Mystery over missing Auckland election voting papers

Voting papers (Getty)
Voting papers (Getty)

New Zealand Post and Auckland Council are at a loss to explain how voting papers went missing from an Auckland street.

The glitch even affected the Council's election planning manager. He lives there - and is just as mystified as everyone else.

The signs of an election are there on Grey Lynn's Crummer Rd, but for most, the means to vote just never arrived.

It's come as a shock to Victoria Carr. She's lived on the street for 20 years without a problem.

"I was very concerned about this," she says. "I'm actually flabbergasted to hear it's the whole street."

Up and down the road, the story is the same - postal ballots never made it into voters' hands, and residents who reported them missing were quickly told they were not alone.

"When we got through to saying our address they said 'Oh, Crummer Road. There's been a problem with Crummer Road'," says resident Derek Tearne.

But the problem itself remains a mystery. The electoral officer believes the papers were printed, and New Zealand Post says the ballots were delivered as normal.

That they weren't is a surprise for the election's planning manager - who's ironically a resident of that road.

"It is a concern, and that is part of the postal system, it's not always 100 percent reliable," says Auckland Council elections planning manager Glyn Walters.

The missing votes mean residents who want to have their say have had to cast a Special Vote instead. There have been168 of those cast here, but the council can't say how many have missed out.

Residents of Crummer Rd say it makes them wonder how many others in Auckland were skipped.

"If they find it's a very poor turnout they might want to investigate how many other people didn't get their papers delivered," says Ms Carr.

That may be the first step to increasing the voting turnout - making sure the ballots turn up in voters' hands.