Mailbox thieves stealing flag voting papers
Police are investigating four cases of people claiming to have stolen flag referendum papers out of mailboxes and using them to cast votes.
The Electoral Commission said it had received reports of people posting on social media about their intentions to vote using other electors' papers and had referred the people in question to the police.
In a statement, the commission said it had received reports of four incidents of ballot paper theft on Tuesday and Wednesday. All four incidents had been reported to the police.
"It is an offence for a person to complete any voting paper knowing that he or she is not the person intended to receive the voting paper and to return such voting papers under section 59 of the New Zealand Flag Referendums Act 2015," it said.
Radio Live reported that one thief had even posted on a Facebook page saying he had stolen hundreds of papers out of mailboxes.
"So far iv [sic] collected nearly 300 voting papers from neighbours and friends that couldn't care less. All have been ticked new flag," the post which Radio Live obtained said.
If a person is convicted of filling out someone else's voting paper, they are guilty of a "corrupt practice" and can be liable for two years imprisonment or a fine of up to $40,000.
The commission said it would not be commenting further on matters that are with the police.