How the election process works

Local elections will be held in September and October 2016.

These elections are for city and district councils, regional councils and District Health Boards. The Electoral Commission does not run these elections but is responsible for getting as many people as possible enrolled in time to vote.

You should be enrolled to vote in the 2016 Local Elections.

Local elections are held once every three years. The local elections will be held by postal vote in September and October this year.

Everyone correctly enrolled by Friday, August 12, 2016 will get their voting papers for the 2016 local elections sent to them by mail.

If you enroll after this date, you must request special voting papers from your local council electoral officer.

Candidates’ Campaigns

How do electors find information about candidates?

Candidates will generally promote themselves from the time their nominations are confirmed until the end of the election period. Often, they will use newspaper or radio advertising, billboards and leaflets delivered to mail boxes.

Some may use the internet – a new website.

Candidates will also attend public meetings where they can present their views and answer questions from electors. The local news media will normally run stories about candidates and their campaigns during the elections.

Candidates may also provide a ‘candidate profile statement’ to the electoral officer with their nomination, which the electoral officer has to include with the voting documents posted to electors. This information might also be on the local council’s website.

The System

Votes are processed, but not counted, as they arrive. The announcement of the preliminary results will depend on the flow of the returned voting documents to electoral officers.

Electoral officers have the discretion to announce progress results (i.e. votes counted to date), and some do so very soon after midday on polling day (Saturday October 8, 2016) for First-Past-the Vote (FPP). This tends to happen more in larger areas, where there are many votes to count. The preliminary results (i.e. the count of all ordinary votes, and validated special votes) for smaller councils using FPP might be available within a few hours of the close of voting on polling day.

Under FPP, candidates’ vote tallies increase progressively as more and more votes are counted. It is possible to predict whether the uncounted votes could alter the outcome after a progress result, based on the margins between the candidates and how many votes there are left to count.

However, the nature of ‘Single Transferable Vote’ (STV) voting means that a very few votes can alter the result of an election by changing the order in which candidates are excluded and their votes transferred.

As a result, it is less clear how a relatively small number of votes will affect the final result under STV. This is why progress results are generally not made in STV elections.

Source: Electoral Commission, New Zealand

 

 

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