Electoral Law Changes Progress

by Editor on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — 5:08 PM

The Electoral Amendment Bill has passed its committee stage with the Government unmoved by Opposition MPs asking for changes over voter identification clauses.

Labour MPs and others said they were unhappy about changes to electoral law which they said would require voters to verbally confirm their identity to electoral officers, instead of the past administrative practice of voters presenting their easy vote card.

They argued it would make it difficult for some to vote – such as those who had English as a second language.

National MPs have argued Labour and Green MPs had agreed in select committee to the need for someone to confirm their identity, and there were exemptions for the limited number of cases where a voter was unable to orally confirm who they were.

Progress was slow with the Speaker recalled after Opposition MPs objected to debate on part one being closed by the chair. The Speaker upheld the closure motion.

Eventually the bill completed its committee stage with most votes going by 64 to 56 with National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future in favour.

MPs began the committee stage of the Families Commission Amendment Bill

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