October 08, 2019
Outdated postal process affecting election turnout
The head of democracy services for Auckland Council is concerned the postal system is almost obsolete and no longer suitable for running elections.
Marguerite Delbert says just 15 percent of ballot papers have been returned so far, and she's concerned turnout could be lower the the 38.5 percent received in 2016.
The election ends midday Saturday, but people posting ballots need to get them in the mail today to be sure they are counted.
Otherwise they can drop them off at the ballot boxes in libraries or council service centres.
Ms Delbert says contributors to the low turnout could be disconnection between the council and citizens or a lack of diversity among candidates.
The postal system is also not proving reliable enough.
"We've got a lot of people who tell us they simply haven't received their papers and that really worries me. We have been predicting the decline of the postal service for some time but it is there now and we are going to have to find news ways to encourage people to vote or to be able to cast their vote," she says.
Preliminary results will be known by 2pm Saturday afternoon, with the final results published on October 17.
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