8 Oct 2017

Every vote counted and recounted

10:47 am on 8 October 2017

The Chief Electoral Officer says counting votes is a busy process, and it's important that it's done right.

Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright

Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright Photo: RNZ / Jane Patterson

Final results were released this weekend, two weeks after election day. More than 2.6 million votes were cast, 47 percent of them in advance. 84,000 enrolment forms were filled out at advance polling places.

Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright said as well as recounting every vote cast on election day, votes cast out of electorate also need to be counted, and there was extensive auditing.

"It's a fairly busy process, and it's important that we get it right.

"We've got overseas posts across the globe, those all need to come back into the country. So for instance, we received our last shipment of oversease votes this Monday. They all need to be brought in, repatriated back to their home electorate, and then counted. So there's quite a few steps that need to be gone through in that process."

"We go through a rigorous process to ensure that everybody is meant to be on the roll, and every vote is counted. We go through an extensive period of audits. We verify them, there's cross checking that is done across the electorates and we ensure that we've got that right. So we're pretty confident about the result."

Ms Wright said the 79.8 percent turnout was good, but the Electoral Commission would be looking at measures taken to increase the turnout to see where to go next.

"We had a focus this election on putting voting places where voters are. We saw a big increase in the use of people voting at places like supermarkets and in malls. Our biggest advance voting places were in those places and we think that that's had a role to play.

"There's a lot of different things that increase turnout ... we'll need to be looking at that in more detail post the election."

Candidates and parties now have until Wednesday to apply for judicial recounts. If no one applies for a recount, then the writ will be returned on Thursday.

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