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Voters urged to make use of information on STV

3 September 2004

Voters urged to make use of information on STV

Voters in the upcoming local elections are being urged to take advantage of the wealth of information available to ensure they are up with the play on voting under STV.

Single Transferable Voting is being used in all District Health Board elections, along with 10 local councils which have opted for the system. Under STV voters use numbers to rank candidates in order of preference.

Department of Internal Affairs spokesperson Julia Napier says as with any new system it is important that people take the time to ensure they understand how to vote. An extensive education campaign is underway, which includes nationwide advertising kicking off on September 12.

“We’ve been working very hard to get the message out far and wide about how people vote under the STV system. We have met with key people in the community throughout the country to explain the importance of the people understanding STV, while all candidates have also received information.

“Easy to understand brochures in a variety of languages have been distributed to councils and DHBs, as well as to an extensive list of community based groups. People can either access the information through these avenues, or may prefer to tap into our website – www.stv.govt.nz .”

Julia Napier says the timing of the campaign has been based on research which shows that people find it most useful to receive information close to when they are voting.

She says STV is a simple voting system, with voters asked to use numbers rather than the ticks used in the First Past the Post elections.

“It really is simple to vote. Basically voters put a 1 next the candidate they like the most, a 2 beside to their next preferred candidate and so on. “

The election is carried out as a postal ballot, and when the voting pack arrives in the mail people will find information on how to vote using both STV and FFP, she says. Voting papers for STV elections are pale yellow, while papers for FFP are white.

“Voters will receive voting papers for their DHB, local council, regional council, and in some cases licencing trust, all in one envelope. Some of these elections will require a STV vote, while others will be a FFP vote, so people need to be mindful of which system to use, but the voting papers will make it clear.”

People should receive their voting packs from mid-September, with polls closing on October 9.

Note to reporters:

All DHBs will be elected under the STV system, while the following 10 local authorities have also opted for STV:

Chatham Islands Council Dunedin City Council Kaipara District Council Kapitii District Council Marlborough District Council Matamata-Piako District Council Papakura District Council Porirua District Council Thames-Coromandel District Council Wellington City Council

STV voting is also being used in the elections for the Porirua Licencing Trust.

ENDS

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