The council may resolve that candidate names are arranged on the voting document in alphabetical order of surname, pseudo-random order or random order . With pseudo-random order of names, the same random order appears on each voting document. With random order of names, a different random order appears on each voting document.
Auckland Council has used alphabetical order printing to date for mayoral, ward councillor and local board member candidates.
Alphabetical order is easier to use and understand, and matches the way candidate names are displayed in the candidate directory.
A potential disadvantage of alphabetical order printing is that there is some documented evidence, mainly from overseas, of voter bias to those at the top of a voting list. This analysis of booth voting is based on two criteria: 1) the impact on vote share and 2) the impact on election outcome. Auckland’s local elections are administered by postal voting which allows for a more considered approach than booth voting. Analysis of previous election results shows that any potential advantage to those at the top of alphabetical voting lists is very small.
The district health boards and licensing trusts make their own decisions about the order of names.