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Voter fraud: 55 people alleged to have voted more than once at 2023 General Election

Editor Written by Editor · 1 min read >

Fifty-five people allegedly voted more than once in last year’s general election and their names have been passed on to police.

Voting more than once is an offence under section 215 of the Electoral Act.

The Electoral Commission said the number of people who allegedly voted more than once was similar to previous elections.

It referred 48 people to police in 2020, 37 in 2017, 126 in 2014 and 63 in 2011.

The commission would not discuss the matter further as it was now with police.

The referrals come as the Auditor-General conducts a review after a Herald investigation found vote counting errors by the Electoral Commission after the election.

In a statement in December, Auditor-General John Ryan said the review will examine “aspects of the quality assurance processes”.

After the official results of the general election were published on November 3, the Herald alerted the Election Commission to irregularities in its counting before further inquiries found a total of 15 voting places with “data entry errors” and an entire ballot box from the East Coast being missed.

Amended official results were published on November 9.

“Although these errors had no effect on the outcome of the results of the election or the result in any individual electorate, the commission had expected its quality assurance processes to have identified and corrected those errors before the official count was completed,” the Office of the Auditor-General said in its statement today.

“It is important that the commission is able to have confidence that the errors it has identified will not re-occur in future elections. Avoiding these errors in future is also important for the public’s trust in the vote-counting process. Therefore, after discussion with the commission, we have decided to carry out review work about the Electoral Commission’s quality assurance processes for counting votes.”

The review, the Auditor-General said, will explore why the vote-counting errors occurred; what quality assurance policies, processes and measures were in place in relation to those errors; the extent to which the design, operation and implementation of those measures were effective; what the commission did once those errors came to light; and any improvements that can be identified.

“We will not make any public comment while our work is under way,” the Auditor-General’s office said. “We intend to complete our work and publish the results by April 2024. We anticipate that will also involve tabling a report in Parliament.”

Raphael Franks is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He joined the Herald as a Te Rito cadet in 2022.

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