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Update on EasyVote packs

Oct 9, 2020 | Media release

The Electoral Commission is confident that no unofficial material was included in the EasyVote packs that have gone out to 3.3 million voters.

The Commission is aware of 24 reports of voters receiving a VoteSafe referendum flyer in their EasyVote pack and has been reviewing how the packs were printed and compiled.

“We have conducted a thorough investigation and are satisfied that the packs contained only official material during production and delivery,” says Alicia Wright, Chief Electoral Officer.

“Every scenario for the brochure to be inserted into the pack or swapped out with other material has been looked at and eliminated.”

The packs are compiled in a fully automated process at NZ Post sites in Auckland and Christchurch. NZ Post has run various tests and determined that no additional material could have entered the process without detection by its machines.

“The machines are finely calibrated and reject any overweight items. These tests, along with our other enquiries, have led us to conclude that only material meant to be in the packs, went into the packs,” says Alicia Wright.

“We would like to thank the people who have contacted the Commission during our investigation. Past experience tells us that when a lot of election material is being delivered, people sometimes think that items have arrived together.

“We would like to stress that we have not seen any evidence of interference or foul play and none of the people we have spoken to said it looked like their envelopes had been opened.

“However, these are not matters we can investigate fully. For this reason, we have asked the Police to review and assess our files.”

The EasyVote pack was delivered to 3.3 million enrolled voters and included a personalised letter and EasyVote card or voting slip, a brochure explaining MMP and how to vote with the Electoral Commission’s logo on the front, and an official flyer on the two referendum questions authorised by the Secretary for Justice.


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