The Electoral Act in New Zealand dictates that election advertising is banned in every form during the actual polling day. With this, billboards and signs have to be removed and any form of advertising related to election in television, internet and radio must cease. According to the rule, advertising found in social media posts, T-shirts, vehicle signage and bumper stickers are also covered by the Electoral Act. This is a common thing nowadays as there is also a trend of vehicle signs in Sydney and it is considered an effective form of advertising.
Since the presence of advance voting has become quite common, many are questioning the restrictions as it is only applied on the actual polling day and not during the period where advance voting has started. This is why many are concerned if the rule really does what it is supposed to.
For the election that was held last month, the Electoral Commission has already assumed that about 50 per cent of the voters will be casting ballot before the actual polling day which is on September 23. A week before the polling day, 500,000 voters have already casted their ballots.
According to James Shaw who is the leader of the Green Party said that it is time to review the election rules with regards to advertising. The rules that used to restrict campaigns on the actual voting day seemed to be old-fashioned given the presence of advance voting.
He added that full review should be undertaken not just on the advertising rule governing the advance voting period but the actual election day as well because they might not be policing as strict as before.
David Seymour, the leader of ACT Party, agreed with the proposition because of the inconsistencies which need to be addressed. He clarified that campaigning should be fine as long as it is not done within or close to a voting booth. He believes that it is not right to ban campaigns for the final two weeks though.
While it is the most effective form, vehicles signs in Sydney and New Zealand for this matter could greatly influence the decisions of voters.