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New electoral law adds new hurdle to voting

New electoral law adds new hurdle to voting

Electoral law changes passed by Parliament today add a new hurdle that may mean some voters don’t exercise their vote, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says.

“The amendments to our election laws require voters to provide verbal confirmation of their details whereas for the last few elections voters only needed to present their Easyvote card.

“This legislation started with extensive clauses covering the use of the Easyvote card which was introduced through an administrative decision rather than through legislation.

“The Easyvote card has proved very successful and it was right to give it a statutory basis and have some clear rules around it.

“But this government has gone in the opposite direction. Far from giving the card a basis in statute they have added in the new requirement for verbal confirmation.

“The minister, Judith Collins, says arrogantly and condescendingly that if voters have difficulty with this requirement and cannot make themselves understood they can make gestures.

“But why? Why the change? It is totally unnecessary and the only reason I can come up with is the National Party thinks there is something to gain by making it harder for the speech-impaired or those with English as a second language to cast a vote.

“The next Labour government will make sure the Easyvote card is enshrined in statute,” says Andrew Little.


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