Monday, June 10, 2019

Will NZ Post sabotage local body elections?

School board of trustees elections were held last week. Unfortunately, NZ Post seems to have sabotaged them:

Voting in the triennial elections for most school boards closed at noon on Friday, June 7.

But Ponsonby Primary School principal Dr Anne Malcolm said most of her parents did not receive their voting papers until about 2pm on Thursday, giving them less than 24 hours to read the candidates' statements and get their votes in.

She put the blame squarely on "NZ Post inefficiency".

"They sent the voting papers out on Monday May 27," she said.

"It took 11 days for NZ Post to get mail into our letterboxes in the centre of Auckland, from Wellington, which is absolutely abhorrent."

NZ Post says its delivery time for standard mail is three days. Clearly, that's bullshit. And in this case, institutions who relied on it in good faith to run an election are paying the price. That stinks, but its going to get worse. Because, to point out the obvious, local body elections are being held later this year - and they run on a postal vote. According to the Electoral Commission, voting papers will be sent out from September 20, with polling closing at midday on October 12 - meaning there is just 3 weeks for voting. From NZ Post's observed performance, that's probably enough time for people to get their ballot papers - but possibly not enough time for them to be returned by post, especially if people take time to consider their votes. Which means that if you want your vote to count, you will need to physically drop it off at your local council, rather than trusting it to the mail.

NZ Posts shitness now seems to be posing a real threat to our democracy. Perhaps Parliament (through the Justice Committee?) might want to look into that, and see what can be done to fix it?