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Online voting trial for 2019 local elections scrapped – but zombie like is not dead

13/12/2018

Todd Niall writes at Stuff

Nine councils have dropped a joint plan to trial online voting in next year’s local body elections.

Good, Adam has blogged before about this idea. Most recently in this post, which has useful links.

Yet this idea refuses to die. It is a zombie policy, which just keeps rising from the grave and is promoted by misguided people.

Like the Walking Dead the idea, has due to costs, been deferred.

The working party said it was hugely disappointed about 2019, but would press on. 

“With rising postal costs, sections of our communities currently unable to vote privately, and growing disengagement with elections generally, there is simply too much at stake to give up now,” spokeswoman Marguerite Delbet, from Auckland Council, said.

Perhaps the group might provide answers to the following:-

1 – What about the digital divide?

2 – What about the cost duplication with potentially having to provide at least two options?

3 – If postal voting is stopped, does that mean effective voter supptression for a segmen tof the community.

4 – Perhaps the lack of voter disengagement is because many feel local government never listens anyway.

Online voting has been provided for in legislation since 2001, but requires specific regulations and has been a stop-start affair over recent years.

The government announced in 2013 that an online trial would be allowed for the 2016 local body elections.

That decision was reversed six months out from the 2016 elections by then-associate local government minister Louise Upston.

“Public confidence in local elections is fundamentally important. Given real concerns about security and vote integrity, it is too early for a trial,” she said in April 2016.

The latest attempt was also racing the clock with amending legislation before a parliamentary select committee but needing to be passed by next March.

So no voter demand as such.

The working party believed it had made valuable progress on the idea over the past 18 months.

“Proving that with the right regulatory framework and the financial support of the wider central and local government community, a reliable and secure online voting system can be successfully delivered within the local government context,” it said in a statement.

“The working party had recently selected a provider that satisfied all of the security and delivery requirements,” it said.

Initial thoughts include: –

1 – What were these requirements?

2 – Were the requirements reviewed prior to their issuance by internationally recognised experts in the field?

A provider that satisfied all the requirements. As a former senior executive with a systems provider, Adam finds that statement somewhat lacking in credibility.

“There is strong support for online voting with 74 per cent of Aucklanders telling us after the 2016 election that they would prefer to vote online,” Mayor Phil Goff told Stuff in August.

How was that % arrived at?

 

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