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100,000 STV votes likely to be discarded

14 October 2004

100,000 STV votes likely to be discarded

Bungled vote counting is just part of the problem with the Government's new STV local election system, says National's Local Government spokesman, Nick Smith, who predicts that nearly 100,000 votes will be disallowed.

"It is scandalous that 12,349[1] STV votes for the Auckland District Health Board have been binned," Dr Smith says. "This is up from just 850[2] under FPP in 2001, and is a 15-fold increase. Having this many votes disallowed from those who bothered to vote makes a farce of democracy.

"This 11% rejection rate is closely matched by 13% in the Northland District Health Board STV vote, which is the only other DHB counted. This would mean 100,000 invalid votes out of the 900,000 DHB votes expected nationwide.

"This further debacle makes the 2004 local body elections comparable with the Florida 'hanging chad' debacle in the 2000 United States presidential election.

"Minister Chris Carter proclaimed that the Government's new Local Electoral Act would increase participation and fairness. It is doing exactly the opposite," Dr Smith says.


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