Saturday marked the first time I was ever able to vote as a permanent resident in New Zealand. I didn’t want to vote (I have always voted as a good little citizen) but after the revelations of Nicky Hager’s Book Dirty Politics detailing how the National spin doctors used negative campaigning to drive people away I changed my mind and I enrolled on the 19th.
When I entered the polling station I was diverted to a special table. This was for those of us who where not on the roll I was told. I filled in a form which was sealed in an envelope with two compartments and I was told to put my election form filled in by me into the other sealable compartment. I was also told to put that envelope into the box marked Special votes.
I did as I was told and rejoined with my husband who as a Kiwi and long term registered voter had voted and stuck his form in the regular box.
I didn’t think twice about it but in the aftermath of the election it came to my attention that those special votes amounted to about 250.000 votes. That is about 25% of the votes for National. That amounts to 15 seats in parliament or the mathematical reshuffling that goes with that. Those votes won’t be added to the total until the 4th of October.
I only decided to vote because I realized that I had been manipulated not to and I reckon that many of those votes came about in the same way. I voted Internet/Mana and while I realize it is unlikely that there are enough votes for Hone still out there to reverse his ousting I think that it could mean that National might need one or two more votes from other parties to keep its majority making it a little less secure for them to push through the more extreme politics they are planning ahead.
I don’t think I was alone in acting like this. In fact the Maori lady who helped me at the special votes table told me she had decided to enroll for the first time and she also told me that it had been quite busy at her table with new enrollees.
So I would like to know what happened to my vote and why such a large amount of votes is allowed to be added to the total such a long time after the elections.
If like me you want to know why that is I would to suggest you sign this petition asking for a recount. Thank you for doing so!