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Polling Booths Asked to Treat Maori Voters with Respect

Polling Booths Asked to Treat Maori Voters with Respect

MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira

Thu 18 Sept 2014

“Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori people being treated like they don’t deserve to be in the polling booth, polling booth supervisors telling Maori voters that they can’t vote at a certain polling booth, disabled people being told they have to go somewhere else to cast a vote – and that’s just during the early day voting when less than 20% of the polling booths are open!”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira.

“I am getting all of these horror stories from staff, whanau, friends and even from people voting for somebody else, and I want to make sure it doesn’t happen on election day”, said Harawira.

“We have notified the election supervisors of problems that have occurred already but the ongoing and widespread nature of many of the problems means I have to up the ante on election day in defence of Maori voters.”

“So I have told my organisers and scrutineers to respond immediately to any actions that may put Maori voters off from having their say, and to nip any irregularities in the bud early.”

“I don’t want to wait till after the election to find out that Maori people were put off from voting. I want to know on the day and I intend to take action.”

“As far as I know, any Maori voter can vote in any polling booth, anywhere in the country, on election day” said Harawira “and I am asking every polling booth supervisor to remember that on voting day.”

“I will be travelling right throughout my electorate on voting day and I will make sure my people respond positively to any action that discriminates against Maori voters.”

ENDS

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