By Geoffrey Miller
Twitter falls under the strict rules of the Electoral Act which ban comments which might influence voting until 7pm on Election Day.
So you might think the normally noisy and heavily opinionated New Zealand Twittersphere would fall silent.
But that's far from the case; many tweeters poked fun at the rules banning commentary by using the hashtag #ThingsYouCanTweetOnElectionDay, and there plenty of animal pictures being shared - mostly of cats, using the hashtag #electioncaturday.
Some tweeters tried to circumvent the rules by using code - like @kokimahau, who revealed a preference for driving on the "left-hand side of the road", while others openly flouted the rules.
On the serious side, electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler (@GraemeEdgeler) tweeted useful advice for voters - such as his reminder that you did not need to bring ID along to vote.
Twitter was also the place to go for selfies inside and outside polling booths, as well as the ritual-like photos of party leaders voting, which were also quickly retweeted - which are within the rules - with Radio Live (@LIVENewsDesk) tweeting John Key voting in Parnell, along with his wife Bronagh and son Max.
Geoffrey Miller is a researcher in New Zealand politics at the University of Otago
Some of Election Day's top tweets:
Just so you know: you do not need any ID to vote. You do not need your Easy Vote card (it just makes it easier for people to find your name)— Graeme Edgeler (@GraemeEdgeler) September 19, 2014
Lots of NZ Twitter activity, before mad law closes down political social media use on election day there pic.twitter.com/0rTok9Ch82— Richard Adams (@RichardA) September 19, 2014
I saw a fire engine on the way to the Warehouse. #ThingsYouCanTweetOnElectionDay— Joanne Robson (@eMPOWERedNZ) September 19, 2014
Sleep in. Gym. Eggs. Vote. Leaning towards watching TV3 tonight. #today— Anna Smart (@annasmartnz) September 19, 2014
BREAKING: Kiwis, perhaps confused, overwhelmingly vote "No".— Damian Christie (@damianchristie) September 19, 2014
Twitter right now looks like the tv version of rehab. Everyone shuffling around, angrily smoking cigarettes and really wanting another hit.— Hirini Kaa (@revhirini) September 19, 2014
This not being able to tweet about something is a great idea. Let's do it more often, but change up the topics.— NZ Question Time (@Alt_NZQT) September 19, 2014
Is it illegal to listen to Eminem today?— James Cardno (@jamescardno) September 19, 2014
It's 3:00pm. If you're working, and didn't have a reasonable chance to vote before you started, you now get paid time off to vote.— Graeme Edgeler (@GraemeEdgeler) September 20, 2014
Outraged people tweeting about not being able to tweet what they want to tweet about.— Sports Freak (@Sportsfreakconz) September 19, 2014
John Key, his wife Bronagh and son Max have just voted in Parnell. pic.twitter.com/E0jpe7aag1— RadioLIVE Newsroom (@LIVENewsDesk) September 19, 2014
Breaking: No news.— Election Satire (@2014satire) September 19, 2014
Can't do radio for elections. I need pictures, numbers, maps, sad live crosses to empty halls, shots of the winner's car leaving home ...— Philip Matthews (@secondzeit) September 20, 2014
Serious analysis being prepared for TV3 Election Night pic.twitter.com/XBsVwDiP5b— Bryce Edwards (@bryce_edwards) September 20, 2014
Go and do the thing! No, not that thing! The other thing! #thing— Simon Wong (@wimon_song) September 19, 2014
So who should I vote for? #honeytrap— The Ruminator (@RuminatorNZ) September 19, 2014
This is not an election-related tweet.— Andrew Chen (@andrewmeows) September 19, 2014
Good night, and good luck. See you all on the other side.— Idiot/Savant (@norightturnnz) September 19, 2014
source: newshub archive