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Pre-election advisory - Kaipara District Council

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Election day is on Saturday 12 October. Preliminary election results for Kaipara District Council will be available on our website from about 10am on Sunday 13 October. You can find them at www.kaipara.govt.nz/council/local-elections. We will also issue a media release on Sunday morning with the preliminary election results. The final results will be released late on the afternoon of Thursday 17 October, and the official declaration of results will take place on Monday 21 October. After the official declaration, candidates have three days to lodge an application with the district court for a judicial recount if they wish to do so. Background information

Wards and candidates Kaipara District contains four wards: Dargaville, Kaiwaka-Mangawhai, Otamatea, and West Coast-Central. Each ward elects two councillors. There is also one mayor, elected at large. Candidate names and contact details are available at www.kaipara.govt.nz/council/local-elections.

The STV voting system

Kaipara District Council is one of eleven local councils in New Zealand that used the Single Transferable Vote (STV) voting system in this year’s elections. In an STV election, voters use numbers instead of the ticks used in First Past the Post elections.

It is simple to vote. Instead of putting a tick beside the candidates they want to vote for, voters rank them with numbers. In other words, voters put candidates in order of preference, beginning with ‘1’, for the person they like best.

By giving the number 1 to a candidate, voters are saying that the candidate is their number one choice. By ranking candidates in preferred order - 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on - voters are saying which other candidates they prefer if their top choice doesn’t have enough support to get in, or does not need all the votes they got to be elected. Voters can rank all the candidates on the voting document, or as few candidates as they wish. Candidates must reach a certain number of votes to get elected. This is called a quota and is based on the total number of votes cast and the number of people needed to be elected to fill all the vacant positions.

With New Zealand STV, votes are counted using specially developed computer software after all votes have been received. The counting process begins by tallying all first preference votes.

If a candidate is elected, they keep only the proportion of the vote they need to reach the quota. The surplus part of each vote is transferred to the voters’ second choice. The votes are then re-tallied and, if another candidate gets more votes than they need to be elected, again the surplus part of each vote for that candidate is transferred to the voters’ third choice. This process is repeated until enough candidates are elected to fill the vacant positions.

The transfer of votes is done in order of voters’ preferences. This means that surpluses are not ‘wasted’ but are available to help other candidates to get elected.

If a candidate does not have enough support to get elected, all votes for that candidate are also transferred to voters’ next choices. This means if a voter’s first choice candidate is not elected, their vote goes towards the next candidate they selected.

The system treats all candidates the same, by giving them a ‘keep value’. This allows them to keep the portion of the vote they need to be elected but allows any extra or surplus votes to be distributed proportionately amongst the other candidates, according to voters’ preferences. For example, if the quota or number of votes required to gain election is 100, and a candidate receives 100 votes, they keep all of those votes, so they have a keep value of 1 (i.e.100 per cent). But if the candidate received 200 votes, they still only need the equivalent of 100 of those votes to be elected, and the surplus can be transferred to voters’ second choices. The candidate’s keep value would be 0.5 (i.e. 50 per cent), because that person only needed to keep 50 per cent of all the votes they received in order to be elected.

This means the lower the keep value, the more votes the candidate received. The most popular candidates will have the lowest keep value, because they received so many votes, they only needed to keep a small proportion to gain election.

The Department of Internal Affairs helps people to understand how STV works.

Phone: 04 460 2220

Email: STV@dia.govt.nz

Visit website: www.stv.govt.nz

For more information on the 2019 local council elections visit www.vote2019.co.nz

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