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STV Is Not The Problem

21 December 2004

STV Is Not The Problem

New Zealand First says that the STV voting system was not the cause of the problems that plagued the local body elections in October.

“A recent report into the elections in Marlborough confirms that the voting system is sound, and that the problems lay in the data processing system, and in inept information and publicity management by the Department of Internal Affairs,” said local government spokesperson Jim Peters.

“Some councils that relied solely on contractors for data processing were the ones that bore the brunt of the chaotic mess, having to wait more than three weeks in some cases for the final results.

“There still remains some doubt that the voting system was able to count STV returns where voters had voted strategically by voting only for the required council or board numbers.

“What this illustrates is a serious lack of planning and forethought. Some glitches are to be expected with the launch of a new system, but a monumental muck-up like the one we witnessed in October is simply unacceptable. Where was the risk management process?

“One of the unfortunate outcomes of this disaster is that the STV voting system was blamed, when in actual fact the whole sorry saga can be put down to incompetence and lack of planning.

“Councils I have spoken to have lamented the lack of information and support. I invite the Minister of Local Government to accept responsibility for the voting disaster, and to ensure, through best practice and providence, that such a debacle does not recur,” said Mr Peters.

ENDS

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