Nearly four out of five respondents to a Hamilton City Council survey favour a switch to the Single Transferable Voting (STV) system to elect our mayor and councillors.
That’s the result of a survey by the Council which asked whether Hamiltonians want to vote by ranking candidates using STV, or by ticking candidates using First Past the Post (FPP).
The survey ran from 17 June to 17 July and attracted 928 submissions.
Overall, 726 respondents (78.1%) want to switch to STV and 202 (21.9%) would prefer to keep using FPP.
The most common themes for why respondents want to use STV are better representation of public opinion, less wastage of votes, and opportunity for more diversity on Council.
People’s arguments for keeping FPP are that it offers simple majority voting, is easy to understand and easier to vote.
Elected Members will decide whether voters will use STV or FPP, or to conduct a formal poll, at next week’s (Thursday 6 August) Council meeting.
Governance Manager Becca Brooke is pleased with the number of responses from the city’s residents.
“Councils typically don’t engage and educate their communities about voting systems prior to formally considering the options,” she says. “We wanted to give Hamiltonians an opportunity to have their say, so our Elected Members could consider the views of the community while making their decision.”
During the campaign, more than 4100 people visited the website (yourcityelections.co.nz) where the survey was hosted. Hardcopy forms were also available at the Council building and Hamilton City Libraries branches.
An animated video created to explain how voters use STV and FPP was viewed 7018 times.
Respondents who completed the survey online spent an average of more than 6 minutes and 30 seconds on the website, watching the video and reading the FAQs.
“Voting systems can be quite a technical and dry topic,” says Mrs Brooke. “We worked really hard to make the campaign engaging and accessible, and that’s been noticed by our community and around the country.
“The results show that when you give people the chance to share their voice, and make information fun and easy to understand, that they’ll take the time to get involved in shaping our city’s future.”
In the 2019 elections, 67 of the 78 local authorities in New Zealand used FPP.