee in hand, I have removed the overnight moderation on this post. Yawn…

  2. lprent 2

    Wow – up to the end of Thursday ! There have been 1,742,960 advance votes.

    If you look at the table of the last available day in previous elections, there is usually a big last day with about a 30-40% increase. And there were 176,229 advance votes on Friday Thursday.

    I suspect that there will be almost enough Friday votes to get over 2 million advance votes. And there are only 3.3. registered voters.

    Looks like we need some new laws about voting behaviour on the day. What I did to this site last night seems a little ridiculous for an election day that has been already been running for more than 14 days.

    I don't think that this will be an isolated covid related event. I think that all elections will be like this here in NZ in the future.

    • Incognito 2.1

      1,976,996 advance votes up to 16 Oct with 233,575 advance votes on the last day.


      • lprent 2.1.1

        wow. there are usually 50+k votes from offshore as well.

        umm 61k in 2017.

        well over 2 million votes out of about 3.5 million registered.

        The new normal is going to be that politicians will have to plan on winning the early vote

        • Incognito

          They could start by culling those inane leaders debates, which are utterly useless in their current form/format, IMO. Tonight, I will also avoid all so-called experts panels. In fact, I don’t watch TV at all so why would I make an exception tonight?

          I reckon the overseas vote will be considerably higher than in 2017. Nothing sharpens the mind as much as not being able to travel back to NZ where Covid is under control.

          • weka

            the leaders' debates did seem particularly out of step with the zeitgeist this year. I didn't watch any, apart from listening to one of JA and JC while cooking dinner. It was really boring. Didn't manage to catch the other leaders, mainly because of the networks being so miserly about how to watch. Fuck 'em. But honestly, put whatever on TV, free access, no registration, make the networks earn their bandwidth.

            I will be watching tonight though. Was going to go with RNZ but Matt pointed out that they're using Dunne as one of the commentators. Will probably go with TV3 (Campbell and Barry), and keep an eye on Māori TV. Plus twitter and TS of course 😛

            • Incognito

              A mix of TS and music for me. I might wander over to some of the other NZ blogs occasionally. The commentariats are generally much better and definitely more entertaining than those self-inflated egos on TV. That said, we seem to have stray pufferfish here today 😉

            • PaddyOT

              Tova O’Brien, Patrick Gower and Duncan Garner doing tv3 coverage.


              • weka

                I was thinking more this.

                • PaddyOT

                  😂 too painful weka.

                  I'm off with the grandkids for a picnic pizza in a paddock then some stargazing . I'd rather wait there for an alien abduction 'til it's all over.

                  • weka

                    Yeah, I spared readers the full graphic in our faces.

                    Your plan sounds great. I'll be online 😬 (not stargazing here tonight, too much cloud, but last night was stunning).

  3. Ad 3

    The advance voting shows that the limits on electioneering during voting must be changed because they have been utterly undermined.

    Taking hoardings and signage down when there has been several weeks of voting shows how silly this is.

    Also all campaign events and advertising has occurred while several weeks of voting has been going on.

    Other than legally, there is clearly nothing sacrosanct about the particular day of voting that one needs to free from taint, and all party political encouragement stripped away.

    • Andre 3.1

      Not having advertising or other partisan activity near polling places here really is a blessed relief compared to voting in the US. Long may that live, and be expanded.

      But yeah, removing stuff the midnight before Election Day seems a bit pointless from the point of view of influencing voters. On the other hand, it may be influential in making sure it actually does get removed, rather than just abandoned for someone else to clean up afterwards.

      • ianmac 3.1.1

        On the other hand, it may be influential in making sure it actually does get removed, rather than just abandoned for someone else to clean up afterwards.

        Exactly Andre. A week later trying to find who is responsible waste of time/money.

  4. Jester 4

    I do find it a strange rule, that all the election billboards must be removed by election day, I guess to avoid influencing people, but the signs have all been up over the past few weeks to influence people.

    It seems especially funny to me now as there has been so much advance voting 1.7m? while the signs have been up. Anyway, I guess the rules are the rules, and well done to all those volunteers who have given up their time both putting up the signs (and repairing them) and now taking them down.

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      The national party have bill boards up around nz all year every year. I'm sure it's pretty legal.

  5. weka 5

    I reckon the limits on election day should stand (or be modified somewhat), not least to spare us all a day of electioneering and MSM frenzy. Everyone wants this election to be finished, let's just have a day of chill and let those of us who didn't advance vote now vote in peace.

    Or ban electioneering (and polls) for the whole voting period 😈 (only half joking).

  6. AB 6

    Although the election day rules have been made illogical by early voting, I'd like to see them stay I'm some form. This is just out of respect for the day and the democratic process. The day has a quiet sacredness to it, and it is good that partisan activity is frowned on, like farting in church.

  7. Anne 7

    But the law is often an arse,…

    I think you mean ass – as in donkey.

    Mind you, the law can be an arse too in which case it should read 'the law is often an ass and an arse…'

    Perhaps we can hold a long conversation discussing the merits or otherwise of the words ass and arse. Me? I'm off to investigate a new orange billboard that has appeared at the school on the opposite side of the road. Something interesting is going on there.

  8. georgecom 8

    We are in the Last Days.

    In a biblical sense that means the imminent return of JC, the Messiah.

    In a non biblical sense that means the removal of another JC and the rise of the Messiah, a certain CL.

  9. ken 9


    Election day rules!

  10. mary_a 10

    An opportunity to air a long held gripe about electioneering.

    Apart from visually polluting the environment, political billboards are so old hat; last century's untidy means of promoting political parties. In this digital age, I consider them so unnecessary, when we can go online and see what political parties are doing to promote their policies.

    Let's keep our landscapes environmentally clean and fresh during election time, please.

    • weka 10.1

      still quite a lot of people that don't spend a lot of time online though.

      • Incognito 10.1.1

        God bless them! The other day, I was trying to plug the HDMI cable into the back of my head and started looking for the pill.

  11. Chris T 11

    I have been trying to get my head round it, but why are there so many rules on election day when in recent times most people seem to be early voting.

    I can see this turning into a quaint memory or the rules being extended earlier.

    • Incognito 11.1

      For about three years we’re bombarded daily and 24/7 with crap trying to influence our thinking and doing and then one day, we have to be protected against any undue influence that might affect our choice. That said, a number of people make up or change their minds when in the actual booth.

      • Chris T 11.1.1


        I just think most people aren't that stupid.

        • Incognito

          It has nothing to do with stupidity, but many are too stupid to realise that they are or have been manipulated in subtle or not so subtle ways. I know I am, which makes me only slightly less stupid but stupid nonetheless.

          • Chris T

            Fair enough

            Then surely it should be from the time people are eligible to vote.

            • Rapunzel

              Do you mean "eligible" to vote or Advanced Voting opens/begins? They're entirely different – some people will only be eligible from today or when they first registered. Those of us who keep our details up to date over the 3 years more or less have continuous "eligibility".

  12. George 12

    Does anyone know where to find the statistic for the turnout on voting day in 2017? I haven't been able to find that one…it's probably in plain sight and I can't see for looking.

  13. weka 13

    Weird that media outlets don't have promos for their election night coverage. I'm struggling to find links. RNZ's front page is devoid of any mention of what they're doing. Same with Shub.

  14. lprent 14

    So the question is if the automatic release of the comment block happens at 1900…

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Prime Minister congratulates victorious Black Caps
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Kane Williamson and the Black Caps for their victory over India in the final of the inaugural Cricket World Test Championship. “The Black Caps have made New Zealand proud. This was a masterful performance from a team at the top of their game and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Further action to tackle cervical cancer
    Parliament has taken another step to help reduce the number of women who develop cervical cancer, with the Health (National Cervical Screening Programme) Amendment Bill passing its third reading. “I am very pleased by the robust consideration this Bill has received. It will ensure technology allows healthcare providers to directly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • $500 million seized from gangs and criminals
    A significant Government milestone has been reached with $500 million in cash and assets seized from gangs and criminals by Police over the past four years, Police Minister Poto Williams announced today. “During our last term in office, this target was set for 2021 with Police as part of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Congratulations to the Black Caps – World Champions
    Minister of Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson has congratulated the Black Caps as the deserved winners of the inaugural World Test Cricket Championship. “The Black Caps have pulled off a remarkable and deserved win in the World Test Championship final against India.  The final is the culmination of two years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Alert Level 2 in Wellington, Wairarapa and Kāpiti Coast
    Alert Level 2 measures are now in place for Wellington, Wairarapa and Kāpiti Coast to the north of Ōtaki, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. These measures are precautionary, following the potential exposure of New Zealanders to a COVID-19 case from Sydney. The person visited a range of locations in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Speech to the India New Zealand Business Council Summit
    5pm, Wednesday 23 June 2021 [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Tuia te Rangi e tū nei Tuia te Papa e takoto nei Tuia te here tangata Ka rongo te pō, ka rongo te Ao Tihei Mauri Ora   Introduction Namaskar, tēnā koe and good evening. Thank you for your kind invitation to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Financial support for caregivers widened
    Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis has welcomed changes that will make it easier for caregivers looking after children outside of the state care system to access much-needed financial assistance. The Social Security (Financial Assistance for Caregivers) Amendment Bill will also allow these caregivers to access further benefits previously unavailable to them. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Agencies to have powers to secure maritime domain
    A Bill introduced to Parliament today aims to prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including transnational offending and organised crime, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced. “Aotearoa New Zealand will be better placed to keep our maritime environment secure against threats like drugs trafficking, wildlife trafficking and human trafficking with the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Critical support for New Zealand’s budding researchers
    Fellowships to attract and retain talented researchers in the early stages of their career, have been awarded to 30 New Zealanders, Associate Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “I am pleased to congratulate these researchers, who will be receiving funding through the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bill to stop taxpayers having to fund oil field decommissions
    The Government is preventing taxpayers picking up the bill for the decommissioning of oil fields, says Energy and Resource Minister Dr Megan Woods.  “After the Crown had to take responsibility for decommissioning the Tui oil field, it became clear to me that the current requirements around decommissioning are inadequate and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand to pause
    New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand will be paused while the source of infection of new cases announced in Sydney is investigated, says COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. There are 10 new community cases of COVID-19 today in New South Wales, taking the Australian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milestone reached for Iwi Affiliation Population Counts
    Iwi affiliation data released today provides updated population counts for all iwi and addresses gaps in Māori data originating from the 2018 Census, says Associate Minister of Statistics Meka Whaitiri. “The release of the 2018 Iwi Affiliation Estimated Counts is a really important step, and I acknowledge the hard work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little welcomed Ngāti Rangitihi to Parliament today to witness the first reading of The Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill. “I know it took a lot of hard work, time and patience by all parties involved to reach this significant milestone. I am honoured to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Conference Aotearoa
    Mihi Tēnā tātou katoa Kei ngā pou o te whare hauora ki Aotearoa, kei te mihi. Tēnā koutou i tā koutou pōwhiri mai i ahau. E mihi ana ki ngā taura tangata e hono ana i a tātou katoa, ko te kaupapa o te rā tērā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Infrastructure Acceleration Fund opening for business
    Criteria to access at least $1 billion of the $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF), announced in March, is now available, and an invitation for expressions of interest will be released on 30 June, Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced.  “This is a key milestone in our plan to accelerate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bringing back the health of Hauraki Gulf
    New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations. The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today, draws on input from mana whenua, local communities, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to AI Forum – Autonomous Weapons Systems
    AI Forum New Zealand, Auckland Good evening and thank you so much for joining me this evening. I’d like to start with a thank you to the AI Forum Executive for getting this event off the ground and for all their work and support to date. The prospect of autonomous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand boosts support to Fiji for COVID-19 impact
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing additional support to Fiji to mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable households, Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Recognising the increasingly challenging situation in Fiji, Aotearoa will provide an additional package of assistance to support the Government of Fiji and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Round 2 of successful energy education fund now open
    $1.65 million available in Support for Energy Education in Communities funding round two Insights from SEEC to inform future energy hardship programmes Community organisations that can deliver energy education to households in need are being invited to apply for the second funding round of the Support for Energy Education in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Ngarimu scholarships to target vocational training
    Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis today announced three new scholarships for students in vocational education and training (VET) are to be added to the suite of prestigious Ngarimu scholarships. “VET learners have less access to study support than university students and this is a way to tautoko their learning dreams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Recognising the volunteers who support our health system
    Nominations have opened today for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, as part of National Volunteer Week. “We know that New Zealanders donate at least 159 million hours of volunteer labour every year,” Minister of Health Andrew Little said in launching this year’s awards in Wellington. “These people play ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Drug Free Sport supported to deal with new doping challenges
    Drug Free Sport New Zealand will receive a funding boost to respond to some of the emerging doping challenges across international sport. The additional $4.3 million over three years comes from the Sport Recovery Fund announced last year. It will help DFSNZ improve athletes’ understanding of the risks of doping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago