The university newspaper Salient reported yesterday that a complaint from mayoral candidate John Morrison was behind a decision not to allow an election ballot box on campus at VUW. A few hours later, however, Mr Morrison – “unhappy at the way the matter has been handled” – said he would ask for the ballot box to be returned.
News from Salient
Voting for the upcoming Local Body Elections will no longer be allowed on campus at Victoria University, 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 yesterday afternoon, John Morrison said he would ask for the ballot box to be returned to the university:
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.