Historical Personal Instruction Manuals

Joshua Grainger made this Official Information request to Electoral Commission

The authority would like to / has responded by post to this request.

From: Joshua Grainger

Dear Electoral Commission,

I would like to please request under the Official Information Act copies of any manuals ("personal instruction manuals" I believe they're called) or any equivalent training documents/documentation provided to issuing officers or counters on polling day for elections, going back to 1993, excluding 2011 (so 1993, 1996, 2002, 2005, and 2008).

I would also like to request any correspondence, reports or debriefs analysing the performance of these manuals/documentation. For example if it was found that something was missing from these manuals, or if any particular instructions were confusing to issuing officers or counters.

I have requested the 2011 manual previously and you were very helpful. Thank you for that.

Yours faithfully,
Joshua Grainger.

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From: FYI Requests

Dear Mr Grainger

Thank you for your email requesting copies of the instructions manuals
provided to polling staff for the general elections held from 1993 until

The Electoral Commission is able to provide you will copies of the manuals
for the elections during this period with the exception of the 1996
general election.  The manuals vary in size but are up to 80 pages in
length. The Commission will asks that its reasonable charges to be met in
the provision of this information.  The charge will be 20 cents for each
page after the first 20 pages.

Please can you confirm the address for the material to be sent to.

Yours sincerely


Natalie McNaught | Senior Adviser Legal | Electoral Commission | Te
Kaitiaki Take Kowhiri
Level 9 | 17-21 Whitmore Street | PO Box 3220 | Wellington
Tel: [1]+64 4 498 2312 | Fax: [2]+64 4 495 0031 | Web:

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From: Joshua Grainger

Dear Natalie,

That is very cool: I thought that the older manuals may have been lost. Pity about the 1996 manual being lost (I presume? It isn't being declined under s9 or s6 or anything?) though, given it was the first MMP election, so it was one I was particularly interested in.

May I ask instead of photocopying and posting the manuals, would it be possible to request that the manuals are scanned and emailed in a digital format? This would enable anyone who is looking for these files later to easily access them later. Given that scanning incurs less costs due to no materials being used, may I also ask if the Electoral Commission would consider stepping away from the Ministry of Justice charging guidelines?

If the cost is going to be the same however, I don't think I'll be able to afford the cost for all manuals, so would it be possible to get prices for just the 1993 and 1999 manuals?

May I also ask the progress upon the second part of my request?

Thank you very much for your time. It is much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Joshua Grainger

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