ID should be free
Having read some decent discussions from No Right Turn on disenfranchisement and David Farrar on voter fraud a few thoughts spring to mind:
Citizens should be the exclusively enfranchised group - not any foreigner who sticks around for only (literally) a couple of years.
There should be a register of citizens (contrary to the impression Farrar may have given there is only a list of new citizens from another nationality)
The register of citizens is therefore also the list of registered voters - they get taken off when the data matching with death certificates issued. You do not automatically lapse as at present "purging the rolls". You go overseas and stay there then you can still vote because you are still a citizen.
Identification must be established when you become a citizen in the first place in addition to members of your community "sponsoring" you into citizenship when you turn 18. Which I think would be a good civic "coming of age" ceremony at any rate.
Identification must be provided when you go into the polling station (and if you can't identify yourself you have to have a bit of die put on your finger like they do in other countries to prevent multiple voting... perhaps? or given a special vote that can be tagged for investigation later)
I disagree with a few assertions made on NRT:
a total of three cases of enrolment fraud were detected during the 2005 election. All were reported to the police. 21 cases of dual voting were discovered during the 2005 election, and these were also reported to the police. The conclusion is that voter and enrolment fraud in New Zealand is relatively rare.
- that might very well prove that we have no way of detecting it. In the old days we had many cases of child abuse that were never reported - that did not mean it was not prevalent as we are now learning through all the "historic" charges in the news just about every week. So too the institutional necessity for the organisations conducting the election process to not incriminate themselves by searching too hard for things that will make them look bad.
dual voting is easily detected and the votes disqualified
- Not if you've registered twice.
[... How easy is it to impersonate a voter? From my own experience
I'm not sure if this is still suppressed or not, probably not now, so I'll tell you: that weird revelation in the middle of my sedition trial was a bizarre man who managed to get on to the jury by pretending to be someone at the same address as the jury notice was sent to. I kid you not. Thanks to the intense interest from half the Detectives in Auckland seated at the back of the court one of them noticed this guy and stopped the proceedings to take us into closed court to tell us he'd prosecuted him a few years before and that he certainly wasn't whatever that name was. It's no offence to change your name and so the trial went on - and then the police said he can't sit on a jury if he'd had that conviction, but after making more enquiries they discovered his conviction fell just days outside of the prohibited period, and so the trial went on... then the cops made more enquires and said we were in the same Politics paper in 1992!? News to me - there were about 200 people in that first year paper, but that's not against the law... and then they made more enquiries and discovered... he was not really his Korean female flatmate... but the jury had just retired to make the verdict so there was nothing they could do. What a farce, eh? The little cunt voted against me too. Did he not want to rock the boat? Well who knows because my brilliant lawyers dropped that angle at the appeal... anyway the point is if that one D hadn't noticed he would of sailed right on through. And this was a high profile court case with the media etc. Would he have ever been detected if he had voted in some suburban area? Of course not. He could of applied as a dozen voters and toddled around a dozen polling stations and no one would ever know.
The blunt fact is that the poor are less likely than the rich to have the required forms of ID or be comfortable dealing with bureaucracy, and thus less likely to be able to vote under such a system.
- well Idiot/Savant ain't never been poor before obviously because all the WINZ beneficiaries - and I do mean all of them - all have ID. If they didn't they wouldn't get a bean. Poor people, WINZ clients or not, deal with bureaucracy especially that low-level front-of-house paperwork and admin more than the wealthy. Now that's more than likely - that's a fact. I've been there, I know. It's time to hit that middle class assumption on the head.
The only groups in that low income demographic who are substantially "less likely" to have ID are: 1. the over-stayers and the foreigners who can't speak English properly or at all. 2. prisoners just released from Prison. 3. the absolutely destitute homeless addicts, desperately mentally ill people and recluses who do not want to be or cannot be helped by the social services agencies (and most of them probably should be institutionalised for their own well-being). The first lot shouldn't be able to vote at all anyway because they aren't or shouldn't be citizens (if their English is really that bad), the second lot can get ID in less than a fortnight, and the third group are at the point where they are actively avoiding "the system" in all its guises and do not want to vote. So the amount of people that in a position where they can't get ID is near zero I would think.
Yes it's a hassle to get it and the Crown demands you pay for the privilege of confirming your own damn identity - usually at one of their own bloody department's behest in the first place when they already have the information! *start hair-tearing self-mutilation at this point* And that should be the focus - making it a right - not something that you have to pay for. It is a necessity in the modern world and it ought to be free to the person who must have it by legislative or government operational requirements. It should be free to the citizen to have the government issue you with an acceptable ID for voting purposes, once per election cycle. If you lose it after it's issued maybe then you'll have to pay for another one (before 3 years is up).
The ID issue also has other affects. I recall the ugly scenes during the electoral petition over the contested Onehunga seat in the 90s where the National Party went through everyone on the roll with an Indian or PI name and challenged them because they may have been a Labour jack-up vote bused in from Otahuhu or whatever. It was an ugly play (and nothing was proved). That is still the system. The interested stakeholders, ie. the rival political parties, are supposed to act as screeners and detectors and investigators of the roll's integrity. That is stupid, and as I've argued, potentially nasty situation - and it is not good enough.
I must say that Farrar's commenting that Well in the last four years it has been almost 7,000 people. who have been found by the Electoral Commission to be on the roll but ineligible is some indication of widespread fraud - this is highly unlikely. Why? It is far more likely to be because NZ Post (the organisation tasked with collecting enrolments) pay their collecters per enrollment giving the collectors an incentive to push ineligible people to sign up. That's probably a big chunk. The other big chunk will be the overstayers and foreigners who don't understand what they are doing because their English comprehension is very poor - and so if it is from the government they are likely to think that they must fill it out.
And while we are at it: the turnout=quality issue. It's been said before, but it must be emphasised:
Over a certain point the higher the turn-out the worse the quality of decision. As we approach 100% every crack-pot, every sub-normal intelligent human vegetable, every psychotic, every person who doesn't even know what party is which let alone what electorate they are in and what they are voting for or even what year it is will have their vote given an equal weight as someone who has spent hours reading material and going to meetings etc.
Finally, it should be convenient to vote in an election for sure - it just shouldn't be convenient to vote as many times as you want without any way of ever knowing.