Bal­lot boxes aim for more votes

Auckland City Harbour News - - SITUATIONS VACANT - ZIZI SPARKS

Auck­land Coun­cil is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to vote by giv­ing them an­other op­tion.

This is the first year that bal­lot boxes will be placed in pub­lic li­braries for the du­ra­tion of the vot­ing pe­riod.

Auck­land Coun­cil’s elec­tions plan­ning man­ager Glyn Wal­ters says the coun­cil was told to ex­pand the pro­vi­sion of bal­lot boxes in 2013 so the coun­cil put them in li­braries for a lim­ited pe­riod.

‘‘The bal­lot boxes pro­vide greater choice and con­ve­nience for vot­ers.’’

He says, with a de­cline in the num­ber of post boxes on the streets, li­braries are an ac­ces­si­ble way to sub­mit votes.

‘‘Li­braries are pop­u­lar places for peo­ple to fre­quent. It gives vot­ers an­other op­tion, par­tic­u­larly if they leave their vote un­til late or don’t know where their near­est post box is.’’

Wal­ters says be­cause li­braries are very pub­lic, the se­cu­rity of bal­lot boxes is a con­cern and pri­or­ity. The boxes will all be in a lo­ca­tion where they’re vis­i­ble to se­cu­rity cam­eras and at least one trained elec­toral of­fi­cer will be present when the bal­lot box is.

‘‘Overnight vot­ing pa­pers are locked away in a safe and will be col­lected reg­u­larly,’’ he says.

In 2013, just over 11,500 votes, or 3.25 per cent, were re­ceived in bal­lot boxes. The vot­ing pe­riod is from Septem­ber 16 till Oc­to­ber 8 at noon.

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