Saturday, May 18, 2024

Candidate “furious” over booklet error

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Local elections candidate Bo Burns is disappointed her two statements in the booklet sent to voters were mixed up. Photo supplied

Candidate profile booklets sent to local voters in this year’s Auckland Council elections contain an error that was not corrected prior to them being printed and posted out.

Bo Burns is a current elected member of the Howick Local Board.

She’s standing for re-election to the board as well as for a seat on the council’s governing body in the Howick ward on a ticket with local councillor Paul Young.

Burns says on September 8 she was phoned by the board’s deputy chair, John Spiller, who told her there seemed to be a mix-up with her councillor and local board member statements in the profile booklets which have been sent out with voting papers.

The issue is her statement focusing on why she’s standing for the councillor role was placed where her board candidate statement should have been and vice-versa.

“I phoned the electoral team straight away and told them what John had said,” Burns told the Times.

“They put me on hold and came back and said unfortunately that yes, there had been a mix-up.

“I was furious. Somewhere in between me handing in my two separate applications, photos and statements, somebody mixed them up.

“I asked if it would be rectified and they said it was too late and the million or so pamphlets had already been printed, but that they would change them straight away online.”

Burns says she asked the electoral team why candidates aren’t sent proofs of their statements to check.

The staff she spoke to replied they had a very stringent proofing process, she says.

“My reply was it is clearly not stringent enough and I had been in print media and advertising my whole life and this wasn’t good enough.

“It’s another bump in the road but I’m not letting it ruin the hugely successful campaign to date.”

Electoral Officer Dale Ofsoske says when the error was brought to his attention the candidate profile booklets had already been printed, inserted into voting packs and embargoed waiting for delivery to voters.

“There was not much we could do about this other than have it corrected on the electronic copy on the counicl’s website, which was done almost immediately.

“Unfortunately, it seems the wrong statement was attached to the wrong nomination paper when lodged and [the error was] not picked up.

“This was only brought to our attention when contacted by the candidate.”

Burns says her forms were not incorrectly attached and she checked and re-checked them multiple times.

“When the library staff went to photocopy everything they must have mucked up the papers.”

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