New Zealand Law Society - Third reading for Local Electoral Matters Bill

Third reading for Local Electoral Matters Bill

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The Local Electoral Matters Bill had its third reading on 2 April 2019. This omnibus bill amends the Local Electoral Act 2001 and the Electoral Act 1993. The single broad policy of this bill is to provide greater flexibility to enable local electoral arrangements to adapt to changing circumstances.

Part 1 of the bill provides amendments to the Local Electoral Act 2001.

Section 36 of the Local Electoral Act 2001 is amended by clause 5 which inserts ss36(4)(5)(6)(7) to allow partial trials of new voting methods in local elections.

Clause 5B inserts a new section 73B after s73A in the Local Electoral Act to enable an elector to recast their vote if a voting method became inoperable or unreliable during an election.

Part 2 of the bill amends the Electoral Act 1993 to:

  • allow local authorities to access date of birth information from the database of registered electors (cl 12, amending s113)
  • clarify that researchers could be supplied with date of birth information and age group information and Māori descent for the purpose of analyzing voter participation in local elections (cl 11, amending s112).

The bill will come into force the day after the date of Royal Assent.

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