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Electoral Commission Racism Condemned

Electoral Commission Racism Condemned

"When are these racists ever going to learn?" raged MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, after hearing that Pakeha Electoral Commission staff in Whangarei had told MANA supporters and staff that they would have to travel out of town to cast an early vote.

"Here we are, in the middle of an election campaign, and we have these colonial throwbacks talking down their noses to valid Tai Tokerau constituents, trying to make them feel dumb and trying to put them off voting."

"Every year we get these complaints from Maori voters being stopped from voting" said Harawira "by Pakeha electoral officials telling them that they can't vote here or they can't vote there, or that they're not on the roll, or that they can't cast a special vote, or they have to wait for a few hours while General Seat voters are put through first"

"And now they're trying to make it harder for Maori to vote before election day as well."

"Either somebody takes these people aside and tells them a few home truths - like Maori voters have the right to be spoken to pleasantly, Maori have a right to vote early, Maori voting papers should be held in every voting booth regardless of the history of that booth, Maori should not be made to travel unreasonably long distances to vote, Maori can vote at any booth just like non-Maori, and that Maori voters have the same rights as non-Maori voters - or there's going to be trouble"

"I am hereby advising all Maori voters to send me the names and contact details of any Electoral Commission staff they have been poorly treated by, and I will send somebody around the very next day to slap a charge of racial discrimination on them before I send a complaint to the Electoral Commission."

ENDS

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