Voting in the Dark Ages
Posted on 22:35, September 20th, 2010 by Anita
The voting papers arrived at my house over the weekend and present something of a dilemma. One member of our household is in the UK for the election; he still, not unreasonably, wants to exercise his vote. After ringing the assistance number on my voting paper I was told that the only possible legal way for him to vote is for me to mail or courier his papers to him, then he should fill them out and mail them back.
It is, apparently, impossible to cast any sort of vote in local body elections using faxes, scans, emails, or any other new fangled contraption, or in fact any other means to allow overseas voting. In central government elections overseas voting is entirely permitted and supported.
New Zealand Post lists international mail as 3-10 working days, so it’s impossible to be sure he could actually vote if I did mail them to him. My cheapest option is “International Economy Courier” (2-6 working days) at $30 to get the papers to him, then he’d have to courier them back presumably at a similar cost.
So, three questions:
1) What would be wrong with allowing faxed, scan-and-emailed or election office supported overseas voting in local body elections?
2) Is it reasonable that voting in our local body elections should cost someone ~$60?
3) Doesn’t this provide a rather strong incentive for some illegal (but entirely ethical IMO) voting practices in households like mine?