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Official election results due tomorrow, as outgoing deputy PM defends long wait

Nov 02, 2023

The outgoing deputy prime minister says it is fair to ask questions about the lengthy vote-counting process.

The official results of the 2023 election are expected to be released at 2pm on Friday once the official count has been done - including special votes, which the Electoral Commission says can take up to 10 days to arrive after election day.

It will have been almost three weeks since election night.

Sepuloni was responding to criticism from National's Christopher Luxon and Nicola Willis this week about the delay in releasing the official count.

Willis said three weeks was "a bit long" and was "holding things up for New Zealand".

Luxon told Morning Report on Wednesday there should be daily updates on the official count.

Carmel Sepuloni told First Up on Thursday that despite the wait, voters could be confident the process was thorough.

"It's a manual process, so of course it's going to take some time. I've been one of those people who has had to wait for special votes in the past, when I ran for the Waitakere seat and had to endure a judicial recount."

On election night in 2011, Sepuloni trailed National's Paula Bennett by 349 votes. After special votes were counted, she won by 11 votes, but a judicial recount saw the electorate swing back to Bennett by nine votes.

"At least at the end of that, we could all be assured that it was a thorough process... We all had confidence in the result and that's the most important thing."

But she said improvements could be made to the voting system to make it easier and faster.

"I certainly think that there are some questions to be asked as to how we can improve the electoral system, including what happens on election day and people's ability to be able to go and vote."

Main image (RNZ/Angus Dreaver): The outgoing deputy prime minister , Carmel Sepuloni.

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