Voting for the upcoming Local Body Elections will no longer be allowed on campus, following complaints to the Electoral Office.
The City Council Electoral office has confirmed that there will be no voting drop off boxes provided at the University. However a special voting facility will be available on Wednesday 25 September from 9.30am to 3pm.
Though the Electoral Office is refusing to release details of the complaints, Salient understands that mayoral candidate John Morrison is one of the complainants.
In a statement released to Salient, Morrison has said that his “issue is about providing the same opportunities equally to all sectors of our community” but that he “[doesn’t] have a problem with this process.”
VUWSA will be challenging the decision.
What a disgrace. Students and young people are already the least likely to vote in the first place, so making it harder for them to vote where they spend most their time will just perpetuate that problem. Morrison took to Twitter to defend his voter suppression with this pathetic agrument:
If Morrison is so concerned about fairness and democracy why isn’t he spending his time and efforts expanding where people can vote, especially those who historically fail to do so for a number of reasons?
Here’s a snapshot of the Twitter reaction to Morrison’s anti-democratic crusade:
UPDATE – He’s flip flopped, telling Salient:
Firstly, I do want students to vote, I want all Wellingtonians to vote.
I’m very unhappy about the way the matter has been handled by all concerned. I believe that in a democratic election no one group of people should have special voting privileges over any other. I am disappointed at the outcome of the question I raised which was not about removing ballot boxes but the question of ballot boxes throughout the city at appropriate venues.
What I am pursuing is that not only universities have them but also other groups and organisations to have equal access to a temporary ballot box and that the opportunity for easier voting is made available to all groups and organisations.
As Wellington City Council electoral office opted to add ballot boxes to the postaI voting system I will request that they return the ballot box to Victoria University and also offer the same opportunity to other organisations and groups such as other tertiary institutions, hospitals, large workplaces and retirement villages.
Silly kids didn’t understand he wanted MORE democracy, not less, despite wanting to remove ballot boxes! Lol.