STV Voter Education

“So, as a voter in an STV election, you can be confident that your vote stands a very good chance of helping to elect a candidate you like.

For example, in the Dunedin Central ward, where eleven councillors will be elected, almost 92% (or 11 out of 12) of the votes cast will help to elect a candidate.

As a proportional voting system, STV also increases the chances that the councils and boards we elect will reflect the diversity in our communities (assuming that the candidates themselves are diverse).

We also know that STV elections in New Zealand have tended to have higher voter turnout than FPP elections, and that STV elections encourage a wider range of people to consider standing for councils and boards.

This is also good for our democracy; the more people turn out to vote in local elections, the more confident we can be that our representatives have a mandate to act on our behalf.”

The second workshop will be held 6:30pm St Andrews Lounge, Cavy Presbyterian Church, Thorn St South Dunedin, Thurs 26th. All welcome


Filed under Democracy, Politics

16 responses to “STV Voter Education

  1. Do I have to rank everyone?
    No. Your vote is still valid even if you only rank some candidates. However, read on.

    Council Elections: STV Q&A – see Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgelar

  2. “But is it a good idea to rank everyone?

    Sorry chatting to Janine, this is a ridiculous statement. You don’t have to vote for anyone you don’t like & the evidence doesn’t suggest you ranking anyone will affect your desired outcome.

  3. Peter

    I agree with Paul on this one. As one voter you have no influence over how others might also rank. Voting for someone you DON’T want is absurd and you may end up inadvertently putting them in because you – or whoever – didn’t rank them low enough… or you just put their name down, even low, so they were in with a chance.

    Quite simply. If people don’t vote for someone, in sufficient numbers (no matter how they are ranked), they don’t get in.

    Some of the candidates are clearly fruitcakes or nutcases. Avoid them.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      By not voting at all for the ones you really don’t want – and there’s more than one name on my shitlist – doesn’t it mean they drop off sooner? OK so the other preferences of people who voted them 1 will be redistributed but the votes of people who ranked them say 4 or 5 no longer apply because they’re gone, good riddance. Otherwise they may pick up other people’s prefs enough to take them up to the point where they get a seat.

      • Mike

        When a low polling candidate is eliminated the votes, or fractions of votes they get as 4th or 5th preferences stay alive and get redistributed just like the ones they get as 1st preferences.

        If you vote for them way down on your list you don’t help them early on – as counting happens your vote (or the portion that hasn’t already stuck with an elected candidate) sticks with the highest candidate on your list who hasn’t yet been elected.

        Here’s an example:

        So if you rank A, B, C then D.

        You may hate both C and D but still you prefer C over D, the lesser of 2 evils.

        Initially during counting all of your vote sticks with A – B,C, and D get nothing.

        But supposed A gets 10% more votes than s/he needs to be elected 10/11 of your vote will stick with A and 1/11 will then pass to B – again C and D will see none of your vote yet.

        Counting continues, B has fewer votes than A, C or D so they’re dropped out, turns out ALL of B’s 1st preference voters are to A.

        Now A has 50% more votes than s/he needs to get elected so this time around 2/3 of your vote sticks with A and 1/3 of your vote is passed on to C. Suddenly you are in a position not only to elect A but also to choose between the two evils.

  4. Russell Garbutt

    An interesting situation I am now aware of.

    I always believed that if you were a ratepayer as of a certain date, then you were entitled to vote in a Local Body Election. If a couple were jointly responsible for the rates bill at a certain address, then both were entitled to vote.

    However, this is apparently not true.

    If the Parliamentary Electoral people deem you to not live permanently at an address of which you were paying rates, then they transfer you to the area that they deem you are living permanently. So, even though a couple may have two homes, are jointly responsible for the rates on both, and maybe are living in both at variable times, the Electoral people remove that couple from one place and put you at another.

    But here is where it gets really strange.

    It is possible to vote as a RATEPAYER in a local body election if you are not living permanently at that address, but only ONE of the couple that are jointly paying the rates are ALLOWED to vote. So a RESIDENT couple can both vote in an election, but a RATEPAYER couple only gets one vote. I’m not sure that too many people know that.

    • Mike

      I’ve always found the non-resident ratepayer vote a bit iffy – I could vote in the upcoming QLDC election, but it doesn’t seem right to me, I’ve ignored it.

      Then again if they gave both me and my wife a vote because we own property, what about the partners in a real-estate investment company in Queenstown? All the shareholders in a company like Telecom that owns property in Wanaka? All of Dunedin’s ratepayers who own a certain company that owns land at Jacks Point? It’s a slippery slope.

      • Russell Garbutt

        Mike, some valid points there, and I guess there are no easy solutions. However it does seem to me that the system could differentiate between obvious “users” of a property and corporate ratepayers. Either way, we are going to get to vote for the CODC elections, and one of us (let’s call it a joint vote) will get to vote in the DCC Elections. I am looking forward to that process.

        But Calvin raises an interesting issue. While the owners of the property in Jacks Point or Luggate may legally be Delta, obviously no-one associated with those properties should have the right to vote in the QLDC elections. Or do they? Wouldn’t it be amazing if someone like Grady Cameron as the CEO had a right to vote section by section?

        Seems to me that the Electoral Act needs clarification.

        • Mike

          Reading the relevant electoral act:

          Firstly, you only get an automatic vote in the local body electoral district at the same address that you’re enrolled at for national elections.

          Secondly, the owner of a property in a region who lives in a different local body region can nominate one person (usually themselves) to vote for them – if you own 5 different properties in a region you can’t choose 5 people, just one.

      • Russell Garbutt

        Mike, reading the Act makes it plain, but not necessarily plain why it is so. What is the situation regarding say, a commercial building in town? The owner obviously pays rates, but if they lived in town then they would get a residential vote, but not a vote on their ratepayer category. So, a person that owned lots of buildings or houses in a place that they also live in gets one vote, a person that owns buildings or houses in a town other than the one that they live in gets two votes – and presumably if they owned buildings or houses in many towns, the number of votes they could cast could equate to the number of towns they own buildings in.

        • Mike

          Russell – mostly I suspect it’s history, and the history of western democracy originally gave the vote to male property owners – probably no-one’s made enough of a fuss that things haven’t changed.

          Certainly NZ’s way of doing this is not the rule elsewhere, the parts of the US I’m familiar with only allow you to vote in one local district (the same one in which you’re registered for the national vote).

          Probably we need some particularly spectacular case of vote rigging by some developer before things change.

        • Russell Garbutt

          Hi Mike – I guess the interesting question to ask of someone in the Electoral Commission would be just who gets sent voting papers on land, say, under development? For example, do voting papers get sent out for all the developed sections in an estate to the current owner?

        • Mike

          (sorry about mangling your name)

          I think the act has that one pegged: a developer cannot nominate more than one person per-local-body region to represent them no matter how many properties they have – it might be different in the case of some form of real-estate partnership where lots are nominally owned by different partners – you have to wonder what happened that made them decide that they had to do this ….

          I am glad though that at least they have to nominate a natural person (“parliamentary elector”), we haven’t gotten to the point where corporations get a vote

  5. So that’s what is wrong with the Jacks Point land owned by Delta (owned by us), it is a slippery slope. Bad buy that, by Delta’s management made.

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