Council to try online voting
It does not excuse stubborn low voter turnout but it might make it more accessible even to Southern Auckland given our libraries are very heavily utilised – that is online voting.
From Auckland Council:
Auckland Council’s Governing Body has given its in-principle support for conducting an online voting trial in the 2019 local government elections.
At today’s meeting, the Governing Body approved the council’s submission on the Local Electoral Matters Bill. The submission supports amendments to the Local Electoral Act 2001 to increase democratic participation and enable trials on alternative voting methods, such as online voting, to occur,
With the Bill currently before the Justice Select Committee, the Governing Body gave its in-principle support to running an online voting trial among a small subset of voters in the next local government election, subject to a number of conditions being met.
These conditions include enabling legislation being passed in time to allow an online voting system to be implemented for 2019, online security risks being managed appropriately, confirmation of an acceptable level of costs, and final Governing Body approval before any trial goes ahead.
Mayor Phil Goff says it’s inevitable that online voting is the future and if we continue to rely only on the postal system we risk losing a whole generation of voters who experience the world online.
“We need to adapt to changing circumstances with how people participate in democracy, access information and communicate. 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.
“It won’t solve all of the problems of low voter turnout at local elections but we should be looking to facilitate a 21st century way of voting that is more accessible for our growing and diverse communities.
“Online voting could work as effectively here as it does overseas but it is sensible to trial it first rather than jump in and do it across the board” says Mayor Goff.
Auckland Council will now investigate if a trial is feasible. It will explore joining with other councils to run one trial together, run a request for proposal process to engage a preferred vendor and establish a timetable and budget.
If a trial is deemed feasible a formal proposal will be presented to the Governing Body for final approval.
Source and the rest of the Governing Body decisions see: Auckland Council pushes for online voting trial
Let’s see where this goes.