Labour illegally campaigning at Early Voting Booths

We all know the story. Labour doesn’t care much about the law, and the Electoral Commission doesn’t have much energy to enforce it.

These photos were taken within 10 meters of a voting booth on the campus of Toi Ohomoi, Rotorua.

It is prohibited in New Zealand to campaign within 10 meters of a voting booth.

Under Section “197A Interfering with or influencing advance voters” of the Electoral Act 1993:

A person must not—

(a) hold or take part in a demonstration or procession having direct or indirect reference to the poll; or
(b) make a statement that contains a direct or indirect reference to the poll by means of a loudspeaker, public address apparatus, cinematograph, or television apparatus; or
(c) exhibit, publish, distribute, or broadcast—

(i) a statement advising or intended or likely to influence an elector as to the candidate or party for whom the elector should or should not vote; or
(ii) a statement advising or intended or likely to influence an elector to abstain from voting; or
(iii) a party name, emblem, slogan, or logo; or
(iv) any ribbons, streamers, rosettes, or items of a similar nature in party colours.

This applies to the buffer zone around the polling booth.

buffer zone means the area within 10 metres of any entrance, or any smaller buffer zone specified by the Electoral Commission for a particular advance voting place

People have said they felt intimidated and feel this is highly inappropriate. We live in a democracy, and for democracy to function we must respect the process by which we elect our officials. This base lack of respect for basic electoral etiquette (and the law) is a sad reflection on Tamati Coffey, Labour candidate for Waiariki, and anyone else involved. We have these laws for a reason, and it is noticeable that one party in particular continues to flout them. It just isn’t on.

But will the Electoral Commission act on this? Don’t hold your breath.

Location of voting booth and campaign (marked with star):

 


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