Disallowed late voters in 2017 could have upset many electorate results

By Te Ao - Māori News

A recent change to election rules means voters can enrol on election day.

Previously the rules stated that the latest a person could enrol to vote was the day before the general election.

Some 19,000 special votes lodged by voters enrolled on election day in 2017 had to be disallowed. This comes from a total of 27,484 votes being disallowed.

“If you turned up on election day, that’s where those 19,000 (votes) comes from,” Mona-Pauline Mangakahia says.

“This year, you’re allowed to enrol on election day, and hopefully that will counter that particular issue.”

Disallowed votes

Votes are disallowed for a variety of reasons. One example is if a person cast more than the party and electorate votes allowed.

But enrolling on election day was the top reason for disallowing votes in 2017.

In 2017, 30,580 people voted for the Māori Party. Some 13,075 people voted for ACT.

These disallowed votes could have easily changed the outcome of any electorate campaign in 2017.

Nanaia Mahuta had the biggest majority in the Māori seats, winning Hauraki-Waikato by 9,223 votes last time.

Adrian Rurawhe had the slimmest majority in the Māori seats, winning Te Tai Hauauru by 1,039.

In the general electorates, Andrew Bayly won the Hunua seat. He beat National candidate Baljit Kaur by the largest majority in the country of 19,443.

The overall total of votes cast in 2017 was 2,591,896.