The Electoral Commission’s approach to improving voting services at the general election has been recognised with a Deloitte IPANZ award.
The Commission won the Excellence in Improving Public Value through Business Transformation category of the Deloitte IPANZ Public Sector Excellence Awards 2018 for its work on the 2017 General Election.
“The Electoral Commission is delighted to win this award,” says Alicia Wright, Chief Electoral Officer. “It’s recognition of the work the Commission did to make enrolment and voting services more accessible – within budget.”
“The Commission delivered more services, at higher quality and reduced cost, setting the platform for future elections,” says Ms Wright.
The judges praised the award entry saying it showed an innovative approach to every aspect of the challenge.
“The ongoing challenge is to lift participation rates in elections. Our response in 2017 was to make voting more accessible by taking voting services to places like shopping malls, supermarkets and tertiary institutions, so that voting would fit into people’s everyday lives,” says Alicia Wright.
Advance voting places were open longer hours, including evenings and weekends, and people could enrol and vote in one location. The Commission built strong and collaborative public and private partnerships to access the right spaces for voting.
“We couldn’t have done it without the support of businesses like the Scentre Group which operates the Westfield malls and Foodstuffs North Island, and we are working to expand those relationships with retailers for future elections,” says Ms Wright. “For example, at the recent Northcote by-election, we worked with The Warehouse Group and the Glenfield Mall to provide advance voting services.”
The turnout of enrolled electors in 2017 was 79.8%, the highest it’s been since 2005. 1.2 million votes were cast in advance, which is 47% of all votes, up from 29% in 2014 and 14% in 2011.
The Deloitte IPANZ Public Sector Excellence Awards recognise and reward outstanding performances and achievements in the New Zealand public sector.
65 nominations were entered in the 2018 awards from 47 organisations including core government departments, Crown agencies, district health boards and local government.