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Auckland voting paper order should be an easy fix for Counci

Auckland voting paper order should be an easy fix for Council

[If better democracy is an issue this raises a reasonable point …. ]

“You’d think that an organisation that has spent over a billion dollars on IT would also take the simple step of ensuring its voting papers were printed in random order,” says council candidate Greg McKeown.

McKeown says that Auckland Council is undertaking a large study on this issue. “That seems like a possible waste of money, time and resources to me. Random order printing removes any bias or the perception of bias, let’s just make the change, over 50% of councils already have.”

When Auckland Council voting papers come out in two weeks they will be printed in alphabetical order.

“Printing the papers in alphabetical order can change results because ticking forms from the top is a natural tendency,” says McKeown.

“Studies have shown that when voting is close elections can have a different outcome as a result of alphabetical printing,” says McKeown. [1]

“Given Council is spending large on communications to try and increase voter turnout and improve democracy, it’s ironic that it hasn’t taken the simple no cost step of printing in random order.”

“Random-order printing is available to many councils around the country at the press of a button and at no extra cost,” says McKeown. “Over 50% of councils have moved that way.”

In the central battleground of Albert-Eden-Roskill, the alphabetical voting ballot paper not only puts the incumbent councillors at the top of the list on over 100,000 voting papers, it also lists the parties ahead of independents. Random order printing would change that.

McKeown says the decision is made this time and he’s happy to get out there and campaign from the letter M. “It’s alphabetically good middle ground, also where I sit politically,” he quipped.

ENDS


[1] There are many sources on the net
https://www.uvm.edu/~vlrs/PoliticalProcess/ballotordereffects.pdf
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27426319
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/04/opinion/04krosnick.html?_r=0


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