Disability Voter and Non-Voter Satisfaction Survey 2008

The full report of the Disability Voter and Non-Voter Satisfaction Survey 2008 is available for download below.

Executive summary

Background and method

The Chief Electoral Office (CEO) commissioned Colmar Brunton to conduct a survey with voters and non-voters in 2008. The primary objectives of the survey are to:
  • ascertain voter satisfaction with the services the CEO provides, and to
  • understand what the barriers to voting are, and how to address these for each identified population group.
Colmar Brunton were commissioned to undertake the 2008 voter and non-voter survey with a booster survey of those with a disability. This report is based on the data obtained from disabled respondents. The results from the main survey are contained within another report.
 
A number of disability organisations assisted with this research by providing a random sample of disabled people from their contact lists (‘the booster survey’). This was also the case in the 2005 survey, although different disability organisations were involved three years ago. As such the sample gathered reflects the type of organisations involved, it is not intended to be a random sample of all disabled people in New Zealand.  Because different disability organisations were involved in 2005 and 2008, caution should be exercised when comparing 2008 results with 2005 results. 
 
The term ‘voters with a disability’ when used in this report refers to all voters with a disability we interviewed, including all those identified in the main telephone survey and those interviewed in the booster survey. Likewise the term ‘non-voters with a disability’ refers to all non-voters with a disability interviewed through the same process.
 
122 disabled respondents were interviewed in the main telephone survey, and 128 were interviewed in the booster survey. Overall, 207 voters with a disability and 43 non-voters with a disability were interviewed. 
 
Significant differences from the general population of voters and non-voters, are highlighted in this summary and the main report where relevant. 
 

Summary of findings

Previous voting behaviour

  • 96% of voters with a disability and 68% of non-voters with a disability (who were eligible to vote in 2005) voted in the 2005 General Election.

Voting

  • Most voters with a disability (86%) went to a polling place on Election Day. 7% went to an advance voting place, 3% voted from a hospital or a care home, and 3% voted using papers delivered by mail.
  • 86% of voters with a disability voted at a polling place, 7% voted in advance.
  • 57% of voters with a disability did not require help with voting.
  • 63% of voters with a disability and 40% of non-voters with a disability would prefer to vote in person at a polling place or advance voting place. 
  • 19% of voters with a disability and 17% of non-voters with a disability would prefer to vote online (this is lower than the equivalent proportions for voters and non-voters in the general population).
  • 11% of voters with a disability and 19% of non-voters with a disability would prefer postal voting (this is higher than the equivalent proportions for voters and non-voters in the general population).
  • 62% of non-voters with a disability knew they could vote before Election Day (this is not significantly different from the general population of non-voters). 53% of those who did not know said they would have voted in advance if they had known about this option. 
  • 43% of voters with a disability and 73% of non-voters with a disability said they knew you could vote by post.
  • 35% of voters with a disability and 26% of non-voters with a disability said they found MMP either ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ to understand. Compared with voters in the general population, voters with a disability were less likely to feel they understood MMP. Differences between non-voters with a disability and non-voters in the general population were not statistically significant (mainly because of the small number of interviews conducted among non-voters with a disability).

Disability information

  • 81% of voters with a disability recall seeing electoral information specifically produced for people with a disability. The most commonly recalled sources were the booklet on enrolling and voting (45% of all voters with a disability recall this source) and the poster about what to do in a polling place (43%). 21% of voters with a disability also recall captions on advertisements.
  • 64% of non-voters with a disability recall seeing electoral information specifically produced for people with a disability. The most commonly recalled sources were the DVD in NZ sign language (27% of all non-voters with a disability recall this source), captions on advertisements (23%), and the booklet on enrolling and voting (23%). 
  • More voters with disabilities found the disability information sources useful than not useful. The following figures show the proportion of voters with a disability that rated either a 4 or 5 out of 5 for usefulness.
    • Booklet on enrolling and voting – 73%.
    • Poster on what to do in a polling place – 70%.
    • Captions on advertisements – 70%.
    • Sign language DVD – 61%.
    • Articles and information in disability newsletters – 61%.
    • Brochure on what to do if you can’t get to a polling place – 60%.
    • www.elections.org.nz – 48%.
    • Brochure in large print – 47%.
    • Other disability resources were not used by survey respondents.

Other advertising and information

  • 98% of voters with a disability and 67% of non-voters with a disability recall receiving the EasyVote pack in the mail.
  • Voters who received and read the EasyVote pack were asked how satisfied or dissatisfied they were with it. 85% of voters with a disability were satisfied with the EasyVote pack. This is lower than the general population of voters (92%).
  • 52% of non-voters with a disability were satisfied with the EasyVote pack (which is not a significant difference from the proportion of non-voters in the general population that were satisfied). 24% were dissatisfied (which is higher than the proportion of non-voters in the general population that were dissatisfied - 9%).
  • 63% of voters with a disability, and 57% of non-voters with a disability, had seen ‘other’ advertising about voting. That is advertising about how to vote, not including: the EasyVote pack, disability specific information, or political advertising. This advertising was mostly seen on TV.
  • 59% of voters with a disability and 29% of non-voters with a disability found this other advertising useful.
  • 73% of voters with a disability, and 60% of non-voters with a disability, said they did not require further information about voting. Those that would like further information would like to receive it via TV.

Polling place

  • Just over half (52%) of voters with a disability who went to a polling place, did so with family members. 7% of voters with a disability said they were accompanied by non-family members. Differences between voters with a disability and the general population of voters are not statistically significant.
  • 56% of voters with a disability voted in the morning (before noon), 34% voted in the afternoon (between noon and 5pm), and 6% voted in the evening (after 5pm). Compared with the general population of voters, voters with a disability were more likely to vote in the morning and less likely to vote in the afternoon.
  • 87% of voters with a disability brought the EasyVote card with them to the polling place. 9% brought the letter from the Chief Electoral officer with them. These results are not significantly different from the general population of voters.
  • 59% of voters with a disability said they only spent up to five minutes at the polling place. Compared with the general population of voters, voters with a disability were more likely to spend longer than 5 minutes (71% of voters in the general population spent up to five minutes, compared with 59% of voters with a disability). As with the main survey, almost all (96%) voters with a disability said the length of time spent was ‘about right’.
  • 67% of voters with a disability saw desk voting facilities at the polling place
  • Over two-thirds (67%) of voters with a disability were either ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ with the voting facilities.
  • Most voters with a disability rated the voting process as either 4 or 5 out of 5, the proportions giving these scores are outlined below.
    • Clear instructions on how to cast vote (84%).
    • Ease of finding name of person or party (90%).
    • Electoral staffs’ ability to answer questions (87%).
    • Pleasantness and politeness of Electoral staff (89%).
    • Efficiency of Electoral staff (87%).
    • How well Electoral staff provided for needs of disabled (66%).
  • Voters with a disability were less likely than the general population of voters to give positive ratings for: ease of finding name of person or party, Electoral staffs’ ability to answer questions, pleasantness and politeness of Electoral staff, and efficiency of Electoral staff.

Election night results

  • 86% of voters with a disability and 49% of non-voters with a disability said they followed the Election results. Most watched the results on TV (96% of voters and 85% of non-voters). These results are not significantly different from the main survey of voters and non-voters.
  • Three quarters (75%) of voters with a disability were satisfied with the timeliness of results, this is lower than the equivalent proportion in the general population of voters (90%).
  • 55% of non-voters with a disability were satisfied with the timeliness of results.

Non-voters

(Please note that many of the differences between non-voters with a disability and non-voters in the general population are not statistically significant, mainly because of the small survey population of non-voters with a disability).

  • 47% of non-voters with a disability said they ‘considered voting at some stage’ in the run up to the Election.
  • Non-voters with a disability were asked when they decided not to vote. 48% of all non-voters decided not to vote on Election Day. The rest decided not to vote before then.
  • Non-voters with a disability were asked how much thought they put into their decision not to vote. 33% put ‘a lot of thought’ into it, 26% put ‘a little thought into it’, and 41% did not put any thought into it.
  • Most (76%) non-voters with a disability knew the location of a polling place that was convenient for them.
  • The main overall reasons for not voting among non-voters with a disability were: having a disability (15%), health reasons (13%), not being able to work out who to vote for (13%), and the polling place being too far away or not having transport (10%). 
  • Compared with non-voters in the general population, non-voters with a disability were more likely to give the following reasons for not voting:
    • having a disability (15% vs. 1%),
    • health reasons (13% vs. 5%),
    • polling place too far away/no transport (10% vs. 1%), and
    • it is not important (8% vs. 2%).

 

Last updated: 07 February 2013