21 Aug 2020

Covid-19: Potential huge postal voting increase prompts warnings

From Morning Report, 7:29 am on 21 August 2020

A potentially huge increase in postal voting has prompted warnings a failure to properly prepare could lead to an election disaster.

Postal votes could number in the hundreds of thousands because of Covid-19 - if the elderly and those vulnerable because of poor health cannot go to public polling booths, and further lockdown restrictions are imposed.

There are fears of an electoral crisis if the number of postal votes outstrips the ability of government agencies to handle them.

The Justice Minister Andrew Little concedes there's more risk once postal voting's significantly expanded, but says that's been weighed against the need to give people safe options to vote.

Here's RNZ political editor, Jane Patterson.