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What is wrong with postal voting?

Written By: - Date published: 11:48 am, August 16th, 2020 - 73 comments
Categories: democratic participation, Donald Trump, election 2020, elections, jacinda ardern, Judith Collins, national, same old national, vote smart - Tags:

We are entering into an interesting 24 hours.  Jacinda Ardern is to announce tomorrow morning if the election is to be delayed.

Should the country just get on and hold the election and decide who is going to make decisions for us in the next three years or should we delay it?

National has offered to cooperate in the delay of the election.  Clearly it thinks that a delay should occur.  One wonders if this is related to its really bad polling.

And it is also still smarting from not being in power and trying to appear to be relevant.

Historically we let everyone front up to a voting booth on election day and record on bits of paper who they think should be their local MP and in their Government.  Now we have a situation where having lots of people show up to a voting booth at the same time may not be such a good idea.  So we need to decide on alternative methods or delay things, just in case.

Alternative methods seem fine.  The past few elections has seen more and more people cast their vote early.  Why not continue with this trend?  And why not have a diversity of methods of making sure that kiwis democratic preference is recorded?  Postal voting can already occur, why not make it more prevalent.

This is where it gets awkward for National.  Their recent comments makes them sound rather Trumpian.

Because over in the States Donald Trump is also attacking the use of postal voting.  And he is doing his best to stuff up the UPS such is his concern that letting as many Americans exercise their democratic rights as possible will throw him out on his ear.

From the Daily Mail:

President Trump has warned that the 2020 presidential election will be a ‘fraudulent mess’ and Americans ‘will maybe never know who won’ if they are forced to submit their votes through the mail.

Trump continued to cast doubt on the mail-in voting process in a series of tweets Saturday morning as he responded to reports of fraudulent ballots that were uncovered during a recent local election in New Jersey.

The article said 20 per cent of mail-in ballots in Paterson had been rejected after some were found to be linked to out-of-towners or dead residents.

The report was tweeted by GOP national spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington who accused Democrats of tampering with ballots in New Jersey and other states in recent elections.

‘The Democrats know the 2020 Election will be a fraudulent mess. Will maybe never know who won!’ Trump said in response.

The president has been a frequent, fervent critic of mail-in voting which he claims leads to election fraud – a claim fiercely disputed by critics and even his own party, which fears losing votes if its supporters do not mail their ballots.

Mail voting is expected to surge to 50 per cent as the coronavirus pandemic rages ahead of the November 3 election.

Mother Jones has the detail behind the incident:

As the novel coronavirus pandemic raged, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy mandated that elections would be conducted entirely by mail. According to the Washington Post, local officials mailed ballots to all eligible voters, and some of those ballots were improperly delivered in some large apartment buildings. Rather than blank ballots being delivered into individual boxes, some were left outside of the boxes.

Some of those ballots were stolen, and then campaign workers for a city council candidate filled them out for preferred candidates and affixed images of signatures they’d gathered from past petition drives to the ballots. The ballots were then bundled and put into a mailbox in hopes they’d eventually be counted.

The four men alleged to be involved in the scheme were caught after a postal worker saw 347 mail ballots bundled together in a local post office and decided to take a closer look. That review led to more scrutiny of all of the ballots, leading to 3,274 being rejected by the local elections board. Election officials determined that roughly half the ballots eventually rejected had signatures that didn’t match a voter’s signature on file, and others were rejected because a portion of the envelope requiring a signature from the person who submitted the ballot was not filled out (New Jersey law allows people—”bearers”—to let others submit their sealed ballots on their behalf, but the bearer can only submit three ballots not their own and must sign the outside envelope).

So what the national Republican official and the president are pointing to is a system that caught alleged misbehavior: Postal workers noticed problems leading to the local election officials reviewing ballots and finding other apparent problems. The situation does highlight some problems with mail voting in elections, the Post noted, many of which trace back to insufficient voter education on the part of election officials. Nationwide, nearly 319,000 mail ballots were rejected in the 2016 election, a separate Post analysis found, representing about 1 percent of all mail ballots during that election.

Trump has been busy such is his concern about postal voting.  He has appointed a major donor Louis DeJoy as head of the Postal Service.  DeJoy’s only qualification, apart from being a donor, appears to be that he holds significant investments in competitors which place him in a direct conflict of interest.  But such things do not matter in Trump’s America.

Already steps have been taken to dumb down the service.

Getting your mail delivered promptly is bad because it takes profits away and because it allows people to exercise their democratic rights.  And, I am sure you will be shocked that this is the case, Trump’s position is hypocritical because he recently asked for mail in votes for a Primary in Florida.  From Vanity Fair:

According to the Palm Beach Post, the president and his wife, Melania Trump, this week requested mail-in ballots for the upcoming primary in Florida, their adopted home state. Asked about the blatant hypocrisy Thursday, Kayleigh McEnany, his press secretary who has voted by mail nearly a dozen times in the past decade, attempted to draw a distinction between absentee voting and the mail-in voting that’s expected to surge in this pandemic election. “I’ve voted absentee. The president has voted absentee,” McEnany told reporters. “He’s always been for absentee for a reason. What he’s not for is mass mail-in voting.”

Of course, there is absolutely no difference between the mail-in ballots Trump has cast and the mail-in ballots he’s claimed will delegitimize this year’s election—both go through the same process, which is to say both go through the United States Postal Service.

National’s insistence that New Zealand is not ready for an election is bizarre.  Judith Collins is getting media space day after day to claim that she is not getting sufficient media space.  This is more than a little bizarre.

And National’s advisors are making similar sorts of noises to their Trumpian comrades.

On Wednesday Judith said this (from Politik behind the paywall):

I know that New Zealanders would not accept a postal ballot as a valid form of democracy, exercising their democracy … [i]n one of the oldest democracies in the world where we take voting very seriously and even though we do not have compulsory voting, we still are noted as having some of the highest rates of voter participation; this is not something that should be left to a postal vote.”

Unless there has been an overwhelming rejection of the results of local body elections, and there has not been, Collins’ claim is bunkum.  The pity is that she appears to say anything just on this side of the conspiracy dividing line to try and gain power.  New Zealand deserves better.

73 comments on “What is wrong with postal voting? ”

  1. weka 1

    are National saying what they think is wrong with postal voting? Or have they not even bothered with that bit and are just doing the manipulative blather?

  2. The Rachael Maddow show on Friday took an in depth look at the post office situation in the states. No legal link available, but well worth searching out.

    She detailed how trump's pick for postmaster general – Someone with 30 – 50 million invested in ups, had rolled out a program to remove up to 50% of post boxes. Not only that, they are also removing hundreds of automatic mail sorting machines and trashing them as junk. No wonder they say there'll be a problem with mass mail in voting.

    Edit:
    You tube clip

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Unless there has been an overwhelming rejection of the results of local body elections

    The biggest problem with local body elections is the fact that less than 50% of people actually vote. So, yeah, they do need to be overwhelmingly rejected as we're simply not seeing democracy there.

    If we put general elections into postal voting will we see the same sort of participation?

    • weka 3.1

      what was the turnout when more people were voting in person in local body elections?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Can't say. I can neither find the information online nor can I recall local body elections before then.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          I would guess the main issue with local body elections is people's disconnect from local politics rather than how they vote.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            Yes, but consider that the reason why I didn't participate in the last local body elections is because I forgot to send the mail. If that's happening to many people then we have a problem.

            Need a way to actively remind people to vote.

            • greywarshark 3.1.1.1.1.1

              That's happened to me – forgetting. With postal voting, you have to bring the final day forward in your mind, and no doubt with reminder from the system operators, to allow for the lag in delivery which in NZ now is about three days. So would need to post say 5 days before the closing date to be sure your vote got delivered in the post. I can pop down and hand it in easily but in a big place with poor transport systems like Auckland, they would have a trek to manage that.

          • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.2

            I think in part it is so complex. National elections are pretty binary, which party and which MP. Local Government are which Mayor, which Councillors, which Community/Local Board reps, for some which licensing trust and then you have to list from one to whoever you want on the health board.

            I suspect taking the health board out of the equation will make it more popular.

            But is still a lot more intricate than National voting.

            • McFlock 3.1.1.1.2.1

              I was almost overloaded by the paperwork and all the unknown names, and STV is more workload again. And I'm a damned bureaucrat.

              • greywarshark

                I find STV a pain, if it is going to be done right, thoughtfully. Probably many would just add anybody they knew as option. It is favoured by some for the theory of it.

                What I would like more, is a grid bio, with info people want to know not what the person chooses. I would like to know religion, or not as it is an indication of the bloc the person comes from. Also school, different workplaces giving background of community involvement.

                • McFlock

                  Trouble is that everyone has different ideas on what is an important factor.

                  Personally, I ranked the people I wanted top, then the known fuckwits at bottom, and everything else was largely random.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.2.2

              I suspect taking the health board out of the equation will make it more popular.

              The health board should never have been there. No one gets the specialised knowledge needed for the position from being voted in.

              That said, I don’t think that its actually hard or that the extra complexity puts people off.

              There’s simply no credible information on the people being voted for. Nothing on the news to give any sort of feel for them and I think that that may put people off.

  4. Gabby 4

    I'd be a bit worried if bish Brian offered to look after his congregation's ballots, no need to seal the envelopes guys, we'll take care of that.

  5. observer 5

    There isn't really a valid comparison with the USA. An election at level 2 in NZ would see the overwhelming majority voting in person, and it's expected up to half the votes in 2020 will be cast in advance, at polling booths. The USA has 50 different sets of rules, but none if any offer the same opportunity for advance voting, with adequate resources. Thank goodness for our independent electoral commission.

    I think the question is wrongly framed. Postal voting is not desirable, when it can be avoided. Fortunately, in NZ it can be, quite easily.

  6. observer 6

    To change tack: removing my "good democrat" hat (with mask) and putting on the "political cynic" hat instead …

    It would be very entertaining if PM said tomorrow: "Will reconvene Parliament on Tuesday, to vote on election date of March 27 2021. This is what Judith says she wants. If National MPs really want it, they can vote for it. If they don't want it, then the date is … Sept/Oct something."

    Step back and watch National MPs revolt against their leader.

    (obviously Jacinda won't do this, it's not how she behaves, but it's fun to imagine)

  7. Sacha 7

  8. Kay 8

    My main concern with postal voting here is purely practical. There's no bloody mailboxes left! That instantly disenfranchises a large group of the population, who have easier access to a physical polling booth on the day than they do to a community post box.

    A possible solution being something along the line of census papers collecting, ie voting papers dropped off and collected, if requested?

    • lprent 8.1

      I'd agree. https://postboxmap.com/en

      Right now I have absolutely no idea where I'd find one still standing. So I just looked it up. At the last local bodies I drove down to three lamps at the other end of Ponsonby Rd to post my vote.

      The second closest one to me wasn't there last time I looked. K Rd is still getting torn up for bike and bus lanes (yay!).

      The first closest one, well I can't remember ever seeing it. No-one who lives around here ever notices anything on Great North Rd apart from the all-night macdonalds when you are truly desperate for something to fill the stomach.

      There is one other one according to the map is 8 minutes walking down Ponsonby Rd. I'm a bit crippled these days for walking because I've worn out the pad between my foot bones and my right big toe. Walking gets a bit painful. And there is no parking or bike racks down there as I remember it.

      I'd point out that my first house was on the other side of Newton Gully to where I live now, and I've lived in Ponsonby or Grey Lynn or Herne Bay for close to 35 of my 61 years. I'm nearly a native, and I still know virtually nothing about Great North Road. It is all a monotonous blur. There are car yards and apartment blocks until you hit Bunnings – which has brought some kind of interest in this undistinguished area of Auckland. After that …

    • weka 8.2

      yep. Turning NZPost into a for profit business instead of a govt owned strategic asset wasn't such a good idea after all. Numpties.

      I gave up on the post boxes some years ago, as NZ Post wouldn't adjust their clearance times to fit in with when the mail was sorted, and then it wasn't even clear what days they were being cleared.

      And every local body election now there is great unclarity about when one has to post one's papers to get them in on time, because NZ Post and the Electoral Commission can't get their shit together.

      These are all problems that can be solved (lol, international media coverage of Ardern's NZ putting more post boxes in). Hope they get on it.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        These are all problems that can be solved

        They are but only through state ownership of essential services which would allow for the free exchange of information and thus allowing for better planning.

      • Adrian Thornton 8.2.2

        "Turning NZPost into a for profit business instead of a govt owned strategic asset wasn't such a good idea after all"

        Couldn't agree more….unfortunately we have to blame Labour for implementing that ideology into New Zealand politics.

        Labour NZ have shown no inclination in shifting direction from their Liberal profit driven, free market ideology that they are currently operating under that I can see.

        Turn Labour Left!

  9. Ken 9

    Judith's just like Donald, only not as pretty.

  10. Brian Tregaskin 10

    Here is a cautionary tale.

    “With an 8-1 lead in San Francisco in 2013, Team New Zealand needed to win just one more race to bring the home the next America’s Cup.

    Team Oracle BMW wanted a delay of 'only'' one day and that was Team New Zealand undoing to fall for the ruse

    That one day gave Team Oracle/BMW enough time for further fine tuning of the boat and they won the next nine races and the cup!”

    Every day counts and you never know whats around the corner:)

    "Lets get the election done "

    • observer 10.1

      Not a very useful analogy, really.

      If it's seen as a race to the finish, then Captain Ardern is likely to benefit more from a short delay, for several reasons

      – not having too much postal voting, which favours the old over the young and right over left

      – people are insecure and unhappy about a lockdown, and moving to level 1 and saying "team of 5 million win again" is a stronger message than "level 2, maybe OK, keep fingers crossed"

      – most important: it looks confident. "Get it over with" (in case you change your minds) is not a confident message.

      • Incognito 10.1.1

        If I take their slogan “Let’s keep moving” at face value, I’d say that 19 Sep it is.

  11. Cricklewood 11

    NZ Post has been gutted, I doubt they have the capacity to cope with the volume.

    Not to mention it would suppress the vote even more, if we are in a level 3 lockdown many will not want to go to the post shop…

    ANot to mention unscrupulous types perhaps destroying post boxes to help screw the turnout

  12. observer 12

    Some historical perspective:

    Speculation about an election date is not new. We've just got used to knowing the date in advance, since Key (to his credit) announced it early in 2008, and English and Ardern followed the new pattern. The virus has brought back the silly guessing game – unfortunately.

    Pundits and political tragics get worked up about it, but voters don't. Nobody walks into the polling booth and says "I was gonna vote party X but now I won't, because the date matters more to me than the economy and security and housing and everything else."

    In a week's time nobody will care.

    • observer 12.1

      Key: 2011. Not 2008! (sorry Helen)

    • Incognito 12.2

      The PM announced the election date in late January, well before the Covid shit hit the fan here in NZ although there were already early signs, of course.

      Everybody has had a fair chance to prepare. The whinging of some that they now need more time is like the pathetic excuse of a school student who left it too late to do their assignment. In typical immature style, they don’t take any responsibility for their own inactions and poor choices – the dog ate my homework. Yeah, right! Grow up!

      These whiners are not fit to govern this country!

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/118983011/jacinda-ardern-announces-2020-election-will-be-held-on-september-19

      • PaddyOT 12.2.1

        Agree on the adequate time for parties to promote themselves. All the time our MPs are on show is sufficient time.
        Case in hand of whining and missed opportunities were the last months spent instead with the media focused on bad behaviour.
        Another missed opportunity this morning by Judith on Q&A just more b#ching over what she has now coined as "systemic failure" of Labour. She wasted opportunities with snarky jabs when asked repeatedly "what would you do differently? " and there was nothing.
        Summed up by Tame pointing out her low polling and public lack of trust in her Party. " That's not fair," says the Pure one.

        Not sure if this recent interactive link on current Policy of differing Parties in key issues has been posted already.
        Talk about missing homework by major players !

        Your complete guide to NZ Election 2020 ( supported by Flick )
        https://policy.nz/

        First time I knew that National are campaigning this time on turning the whole criminal justice sector into a " social investment " . Hmmmm..Is that unbiased justice ?

        Bring on the election postal or otherwise asap.

      • Treetop 12.2.2

        Yes date was set early, those not looking too hot are taking advantage of the emergence of Covid.

  13. Alan 13

    Well Winston just settled the issue, delay inevitable

  14. Austringer 14

    Like queueing for the bus is prevalent in our cities, due to various affordable things, queueing for the ballot box is in the end, going to be one of choice limited to the disenfranchised from societies progression of affordable technology, as we have been lately experiencing postal services as they are three days allowed and will probable get lesser, so the queue for the ballot box will increase as the tech alternative not being available to those less fortunate will always be the ballot box, hand deposited like past old age knowing.

  15. Climaction 15

    David Farrar isn’t wrong. The handling chain of communication required to cast a postal vote and have it counted is completely at odds with security.

    labour must really be desperate to resolve this election quickly to resort to have its candidates resort to writing election delays = trump supporters columns on friendly blogs

    • I Feel Love 15.1

      "Labour is desperate" – righty ho!

    • observer 15.2

      Did David Farrar oppose John Key's flag referendum? He must have objected strongly, surely? 100% postal voting, remember?

      I don't want postal voting to replace in-person voting, but I don't want feeble spin from a selective memory either.

    • McFlock 15.3

      The handling chain of postal voting is fine, because it takes a massive effort to interrupt to a significant level and that massive effort then needs to remain undetected.

      Even intentionally skewing a fewe hundred votes would be difficult for an organisation that wasn't actually administering the elections. It needs the physical interception of valid ballot papers that subsequently will not be delivered to people who do not complain about getting their papers, and then the delivery of those ballots in a non-suspicious manner (because postal and voting workers notice these things, as mentioned in the post).

      The voters need to be alive, because otherwise a basic audit will bring up the issue. You'l need dozens of delivery addresses, because when a Lab candidate tried it several years ago he was sprung by the electoral commission.

      Note from that link that the large number of voters were registered to one residential address using one IP address. Which of those is easiest to change or acquire a collection of, do you think?

      Look, if I visit my mum and nick her voting paper, I can fraudulently change one vote with a reasonable chance of getting away with it even if she votes again because she lost the form. We can just say she had a "senior moment" and voted twice by accident. Fair cop. But to swing even a marginal electorate that has a thousand vote majority, I'd have to intercept hundreds of ballots. To swing an MMP election I'd have to coordinate the swinging of thousands of physical ballots accross the country, undetected.

      Sometimes the old ways are the best.

  16. georgecom 16

    my own view, delay the election by 3 weeks. That is longer than level 3 announcements and provides for a week at level 2, giving parties some extra time to campaign. IF it is really necessary, push out by 4 weeks to allow for the possibility of 2 weeks at level 2. No need for 2 extra months as things stand. Sure, the covid situation may turn really sour, but then again it may not. So adding on the approx same number of weeks as covid restrictions means political parties most likely won't be disadvantaged, but won't be advantaged either. Kiwis need some certainty about the election and don't want to wait too much longer to be able to vote so 3 or 4 weeks is long enough

    • I Feel Love 16.1

      I don't quite understand, there's plenty of opportunity to campaign online, TV, radio, I've seen a few Labour leaders (& Mana Internet, there were over a 1000 at that one, & look how they turned out) over the years here in South Dunedin, it's pretty much only the converted who bother going, if an ACT or Nat person came to my door I'd laugh at them as I shut it, we had people like Chris T on TS the other day asking about the effectiveness of billboards.

      As far as the 'majority of parliament' want to delay argument, I just read a good point, imagine if Labour had a majority in Parliament, would it be ok for them to just delay an election? Or whoever was in power? Fuck no.

      There can't be many undecidededs left, most are firmly entrenched, the reason for delay I can see is the hope we all get tired of politics, burn out, turn off, or Trump like disaster with 1000s of deaths, but if that were to occur then National are welcome to lead, fuck let Billy TK have a go coz me & my immune compromised body will be shuttered away somewhere anyway.

      Sorry, babbling, but National, NZ First & ACT really are taking the piss, elite wankers playing with peoples lives, & I really am not impressed.

      I will vote Green, I don’t need to see one, or hear one talk, I know what they’re about.

      • georgecom 16.1.1

        my post was about the PM being 'fair' or seen to be 'fair', beyond question and responsive to comment from other political parties. leaving no ground for any opposition to bleat about things being unfair or tipping the scales.

        Also being fair to kiwis who want the election done and a new government to lead us for 3 more years rather than a long period of uncertainty. remember Winston First in 1996 when it took weeks to form a government, something similar to that is not what kiwis want.

        So the proposition is move out the polling day, but keep advance voting dates as they are because by then we should be into covid level 1.

        But I am not dead against the September date for the elections, if the PM decides to keep it as that then all good, I won’t have any problem with that

      • observer 16.1.2

        "if Labour had a majority in Parliament, would it be ok for them to just delay an election? Or whoever was in power?"

        Yes, it would. That's exactly what the PM is allowed to do, at any time, until the dissolution of Parliament – within the 3 year term. (Whether it would be a smart or popular move for a PM to do that is another matter).

        That is of course entirely separate from extending the 3 year term, which requires a 75% majority in Parliament, and is not going to happen at all, except in Judith Collins' wild fantasy.

      • Treetop 16.1.3

        I am in the vote while you can camp. With the exception of offering Aucklanders to do a postal vote or anyone else if under a level 3. Auckland candidates or other electorates under a level 3 could get free to air time to get exposure.

  17. RedBaronCV 17

    We've only lost two weeks campaigning at the moment – so we could perhaps push the final date out a couple of weeks but start early voting at the same time so we have a longer period of voting. Perhaps we could also have some drive through booths where you get into lane – pick up papers- fill out in your vehicle and then drop into the box when exiting. I don't see any reason to delay for too long a period. Suspect a lot of minds are already made up.

    • Pat 17.1

      'We've only lost two weeks campaigning at the moment"

      Have we?…Judith and Gerry, Winston, James et al have been campaigning for weeks …every utterance and plenty of coverage.

      • Incognito 17.1.1

        National has been so busy campaigning since 19 Oct 2017 that they forgot their responsibility and duty as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

        • Pat 17.1.1.1

          did they ever know it?

          • Incognito 17.1.1.1.1

            I think it was in the Coalition Agreement that someone would tell them but maybe the e-mail got lost or an emotional junior staffer deleted it thinking it was a hoax …

    • greywarshark 17.2

      What Party would people vote for if getting forms while they were in a queue for swabs I wonder?

  18. I certainly hope that the election is held on the scheduled Sept 19th.

    Every one already knows who they will vote for anyway.

    For Collins to say that it nothing to do with their internal polling is just straight out lying.

    It has everything to do with there abysmal polling.

    Same goes for NZF.

    Collins is has an unlikeable personality, and nothing will ever change that, no matter how hard she tries to smile.

    • Treetop 18.1

      I want the election to be over and done with. There is only one election issue for me and that is elimination of Covid as long as it is viable.

  19. Treetop 19

    1. Were a person to do an early vote do they need a valid reason?

    2. Would not wanting to be in a crowd on election day be a valid reason?

    3. Are the forms different for an early vote?

    4. Where do you get a form for an early vote?

  20. Jum 20

    There is NO reason for Ardern to make a decision tomorrow to postpone the election. She should keep the date as is. There is the review of the lockdown levels this Friday.
    The amount of dirty politics and lies will only ramp up because there is an added advantage to it prior to voting.

    The level does not matter.

    Several methods to vote can be managed. Postal envelopes to all entitled voters, can still use envelope but in person, old aged facilities have voting papers delivered. If people can get to a supermarket, they can vote. Libraries, supermarkets, schools if closed, town halls, community halls – all are possible venues, under cover, and with the proper police supervision and medical oversight processes.

    As for equal campaigning: We've already seen the leaders in various forms of political best and worst, they all have their policies ready they say – let's see them on line, in the post, on TV NOW.

    National and Act and NZ First have wasted most of their campaigning time attacking Labour and or the Greens. Their problem. The total number of voters as a percentage of the total vote fronting up to political meetings in the past is a joke. I've been there. Voters already know who they will vote for in line with their past voting. New Voters should already have some idea. Now they want to see and hear the policies.

    But, more concerning to anyone wanting a fair and objective election campaign are the huge platforms of biased media, constructed over decades and manned/womanned to support National and Act. They have been recently joined by Paula Bennett who can lie and mislead listeners as much as she likes about the Government.

    Party policies delivered directly by post, digitally may actually allow more visual scrutiny and less waffle. Voters will research if they're serious voters regardless of the candidate being present.

    And, anyone who imagines the 1pm standups for Ardern are a campaign advantage obviously does not see the constant attacks by media in the question time allowed. Collins just gets to smile and make stupid comments like 'I don't get angry, I get even'. This sort of nonsense from a wannabe leader of New Zealand? Seriously?

    • PaddyOT 20.1

      Well put Jum. I'm pretty certain those around me have already decided.

      Sick of the way too it's framed as the only way to vote is doing it Judith's way.

      The wannabe leader that turns every thing into a SNAFU.

  21. Ad 21

    If the Department of Statistics hadn't comprehensively stuffed up the last census by going fully digital, we wouldn't be asking this silly question.

    They had to be held to account for fully failing the Maori and much of the Pasifika communities for that.

    They could have shown that they had at least been able to identify us all on line – and still over 75% of us were able to identify ourselves on line.

    It is staggering to me that this government and many before it have forced us to digitally engage with them as a first and sometimes only preference for basic items like:

    – IRD

    – Social Welfare

    – Pensions

    – All forms of payment

    And of course, the massive funding that went into the security and intelligence networks after Christchurch's massacre has made it far easier to track us right down to a keystroke.

    So it's not like they don't have the will and the capacity to identify us and transact securely on line already.

    And yet when it come to democracy – the bit that comes to their job security – the government can't generate something other than a postal system as a Plan B.

    It is also ludicrous that the government is clearly requiring us to track and trace us individually everywhere we go for the purposes of public health with our cellphones, and yet can't seem to apply that same system to identifying us when we vote.

    Because we are such high internet users, and because of all the digital systems that the government requires us to use, we are a most effectively surveilled and identified people.

    Out of all that they can't find an alternative to a postal vote?

    Are they even starting work on it?

    These people have had a whole term to prepare for the election, and 10 months to prepare for the effects of Covid 19 on the election.

    If they are seriously proposing that the only option that they can come up with is the postal system – which their business has run into the ground – then they only need to look to the 50% turnout at the last local government elections to see where our democratic franchise went.

  22. Siobhan 22

    The US Postal service was dying for as long as I can remember…have we all forgotten the 'Going Postal' jokes?

    And how bout that hilarious time Obama proposed cuts that only really appealed to the Republicans..

    "President Obama would allow the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to scrap Saturday delivery and delay some required healthcare payments, under proposals in the White House’s 2015 budget.

    Obama’s previous budgets have had similar ideas for how to shore up USPS, which lost $5 billion in fiscal 2013. But several of the proposals floated by Obama have also generally been embraced more by Republicans than Democrats and postal unions."

    https://thehill.com/policy/finance/199904-white-house-seeks-cuts-to-usps-services-in-budget

    "The US Postal Service, claiming that it faces annual losses that will mount to $18.2 billion by 2015, has announced that it will go ahead with the elimination of up to 264 mail processing centers around the country, reducing the postal workforce by up to 155,000 jobs, on top of the 130,000 jobs that have been cut over the past three years."

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/03/post-m22.html

    I really am bemused that in a country where we don't have postal voting because of percieved/real flaws..we think that America is the place for it..even before the Great Orange ones medling..

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