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Nat/Lab "Gerrymander" Responsible For Vote Delay

30 November 1999

NATIONAL/LABOUR "GERRYMANDER" RESPONSIBLE FOR VOTE COUNT DELAYS

United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is blaming the National/Labour "gerrymander" of the MMP voting paper as the reason why Saturday's vote count was so slow.

Mr Dunne recalls that in the 1993 MMP referendum the proposal adopted by voters was for two separate ballot papers for the electorate and the party votes.

However, National/Labour combined forces in 1995 to thwart the public's decision in favour of a single ballot paper, because they were scared that two separate papers would encourage vote splitting and support for smaller parties.

"Their gerrymander produced the current inefficient system which means every voting paper has to be counted at least twice instead of once, thus delaying the declaration of results."

"The delicious irony is that despite the National/Labour efforts to skew the system to suit themselves, New Zealand voters happily split their votes, apparently even more so this election that last election."

"Thus, the whole point of the National/Labour gerrymander has failed, and all we are left with is its inefficient consequences," he says.

Mr Dunne says electronic voting options must be examined as a priority.

"For example, if Lotto and Telebingo have the technology to produce almost instant results about their prize winners every week, we must surely be able to apply some of the same technology to counting votes once every three years," he says.


ENDS
New Zealand's Liberal Party


MEDIA STATEMENT
HON PETER DUNNE, MP
LEADER UNITED NEW ZEALAND
Parliament Buildings, Wellington 1.
h (04)471 9410 or (025) 469 808. Fax (04)499 7266.
e-mail: peter.dunne@parliament.govt.nz. Internet Address: http://www.united.org.nz


New Zealand's Liberal Party



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