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New Toolkit Launched To Help Referendum Voters

MEDIA RELEASE

Electoral Commission

Te Kaitiaki Take Kōwhiri

New Toolkit Launched To Help Referendum Voters

Voters will have help to decide how they want to cast their votes in this year’s Referendum thanks to an online toolkit launched by the Electoral Commission today.

In the latest addition to its Referendum public education programme launched in May, the Commission has introduced an easy-to-use, fun and engaging online Toolkit designed to help voters decide for themselves which voting system they prefer.

The Referendum Toolkit includes animated videos, quizzes and interactive content to deliver two ‘user journeys’ - the first enabling voters to learn about the five electoral systems and compare their functional characteristics; and the second allowing voters to assess each system, according to their own preferences and priorities.

Chief Electoral Officer, Robert Peden says the Toolkit is designed to deliver the Referendum information in an uncomplicated, unbiased and accessible format to suit different learning styles and information needs.

“For the average voter, having the confidence to take part in the Referendum means making sense of some fairly complex information, much of which will be entirely new to people”, says Mr Peden.

“We know that for some people, they want a quick and easy way through the information, while others want to delve into the detail. We’ve designed the Toolkit to satisfy everyone, no matter how much or little information they want, and no matter what their learning style.

“Deciding which system you prefer requires that you have some idea of what you’re looking for in a voting system. The Referendum Toolkit is designed to help people learn about the voting systems and decide for themselves what’s important in an electoral system, based on their own preferences and values.

“We know that people want to know more than simply the mechanics of each voting system, they want to know what sorts of Parliaments and Governments result.

“Three of the five voting systems have never been used in parliamentary elections in New Zealand. So it’s impossible to state precisely what could happen in New Zealand should either a new voting system or a revised version of MMP be adopted and implemented.

“That’s why the Toolkit is designed as a guide only, albeit one we think will give voters more confidence to have their say in the Referendum,” concluded Mr Peden.

The Referendum Toolkit is available through the Referendum website (www.elections.org.nz or www.referendum.org.nz) and at www.youtube.com/ReferendumNZ and will also be promoted through online advertising and the Electoral Commission’s public education programme.

ENDS

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