Enrolment statistics are worrying

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 am, July 25th, 2014 - 38 comments
Categories: election 2014 - Tags:

Electoral commission enrollment statistics

The Electoral Commission has released enrolment figures as at June 30.  The figures are not good.  Overall 88.6% of the population is enrolled but amongst 18 to 24 year olds the figure is only 68.9%.  The figures then gradually increase until they max out at the 65 – 69 level.

There are some really unusual results.  Auckland Central’s overall figure is 66.9%, the Christchurch seats hover around the 80% level, Dunedin North is at 77.7% compared to Dunedin South’s 91.6%, Wellington Central is at 76.9%.  It seems the university seats do very poorly.

Another generalisation is that urban seats do less well than rural or provincial seats.

For some strange reason the reports on the Maori seats do not provide the percentages enrolled.  On average there are 32,120 people enrolled in each Maori seat and 43,428 in each European seat.  There should be 47,761 electors in each seat on average.  This suggests the proportion of electors on the Maori role is a concerning 67% while the European average is 91%.

I am worried that this Government may not be putting sufficient effort into getting enrolments.  Previously for instance at the Avondale Markets I used to see hired help going around with clipboards collecting enrolments.  The only people doing it now are the Labour Party activists who gladly give up their time to make sure that people get the chance to exercise their rights to vote.  I would be interested to see what resources are being put into enrolments by the Government.

What can we do?  I suggest that each of us thinks about our relatives who are under the age of 30 and checks that they are enrolled.  If they are not then you can start here.  Or you can get the forms from your local post shop.

And why is it important for young people to vote?  Well they have more to lose than the rest of us.  Insipid climate change policies will wreck their world and a failure to deal with national debt or Auckland’s out of control real estate market will have a direct affect on our young people.

38 comments on “Enrolment statistics are worrying”

  1. SPC 1

    Rates seem lowest in the 25-34 year old age range.

    The rates for those under 25 inflated by those living at home or with a stable address while at university.

    • Shrubbery 1.1

      Check the Y axis carefully, it’s a misleading graph to the eye (and the EC should know better). Rates are still lowest in the 18-24 range

      • SPC 1.1.1

        yes the information in the link is not well represented in that graph. Misrepresented in fact.

        • Would be much better to present this information with a double-Y axis listing estimated enrollment percentage versus actual enrollment numbers in each age bucket.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Totally agree Micky. In the Far North local supermarkets for example were previously targeted by paid workers for the EC. Is this apparent lowering of enrollment resources a deliberate move under instruction of course, by the EC?

    Non enrolled are everywhere you go, ask people and give them a form, it is non partisan unless someone asks who to vote for. Then you can engage more fully.

  3. Tom Jackson 3

    And why is it important for young people to vote? Well they have more to lose than the rest of us. Insipid climate change policies will wreck their world and a failure to deal with national debt or Auckland’s out of control real estate market will have a direct affect on our young people.

    Even if young people vote, they will still be outnumbered by the selfish old people. Compulsory euthanasia now!

    • Kiwiri 3.1

      Hang on … not all old people are selfish.

      • Tom Jackson 3.1.1

        Most of you old coots are a pack of troughers. 😉

        • Kiwiri 3.1.1.1

          R e s p e c t !

          Most of you old coots
          haa .. I am not that old!

          Banish thy talk of “compulsory euthanasia”.

          Talk about compulsory eudaimonia!

    • Foreign Waka 3.2

      Tom,and you actually belief what you write? And what you are saying is equivalent of kill all old folks. This is shockingly selfish given that more than 30% of pensioners are living in poverty and most cannot “afford” to go into this nirvana of a spoiled existence wrecking everything around them by consuming $1 bread and going to bed instead of putting the heater on. Perhaps it is time you joined the real world. In fact to call for euthanasia for people who are “surplus” is strongly reminiscent of a system experienced in Europe some 60 years ago. Shame on you.

  4. shorts 4

    the young people I come across – which is a lot due to my day job and youngsters in the house – are generally really concerned and aware of the issues they face as adults…. when asked about NZ politics their disdain (outright anger – hard to explain in polite terms) of our politicians and political parties is near universal – the greens being the only exception outside of those who just vote like their parents

    it doesn’t take long looking at the news to see why

    If labour in particular wants young peoples votes (or any) then get ya shit together!!!!!

  5. Chooky 5

    hopefully the Int /Mana Party is rounding up youth enrollments/votes …i see hope here…my son is voting for them …my daughter in Australia will probably vote for them or the Greens

    it is my considered opinion that voting should be compulsory…and people should be able to make special enrollments on the day at the Voting Booths…if nothing else it gives people a stake in democracy and a responsibility for the outcome of the Election..it establishes a voting habit as opposed to a bad habit of being a nonvoter and dissenter to democracy

    • Pasupial 5.1

      Dunedin North IMPs will be out doorknocking this avo with enrollment forms – we are sticking fairly closely to the student area so far. Because they best fit the disproportionate nonvoter characteristics of (one or more of); poor, young, politically disengaged, perceived barrier, recent immigrant, unenrolled. But hope to be widening our focus area after this weekend’s hecticness.

      http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Well-being/civic-human-rights/non-voters-2008-2011-gen-elections.aspx

      There will also be enrollment forms at the Party Party at 10 Bar in the Octagon (not Sammy’s) on Saturday.

      We are a strangely disparate group from my experience with NZ Politics. I come from a Green (once Labour) background, others from; National, Labour, Maori (through MANA) & NZF Parties. However we seem to building a team where, while we certainly don’t agree about everything; we are committed to working together to change the present corrupt Government.

    • Enough is Enough 5.2

      Voting is a right, not an obligation. It should not be compulsory

      • Zoroaster 5.2.1

        Good for you E is E. However, if someone of the right-ways persuasion got a hold of your slogan about it being a right not an obligation it would begin down the totally expected slippery slope of pop-thought where “we” start denying votes to people who aren’t really people and don’t deserve to vote, you know, like the poor. Only real people, as judged by those with enough wealth to fund a small country and their friends, would be allowed to exercise their “right”.

        • Chooky 5.2.1.1

          this was the case before people fought for the right to vote …once it was only the privilege of the landowning class and males…ironic that workers and women fought so long and hard for the right to vote and now people are throwing away their rights to vote

          • Jenny 5.2.1.1.1

            …ironic that workers and women fought so long and hard for the right to vote and now people are throwing away their rights to vote

            The obvious conclusion is that they they feel it is not empowering them at all. And that whoever they vote for nothing changes, or even gets worse.

            I oppose the imposition of compulsory voting because the right to abstain should be protected, it is an indication of how healthy (or unhealthy) our democracy really is. Reaching for the authoritarian tool of compulsion will only cover up the disconnection between the rule and the ruled.

            I do believe that we should make it easier for people to vote. Putting your name address on a publicly accessible role is a handicap for many of the poorest who are often dodging fines or debt collectors.

            In the recent Egyptian revolution one of the demands of the protesters was easier voting rights, which they won.

            Currently in Egypt if you want to vote you don’t have to be enrolled at all. All you have to do is show some photo ID, either drivers licence, passport, or identity card that proves you are a citizen of Egypt.

            You can understand the reason behind this demand when you understand that despite being nominally a democratic state Egypt is also a police state, and the population fear providing the state more than the barest information on themselves.

            I think we should do the same here. Do away with the need to enroll. If you can prove who you are, and you are eligible, then you get the right to vote. Simple, maybe even liberating.

            • Foreign Waka 5.2.1.1.1.1

              You need to take into consideration that no one should vote more then once as this is one of the main causes of these so called election results that never satisfy in countries like Egypt. Enrollment is suited as it will prevent fraud without creating large expenses. I belief its effective and efficient, more than one can say about many corps and govt departments around.

            • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.1.1.1.2

              I think it’s pretty reasonable to say that you should be able to vote without enrolling, and that enrolling should be for ease of voting and ease of government statistics. The state doesn’t necessarily have a right to information about your permanent address.

              • Foreign Waka

                If you don’t want to vote, don’t. But the issue of enrolling is that of stemming off corrupting the process and given a choice I would rather enroll if I want to vote and be assured that my name cannot be used somewhere else too – online or otherwise.

  6. wonderpup 6

    Someone feel like doing an OIA request on directions given to the EC on voter enrolment now compared to the last few elections?

    Any lack of effort must be seen as direct disenfranchisement.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    When you think about it, the enrolment system is designed to suit the political parties. Lists of people by address, and yes the parties are the only ones to get it in that format and then grouped into electorates.

    Why cant you enrol once as a ‘floating voter’ who only has a email address and then on voting day vote at whatever booth is nearest to where you live at the time.

    As someone who lived in one place for many many years and then moved twice in 2 years the enrolment paraphernalia that you have to bother with is a bit of a surprise

    • Chooky 7.1

      agreed…and the performance to get a young first time voter on the roll in the first place is a bit of an eye opener ( or when a young person changes addresses)….if the form is not filled in the right way …it keeps bouncing back unfinalised for another try( Maori Rolls versus General rolls are also a hazard for enrollment filling)

      imo …much better to be able/have the option to fill in the enrollment forms at the Voting Booth under the watchful eye of an experienced helper

      ….sure these last minute special enrollments would take extra time to check/validate and count before the final election results could be totalled ….but it would be more democratic…and in any case final results are often delayed because of close margins and recounts

  8. Crunchtime 8

    As I heard at a rally recently:

    The right want you to feel disempowered, disenfranchised, and that your vote doesn’t make a difference.

    If they can get enough people to feel this way, they win.

    • Zoroaster 8.1

      Well maybe. Mostly people begin to feel that way when they spend time in the outside world without any kind of buffering drug, or accidentally hear a politician speak. Sometimes our pollies are still living in 1933, most times they don’t seem to notice the concepts and values of feel-good philanthropic capitalism are irreconcilable with the realities of the free-market hell we enjoy.

    • disturbed 8.2

      Crunch time You said:
      “The right want you to feel disempowered, disenfranchised, and that your vote doesn’t make a difference.

      If they can get enough people to feel this way, they win.”

      That is simply brilliant, cant we get the opposition to plaster this all over the media and in all their TV slogans??

  9. Michael 9

    Worrying? Perhaps. Surprising? Not in the least, when there is no serious alternative to right wing economics and crude, thuggish, bureaucratic oppression available to the ninety percenters. More than the top ten percent will vote on 20 September, of course, but the numbers of those who will are dropping as more and more people see through the empty bullshit antics of the political class. The next government will be even more illegitimate than the current one.

    • Mike the Savage One 9.1

      I must agree, many ask, what is the alternative, and despite of many using social media, the MSM still dominate the information communication, and we know what their “news” look and sound like. The media is a force that must not be underestimated.

      The enrolment figures are the result of people simly not bothering, even when asked, to enrol, when they have lost interest, trust and given up hope.

      More is needed than some ad campaigns, leaflets in letterboxes or at libraries.

      A fair section of society, also amongst the ones enrolled, are not going to bother, I fear, and efforts should have been made long ago, by Labour and others, to get more people interested and involved.

      Them again leaving many policy announcements to the last minute gives the impression, they are just throwing a few lollies around, into a scramble, to “buy” some needed votes. That just dust not wash anymore with most.

      The MSM have done all to discourage people, led to biased, unrepresentative polls, and that is a catch 22 situation now, feeding negatively into further negative media reports.

      And David Cunliffe apologising for stuff not needing apologising for has not helped.

      Damned, get your volunteers and so out, and work hard, one must appeal, or it may have been much hype and energy wasted for too long.

  10. Sabine 10

    http://www.kiwibiker.co.nz/forums/showthread.php/168353-Elections-are-coming-up-What-are-we-thinking

    You find this scary? I had a look under Kiwi Biker (yes I ride a bike), and there is a current little poll who do you vote for…..As of the time of me typing this 1….ONE vote for Labour vs. 14 National.

    there is also 1 … One vote for a Party outside of parliament. go figure that.

    Labour needs to grow a spine, be un-apologetic about being socially minded and be Labour orientated, cause the Owners Brigade already has a Party.

    • Michael 10.1

      Good Post, Sabine, especially that advice in your last paragraph. But then again, I’m not a Labour MP so my opinion counts for sweet FA in this matter.

  11. Sabine 11

    As for the young ones? They know how to enrol, they just don’t know why bother.
    They know that the planet is pretty much fucked (sorry Greens, but you are too late), that a 10 – 15 % unemployement is going to be the norm in our automized and outsourced society and they look at Planet Key and Planet Cunliffe and to an extend Planet Green and they go why bother.

    Sadly so.

    • Foreign Waka 11.1

      And thus democracy finally died. It seems this very young country has to learn the hard way what it means to not be able to move freely, speak freely, be free to get pursue ones dream. And yes, corruption was in society as long as it existed.
      How about getting of the train of self pity, apathy and the constant mantra that others are at fault? What I see is people waiting to have all worked out for them so that no thinking is required and someone is always the guilty party.
      There was a suggestion recently that people want to get paid to vote! Now that says it all. Yes, why bother with this attitude that democracy is something that is handed to you rather then something you have to create every day instead of seeing this as a consumer article.
      Changes do not come from negative procrastination but from ideas and incremental steps to improve the well being of all living things. By the way, I vote green as always.

  12. disturbed 12

    The media is deliberately diverting any programming which would incite the young to care about politics.

    They should be plastering this stuff below, all over the media aimed at the young.

    I am 70 and broke thanks to this lopsided economy that only rewards those with wealth, and live in Auckland or Queenstown mainly..

    We two very caring oldies struggle to live out our life in the Gisborne H.B. regions.

    I took my two children for a 10 yr. living experience from 1988 to 1998 for lifes experience as I worked in Canada & the US.

    I am still young at heart but know that the young will grow to hate what is happening as they are left out of the wealth trail.

    When We were young we used to have a egalitarian economy where everyone shared equally as possible in the countries wealth, and in 1960 boasted the second best place to live I the world. We were very proud to be Kiwi’s.

    But now the wealth has been transferred to the rich…

    National is now generating a two tare economy.

    **Those this wealth and Auckland / Queenstown property.
    **Those of us who are starving on the second lower tare economy in the provinces with sliding employment, property prices.

    Eventually Planet Key will have all the provincial regions that are depressed being the slave low wage export production centres.

    Planet key will achieve the slave regions by generating a separate class of lower cost worker and quality low wealth economy to support the rich.

    If the media daily sent out this type of warning to the masses the young may get savvy and wake up and get involved before they get also caught in the regional poverty trap now worsening in the provincial regions.

    Please don’t label us as uncaring as I care very deeply about my offspring’s future.

    • Mike the Savage One 12.1

      Well said, ‘disturbed’, it is not a solution to turn young against old, and old against young, as we must all find solutions together. Divide and rule is exactly what Key and his collaborators are all about. His words are often misleading, claiming he is wanting the best for “all” New Zealanders. But by looking at his, and especially his government’s actions, it shows he has double standards.

      New Zealanders can only survive by finding together, standing together, and realising, that a social contract of sorts must be maintained, or we will all sink down the drain.

      The young are the children of the older generation, and the older generation mostly cares for the well being of their off spring, apart from some selfish characters, who would not have respected their own parents either.

      It will require a giant effort though, to repair three decades of social dismantling, of division, of mistrust and hatred, between all there are, and only progressive parties and their supporters will be able to offer such solutions.

      This election was meant to be a crucial one, it still may be, so the ones that have lost track somehow, they better get focused again, and head right there where their attention and energy are needed. Giving Key and his government another term will prove to be a disaster for New Zealand, as they have no plan, are not prepared for economic, social and energy challenges that the whole world will continue to face for years to come. A fly by nighter, and gambler and opportunist like John Key, is like a seductive traitor in sheep’s clothing.

    • Thank you for that account of you and your partner’s experience, disturbed.

      I suspect that not only will the lowest registration be with the younger age groups but, also, the lowest proportion of registered voters who don’t turn out at the polls will also be at the younger end.

  13. AmaKiwi 13

    The young don’t vote because they are ANGRY, not because they don’t care.

    (from a UK study published in The Guardian about 3 months ago. Sorry, no link.)

    For the Left to win, we need to tap into the anger. I suspect Dotcom’s Sept. 15 revelations are aimed at rousing their anger and getting them to vote.

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