Badges while voting: legal or illegal

Supporting your party by wearing a badge, although frowned upon, is allowed on election day. File Photo.

While waiting in line on election day, concerns have sparked between residents about what is and what isn't allowed in the voting stations.

A Mount Maunganui Facebook group page has started a conversation about whether it is acceptable for people to wear a badge that represents their chosen party within a polling booth.

Since the post, many people have described similar circumstances at a polling station.

According to the Election Day Handbook it is legal for anyone to wear a party lapel badge or rosette in public bearing the party's name, emblem, slogan or logo, however, the item must not have the candidate's name on it.

Scrutineers, who may be appointed by candidates to observe in advance voting places and voting places and during the preliminary count, are also allowed to wear party lapel badges, however, they must not communicate with voters about their chosen party.

Clothing with slogans or logos that promote a party or candidate must not be displayed on Election Day. Despite this people can still show their support by wearing clothing in party colours.

Summary of the rules for candidates, parties and third parties

On Election Day you must not:

  •   •  Display any hoardings - all election signs must be taken down or covered up before election day.

  •   •  Display any other election advertising - cover up or place away from public view vehicles advertising parties or candidates (this includes flags and bumper stickers).

  •   •  Distribute any campaign material.

  •   •  Distribute or display anything showing political party or candidate names.

  •   •  Post-election-related material online. This includes election-related posts on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. 

  •   •  Take part in any election-related demonstration or procession.

  •   •  Wear or display clothing that promotes a political party or candidate.

  •   •  Conduct opinion polling of voters.

On Election Day you may:

  •   •  Wear a party lapel badge or rosette in public bearing the party's name, emblem, slogan or logo (but not the candidate's name or other content).

  •   •  Display streamers, rosettes, ribbons or similar items in party colours on people or vehicles (subject to the prohibition on processions). 

  •   •  Contact voters to offer help to get to a voting place.  But, you must not say or do anything that influences voters as to the party or candidate they should or should not vote for.

  •   •  Continue to display fixed signs that were up before election day on party headquarters and MP offices, including party names, slogans or logos that do not relate specifically to the election campaign.

  •   •  Keep existing election material up on a website as long as the material is not updated on election day, it is only made available to people who voluntarily access it, and the website is not advertised.



9 Comments

overit, my apologies........

Posted on 07-10-2017 20:44 | By groutby

...there was genuinely no desire to give the appearance of "attack"....my reply directed at you was because the others you refer to merely replied "unacceptable"..unlike yours which gave rise to rational reasons why you disagree (with lapels supporting a particular party) , simply making a "one word" reply in my view does not deserve to be within a conversation. Yours fell well outside of this, and although I disagree with your stance, I thank you for making it.

Groutby

Posted on 28-09-2017 13:18 | By overit

No it did not make me change my mind. But if the billboards have to come down, and you have to follow the rules above, then I think lapel rosettes should be out too. Especially a scrutineer. Why attack me when others below have agreed.

@ overit

Posted on 27-09-2017 22:02 | By groutby

......so, did the scrutineer's prescence make you change your voting position?...you can think two things surely...do NOT agree..or, AGREE with your stance..once in every three years...NO ONE holds a gun to your head and forces you to vote in a particular direction in this country, ENJOY the freedom!...

National

Posted on 26-09-2017 16:00 | By overit

I did not particularly like a scrutineer at Selwyn Ridge Primary sitting there with a National Party Rosette on her lapel. It needs to be addressed as when you look at the other no-no's it fits really.

Early voters...

Posted on 26-09-2017 14:00 | By Border Patrol

...can vote while the election campaign is in full swing, so it sort of makes a mockery of the no advertising/electioneering rules on election day.

Really?

Posted on 25-09-2017 23:15 | By groutby

......so you reckon by wearing a party rosette it will "swing" a voter waiting to vote?..I don't necessarily agree with it even though it is legal but "frowned upon", but to believe at that stage it could change a persons mind at that late stage....really?

BADGES

Posted on 23-09-2017 15:56 | By I like Papamoa.

Unacceptable!

A blatant exploitation of a loop hole

Posted on 23-09-2017 15:49 | By Rebel Lemon

Two very obvious party members emblazoned with rosettes in the Bethlehem polling station. They were scrutineers (so well done to the party that sent them) but they were also living billboards for their political party. It would seem that there are no party political promotions to be seen anywhere on election day except inside the polling station itself.

BADGES

Posted on 23-09-2017 15:07 | By jeancraven@kinect.co.nz

Unacceptable.

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The Lovely Mount Maunganui beach. Photo: Denis Player.

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