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A-Z retained for voting papers

A-Z retained for voting papers
February 18, 2004

It only seems fair that candidates' names for the local elections in October are listed alphabetically on the voting papers.

Or does it?

How would you feel if your surname was not at the top of the list because it did not begin with A or B, but down the bottom where someone might not bother to look?

For you it might be better if the names were in random order, so voters had to scan down the list and find their favourite.

Or would it?

Just how to list the names for the North Shore City triennial elections was a question for the council's strategy and finance committee meeting yesterday.

The committee - from Councillor Tony Barker to Mayor George Wood - decided to stick with the format from 2001. This has already been approved by seven other councils in the Auckland region, which lists candidates - by surname - in alphabetical order.

Deputy mayor Dianne Hale says the form will be clear and simple for people to follow.

"Being alphabetical will make it easier for voters to find the name they want to put a tick by," says Councillor Hale.

Having the names in random order on the form might have made it more confusing for voters to find the one they wanted, especially if there were many candidates.

As usual, North Shore City's triennial general elections will be held using the First Past the Post system, and election day is on Saturday, October 9.

The mayor, five councillors from each of the northern, central and harbour wards, and four members for the Albany, Birkenhead-Northcote, Devonport, East Coast Bays, Glenfield and Takapuna community boards will be elected then.

Two Auckland Regional Councillors will be chosen to represent the North Shore.

Nominations for the triennial elections open on July 23, and close at midday on August 20.

As for the Waitemata District Health Board, this year the system of election has changed to Single Transferable Vote, a form of proportional representation.

The aim of the change, approved by the Government, is to give the board a better chance of reflecting the make-up of the wider community.

People will now be able to select representatives at large for the entire seven-member board.

(ends)

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