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2008 General Election Official Count Underway


Sunday 9 November 2008

Chief Electoral Office
Ministry of Justice


The Chief Electoral Office has started the official count process for the 2008 General Election, and aims to declare the official election results at 2.00pm Saturday 22 November.

Fourteen days are required to complete the tasks required under the Electoral Act before the official election results can be declared.

There are three main steps that need to be completed during the official count period.

Scrutiny of the electoral rolls

Returning Officers must scrutinise the rolls. This process identifies any voters who appear to have voted more than once. If someone has voted more than once their ballot papers are excluded from the official count.

The scrutiny of the rolls involves marking off on a copy of the electoral roll the names of those who voted in the Returning Officer’s electorate. This marked roll becomes the Master Roll and is available for public inspection after the election.

Processing of special votes

Special declaration votes will be processed and counted. It is currently estimated that 240,000 special declaration votes have been cast in the 2008 general election. This includes an estimated 32,000 overseas votes.

The declarations of all special voters must be checked to ensure they were eligible to make a special vote. This includes checking if they were enrolled.

The legal deadline for special votes to be in the hands of Returning Officers is 7.00pm Tuesday 18 November. Special vote processing cannot be completed before this point.

Valid special votes are admitted to the official count.

Official count

The votes counted on election night are checked again to ensure the voter’s intention is clear and then recounted. All valid special votes are counted.

The Returning Officer forwards the results of the completed official count for their electorate to the Chief Electoral Officer. Further checks are carried out by the Chief Electoral Office before the official results are declared.

The target to release the official results on is 2.00pm Saturday 22 November.

2008 General Election Official Count Timeline

Sunday 9 November 2008
Official count process starts

Tuesday 18 November 2008
Deadline for the return of special declaration votes (from overseas and within New Zealand)

Saturday 22 November
2.00pm target
2008 General Election results released on

Wednesday 26 November
Deadline for applications for Judicial Recount

Thursday 27 November
Return of Writ by Chief Electoral Officer showing successful electorate candidates*

Friday 28 November
Declaration of Election of List Members *

*if recount required, then return of writ, final results, election of list members and deadline for returns of party election expenses will be delayed by 4-5 days.


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