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Mike's Minute: The Electoral Commission couldn’t have made a bigger hash of this

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 10 Nov 2023, 10:20AM

Mike's Minute: The Electoral Commission couldn’t have made a bigger hash of this

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 10 Nov 2023, 10:20AM

Is the Electoral Commission the most useless Government department going? 

The counting for three weeks, to be fair, is required by law. But when it's done problems have now been found in 15 different places and, unlike the revelation on the first three places, National's vote has been materially affected and has now gone up. 

What else? There was the issues over voting papers being unavailable on the day as well.   

There's a growing sense over the past month, remember it is four weeks tomorrow since we voted and to be frank it appears far from being settled, but a growing sense we cocked this up. 

Recounts, and there are three, aren't the fault of the commission. But given the reputation of the commission they better pray the numbers come back the same, or else there will be more questions. 

But the most egregious bit from yesterday was the revelation that the Māori seat in Auckland had a voting booth at the marae where the Māori Party candidate is the CEO. 

So, a candidate and the boss of the place where the polling booth is at. As someone in the Labour party asked -how does that work? Not a bad question. 

Then we get to the allegation where food was handed out. Food being handed out on a marae is common. But food being handed out at a polling booth raises questions. 

Not helping the case is the fact the electorate is one of the three involved in a recount. The difference is four votes. 

Another aspect of it was on the night, election night, the difference was 495 votes to the other side. That's quite the swing on specials. 

When you take all this and look at it in totality you can see why in places like America the more conspiratorially minded can take one and one and come up with 17. 

I don’t think we have skullduggery here. But we have a lot of unprofessionalism, we have sloppiness, we have incompetence, and we still don’t have enough answers. 

Whether by law, rule or just plain common sense, setting up a polling booth at a place where the candidate and CEO works is beyond belief. Yet here we have it. 

What happens if the recount numbers are different, given one of the reasons for such a long time to count is to allow those counting to get it right? 

This is a shabby, unholy mess. 

We have no Government, we have no final count and rules are about to be timed out around ministers carrying on post the election. They expire tomorrow. 

Do we look second, or third rate? How confident are you that those in charge have any real clue as to what they are supposed to be doing? 

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