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Over half a million votes received already, have you posted yours?

Written By: - Date published: 7:40 pm, November 29th, 2013 - 63 comments
Categories: democratic participation, referendum - Tags:

The Electoral Commission has reported receiving and processing nearly quarter of a million referendum votes per day on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Those were the first two day big days allowing time for the ballots to there through the post.

With smaller numbers getting in early on Monday and Tuesday, too, 530,000 votes are in so far – an impressive 17.50% turn out already. That’s far better than you would expect from a council postal ballot at this stage. Now, let’s get the rest in.

And if you haven’t got your ballot, tell the Electoral Commission, and get a new one.


63 comments on “Over half a million votes received already, have you posted yours?”

  1. karol 1

    OMG. My vote story is a bit of an embarrassment – had it sealed and ready to post & left it somewhere en route to the post office. Hoping to recover it when i retrace my steps in the next day or so.

    Why do we have postal voting?? Why can’t we just visit a booth on a set day and be done with it?

    [just ask the Electoral Commission for a new one if you’ve lost yours. JH]

    • Naturesong 1.1

      I would have thought postal voting would be better for a referendum than having to plan to turn up somewhere – unless you were voting in a national election.

      That said, mine is filled out but still sitting on the kitchen table, I keep forgetting to grab it when I head out the door.

      On the plus side, it means at least half a million votes +1 when I finally remember to post the damn thing 🙂

    • poliambidextrous 1.2

      Call 0800 36 76 56 and get another set of voting papers sent out. I had to do this when I screwed up my council voting papers earlier this year. New voting papers arrived two days later. You have until 13 December so there’s plenty of time to get your vote in.

      • poliambidextrous 1.2.1

        Why am I being moderated, this is helpful advice.

        [Because Akismet is throwing all sorts of normal looking comments into moderation for some reason – MS]

    • alwyn 1.3

      The referendum is estimated to cost about $9,000,000 with postal voting.
      I understand that there were about 5,000 election day staff required on election day 2011. There would also be, I imagine, at least 1,000 polling places to be rented. I’m not sure what the cost of the 2011 election was but the figure for the 2008 election was about $36,000,000.
      If we had polling places it is hard to see how the cost of the referendum would be much less than that.
      Certainly when the referendum was announced the cheapest option was said to be a postal ballot.
      ps The 5,000 election day staff was taken from the Electoral Commission report.

      • Naturesong 1.3.1

        Well, given that both the Green party and Labour Party said they’d support delaying the referendum so it could be held in concert with the 2014 election, the additional cost of a postal ballot rests solely with National.

    • ianmac 1.4

      I carefully read mine. Tore off the voting paper, placed it in the envelope and licked it shut. Luckily I remembered just in time that I hadn’t ticked NO! Unstuck envelope and posted it. When you get older you will find that…………….

      • BM 1.4.1

        Whats my name, where do i live.?

      • Anne 1.4.2

        I was so keen to make sure my tick would be seen that I used a felt tip and made such a mess had to white out… draw another circle (bit wonky too) and do it again with an ordinary pen. Sealed it and panicked because I wasn’t sure if the tick was in the right circle anyway so had to unseal envelope and check. Resealed with sellotape.

        • poliambidextrous

          It might not be counted. I have experience as a vote counter and this could possibly be put in the special pile for suspect votes.

          I’d recommend getting a new set of voting papers from http://www.elections.org.nz/events/2013-citizens-initiated-referendum/request-replacement-voting-paper or 0800 36 76 56 and resubmitting your vote.

          You just need to put a tick next to your preference, a ballpoint pen will do, it will be counted.

        • ianmac

          Having worked in polling booths for more than 40 years the bottom line became that if the voters intention was clear then it was counted. You should be OK Anne.(In earlier times if it was a cross instead of a tick or a ballpoint pen instead of the provided marker or if the wrong one crossed out or there was a tear in the form it was discounted especially when the ballot was contested.)

          I guess if you have posted already it would be hard to get a replacement?

          • Anne

            A bit like yourself, twas an example of a senior moment together with over-enthusiasm ianmac. Intention clear. 🙂

    • ianmac 1.5

      I carefully read mine. Tore off the voting paper, placed it in the envelope and licked it shut. Luckily I remembered just in time that I hadn’t ticked NO! Unstuck envelope and posted it. When you get older you will find that…………….

    • karol 1.6

      Thanks, James – will do on Monday if I haven’t recovered my envelop.

    • karol 1.7

      And I have now recovered my vote envelop, still all sealed and secure as it was somewhere safe – must remember to post it today and not get side tracked.

  2. BM 2

    Lots of yes votes, I’d say.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the end result was pro asset sales, because lets face it Norman is such a dislikable and fuckwiterish person, he’d inspire the most lethargic of individuals to get off the couch and vote.

    A large number of the people would vote yes, just to stick one up the annoying Ozzie wanker.

    • McFlock 2.1

      Oh you already know the result. Let’s cancel the vote then.

    • poliambidextrous 2.2

      I think you’re being overly optimistic. I also voted Yes but I’m expecting the No vote to win this one big time.

      • BM 2.2.1

        I’m not sure.
        Out of all the political tribes I’d say the blue tribe would be more inclined to make the effort to vote.

        Even if they don’t agree with the asset sales, they’d still send in a yes vote because it will help National win the next election.

      • weka 2.2.2

        “I think you’re being overly optimistic. I also voted Yes but I’m expecting the No vote to win this one big time.”

        No, what BM is being is an astroturfing-lite tr0ll. He doesn’t really believe what he just said.

        • poliambidextrous

          How do you discern a troll from someone who just doesn’t agree with you, weka?

          I’m interested to know as I disagree with lots of people I interact with online but I wouldn’t ever consider them to be a troll and vice-versa.

          • Molly

            How do you discern a troll from someone who just doesn’t agree with you, weka?

            “I know you are – but what am I?”…. is the standard of discourse from a troll.

            No quantifiers or rational discussion, or helpful advice as above… 🙂

          • weka

            I agree poli, and there are plenty of people on the standard that I disagree with that I don’t consider to be tr0lling.

            BM isn’t always in tr0ll mode. But they do have a pattern that is recognisable: they post a comment with lots of assertion and no substance and that comment is known to be inflammatory with regards to the predominant politics of this site. There usually ensues a thread of reactions and responses and BM rarely posts anything that actually backs up what they say. They’re good at getting attention, at diverting conversations, and those conversations are often obviously about astroturfing a certain kind of rightwing view point. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, BM is entertaining enough and does actually comment intelligently enough on occasions that they seem to get by without getting moderated too much, but sometimes oversteps the line and gets a ban.

            In the case of this comment, it’s not that he comments his hatred of Norman (which I would merely disagree with). It’s that he posits that MOST people BELIEVE x, y, z and those assertions are a bit ridiculous, and designed to pave the place with the idea that Norman is evil and Everyone knows this. Which of course is crap (and like I said, I don’t believe that BM believes what they wrote. They wrote it as part of the astroturf that the GP is Evil because that serves the neoliberal agenda).

            See also McFlock’s much more succinct response http://thestandard.org.nz/over-half-a-million-votes-received-already-have-you-posted-yours/#comment-736412

    • bad12 2.3

      Can’t wait to see Russell in a Ministerial role then just to see you display more of your abusive insanity,(you should spend more effort on getting your leader Allen Titford outta jail)…

    • QoT 2.4

      And suddenly it all makes sense. BM = beta male. Nothing else explains how incredibly threatened you are by a soft-spoken ginger with political power.

  3. Ian 3

    voted no to selling 49 % of those companies. Should have sold !00 % and use that capital for health and education.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Well then Ian you have shown not only a complete lack of understanding of economics but also a complete lack of understanding of New Zealand’s political system.

      If we sell our assets off to pay for health and education then we quickly have a crisis because soon there will be nothing left to sell.

      And even National is not brave enough to propose complete privatisation of the electricity companies. Although I suspect that deep down this is what they would like to achieve …

    • Naturesong 3.2

      At least you are consistant.

      And when the treasury tells you it would be cheaper and put the govt in a better position fiscally to borrow the same amount of money for health and education instead of selling public utilities, would you sell them anyway?

  4. Lionel 4

    To all you that have forgotten to post your referendum slip or lost get off your butts and do this

  5. tricledrown 5

    Ian we should give away the cullen fund $26 billion and Acc fund $ 19 billion and increase the taxes on idiots like yourself to 100% because idiots like you don t understand that income from these assetts save you paying more tax I would like to see one day taxpayers investing in a super Cullen fund which would return Enough in divedends so we wouldn t have to pay any tax.
    To hard Ian to figure that out that figures!

    • Ian 5.1

      Lets keep our figures crossed that we find heaps of oil and gas then.That would be a game changer.

      • bad12 5.1.1

        Yeah right Ian, that’s what could be called the National Party’s grand economic strategy, cross the fingers and hope like hell,

        i have to ask, befor i unload a mouthful of nastiness your way, do you suffer a learning or intellectual disability of some sort…

  6. Will@Welly 6

    It is a bit of a mis-demeanor the way the Government has set out the referendum – yes or no, but I have voted. Asset sales are a farce, robbing people of a future.

    • Ian 6.1

      The Govt didn’t set out the referendum. The organizers of the referendum chose the wording. Don’t think I will vote at all. What an absolute waste of public money this whole fiasco is turning out to be.

  7. Pete 7

    I even filmed my ballot for the sake of posterity.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    Went to post mine at the drop box near my parents house, only to discover it has been removed. I last used it, at most, 6 months ago.

    So now I’ll have to make an extra trip to the post office to send it.

  9. bad12 9

    Mine went into the local post box on Tueday night while i was on the sneak engaging in a little nefarious activity…

  10. poem 10

    Got it last Saturday, ticked NO, posted off Sunday.

    • lprent 10.1

      Received it Saturday, ticked it, chivvied Lyn into doing hers Sunday, made a special trip to the postbox to send it…. The No vote is going to be BIG… Hopefully the absolute No vote will be larger than National’s total party vote of just over 1 million in 2011.

  11. happynz 11

    Well, I’m overseas and I only sent in my enrollment papers last week. Maybe not enough time to mark my ballot, if indeed I get sent a ballot at all. At any rate, let’s keep our assets. Quite fed up with the cronyism in New Zealand.

  12. Tracey 12

    done and done. the sealability was a bit dodgy but got it in the end. posted beginning of the week.

  13. Fiddlesticks 13

    Thanks for the reminder. Will post my “yes” vote today.

    • Te Reo Putake 13.1

      Sweet, the bigger the overall vote, the more credibility the referendum has. Thanks for doing your bit, fiddlesticks.

  14. Paul 14

    Herald clearly against democracy.
    After that democracy under threat headline years ago.
    Propaganda rag for the Tories.
    Anonymous editorial.. Murphy? Roughan?
    Who paid for this anonymous editorial.
    Hopefully it’ll just remind more people to vote No

    Editorial: Referendum on asset sales misuses system


  15. SPC 15

    It would have been better if the referendum was to the question of whether the assets sold should be bought back and if so at what price – the price they were sold at or the market price at the time.

  16. Lanthanide 16

    Unfortunately CIR questions can only be Yes or No. Which is why most of them have ended up with compound and unintelligble questions, like the pro-beating-kids one and the pro-hard-labour one in 1999.

  17. Zoe 17

    Still no voting forms received. But phoned the 0800 36 76 56 yesterday,and have been assured papers will be in my postbox by Wednesday. As a long registered voter this seems a bit troubling given that most of the above had already received theirs, but I will maintain trust in the Electoral Commission’s fast and courteous response to my call until Wednesday. And my vote will be a NO.

  18. alwyn 18

    This is meant to be a reply to Birdsong’s comment @1.3.1. When I click on the reply prompt I get an Error on Page message so I’m not sure where this will end up.

    Birdsong. You, together with the Green and Labour parties, appear to think that a delay of another 12 months in holding the referenda vote is acceptable. The Referenda is, supposedly “Citizens Initiated”. It is OUR referenda, not the plaything of political parties.
    People who signed the referenda papers were, I woild be sure expecting to get a prompt vote on the matter. I doubt if they expected the six months wasted by the organisers, who don’t seem to have made even rudimentary attempts to see that there were enough votes. I am sure that they did not expect the anti-democratic Green and Labour parties would try and delay OUR referendum by at least another twelve months. How dare those parties show such contempt for the Public’s rights.
    The present Government is to be congratulated for giving us the chance to vote so promptly and away from the confusion and furore of a General Election. In this they are following the recommendations of Parliament’s Justice and Electoral Committee in its review after the 1999 election. The Green and Labour parties should be condemned for trying to delay our vote.
    They are also following the recommendations of the Electoral Commission in its report on the 2011 election. They are of course impartial experts, not party political hacks.
    A final, rather desperate attempt that has been made is to claim that savings would be made by holding a referendum at the same time as a General Election. The current postal ballot is budgeted at $9 million. The Electoral Commission said that the cost of holding the referendum in 2011, in conjunction with the General Election was $8.5 million. There are NO savings.

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      Birdsong. You, together with the Green and Labour parties, appear to think that a delay of another 12 months in holding the referenda vote is acceptable. The Referenda is, supposedly “Citizens Initiated”. It is OUR referenda, not the plaything of political parties.

      The legislation is that the referenda needs to be held within 12 months of the petition being presented to parliament, UNLESS 75% of the parliament votes to defer it.

      I don’t see why CIR should be any different when it comes to votes in parliament – they are our representatives.

      I doubt if they expected the six months wasted by the organisers, who don’t seem to have made even rudimentary attempts to see that there were enough votes.

      Um, they collected 393,000 signatures, with the 10% requirement being 308,000. They don’t actually verify all of the signatures, instead they take a random sample. It is possible (although unlikely) that the random sample is biased and underrepresented the valid signatures.

      Also they had 2 months to get the required additional signatures, not 6.

      They are also following the recommendations of the Electoral Commission in its report on the 2011 election. They are of course impartial experts, not party political hacks.

      Not entirely what you’re actually talking about at this point. But National have shown complete contempt for the electoral commission in ignoring their recommendations for changes to MMP, which if you recall were the follow on from a referendum…

  19. Steve Withers 19

    I opened my ballot, marked it, and drove it to the nearest post office immediately upon receipt. In other words, I made it a priority and got it done within 20 minutes of receipt.

  20. alwyn 20

    Lanthannide@ 18.1
    You are partly right. I got the six months from March, when the petition was first presented until September when they finally got the requisite number being accepted.
    I should really only have counted it as FOUR months. That was the period from when the Clerk of the House ruled that they didn’t have enough until September when he (she?) did. That covered the time to get more signatures and a repeat of the time to validate the thing. The repeated checking procedure can certainly be counted as caused by the organisers ineptitude. I still think they could have done a bit of checking first and found that it wasn’t up to scratch.
    As for putting it off. Why should the Green and Labour parties want to do that? After all they were demanding that all asset sales should be postponed until the Referendum was held and surely they should have wanted it run as soon as possible? When promoting the thing they certainly never proposed that the referendum shouldn’t be held until the election did they?
    In terms of what the Electoral Commission recommended about MMP it is correct that the Government did not choose to change the “coat-tail” option or the threshold of 5%. The Green and Labour parties complained bitterly about that. It is those parties who are being inconsistent in saying they approve of those changes but wanting to ignore the recommendation on Postal ballots. National did not take the recommendations on MMP but their justification for going for a poastal ballot didn’t depend on anything the Electoral Commission said, they were merely following the current, unchanged law

    • Lanthanide 20.1

      As for putting it off. Why should the Green and Labour parties want to do that? After all they were demanding that all asset sales should be postponed until the Referendum was held and surely they should have wanted it run as soon as possible? When promoting the thing they certainly never proposed that the referendum shouldn’t be held until the election did they?

      Because by this point there’s only 1 asset sale left to go. So having the referendum before or after that final sale isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things – especially since National have said they’re going to ignore the result anyway.

      So then it comes down to Labour and Greens playing politics. Having the referendum at the general election they think would increase their turnout. Same logic as to why Labour didn’t hold the anti-smacking referendum at the same time as the 2008 election, although they really should have.

      In terms of what the Electoral Commission recommended about MMP … they were merely following the current, unchanged law

      My point is that it’s odd to get so wound up over the postal vote and the suggestion from Labour and Greens that it could be delayed until the 2014 GE, and say “at least National are listening to the electoral commission”, when National’s rejection of their MMP proposals is an issue of so much greater magnitude that the CIR asset sales referendum really pales into insignificance.

      The opportunity to change the fundamental electoral law doesn’t come around very often, and National blatantly ignored the very high-profile public will on what people wanted to happen as a result of the MMP referendum.

      • alwyn 20.1.1

        Aw Gee.
        You’re no fun to try and debate with. You are far to willing to adopt a logical position and say things like “it comes down to Labour and Greens playing politics”. Of course it is, just as one of the reasons for National getting it over this year is to get it away from the election.
        What got me was Naturesong’s (not Birdsong, sorry), butter wouldn’t melt in his/her mouth statement, that the Labour and Green Parties were willing to put the vote off until the election in order to save money and therefore that the whole cost of this unnecessary referendum was the fault of the Government.
        That comment was in response to my simple statement as to why a postal ballot was chosen instead of a vote with polling places as karol seemed to desire.
        As far as your last para about National ignoring the high-profile public will, I don’t think there really was that much public concern about either the coat-tail effect or the exact party vote required. There is, of course not a single MP who is in Parliament today because of that reason.
        The factor that seemed to exercise people the most was that people could be on both the list and stand for an electorate. I could never understand seemingly rational people who got so worked up about that.

        Hurrah. Formatting is back and the reply option works again

      • Francis 20.1.2

        Not to mention, it was National who initiated the MMP referendum in the first place, and it was them who promised to hold the review on MMP if it passed. Then to ignore the results because it’s inconvenient to them (and, reading through the report, all of the recommendations sound completely reasonable and it sounds like they’ve done a really good job of it) is not only another broken promise, but also another anti-democratic act…

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    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago