On-line voting answer to wrong question

21/04/2016

Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston says the online voting trial proposed for this year’s local body elections won’t proceed as more work is required to ensure a trial meets public and government expectations.

“Public confidence in local elections is fundamentally important. Given real concerns about security and vote integrity, it is too early for a trial,” says Ms Upston.

“Due to timing restrictions, preparations for the proposed trial have not yet met the legislative requirements and cannot guarantee public confidence in the election results.

“Security testing has been planned but has not yet occurred. Without seeing the results of testing we cannot be confident the systems are secure enough, and the trial could not be authorised.” . . 

This is a good move.

Postal voting was instituted for local body elections in te hope it would increase turnout but it is open to misuse and abuse.

I know of a parent who cast votes in a local body election for an adult child who was overseas; a man who voted for a parent who was in a rest home and a family who voted for a dead parent.

The traveller and the elderly parent didn’t mind and the family were as sure as they could be they knew who their deceased parent would have ticked but that’s not the point.

One person, one vote free of fear, favour or influence from anyone else is a basic tenet of democracy.

Postal voting is inherently insecure and online voting would be even worse.

Besides, the question shouldn’t be, how to make voting easier. It’s not very difficult in the first place.

The question should be how to get more people engaged in the electoral process so they want to vote.

People are literally dying to vote in other countries.

The problem here isn’t that people can’t vote easily, it’s that they don’t care enough to do so.

 

 

 


On-line voting trial for 2016 elections

04/09/2013

Local Government Minister Chris Tremain has announced that  online voting will be trialled  in the 2016 local authority elections.

“Online transactions are the way of the future and the Government is committed to rolling out digital services for New Zealanders,” says Mr Tremain.

“I have asked the Department of Internal Affairs to put together a working party from across government and local authorities and with information technology experts. They will consider the options, costs and security issues involved in online voting.

“Voter turnout in local body elections is traditionally low and we need to look at other ways to encourage people to become involved in the democratic process.

“Online voting will be more convenient and appeal to young voters. It will also make it easier for people with disabilities to vote. “

“There is a high level of interest from the sector in online voting with organisations like the Porirua City Council and the Manawatu District Council volunteering to take part in the trial.

“Robust regulations need to be in place so voters have trust and confidence in the system. The working party will be assessing the security and technology used in public elections overseas to mitigate risk.

“Once the working party reports its findings the next step will be to formulate a plan to implement online voting in local body elections.

“The Government RealMe service will be used to enable online voting. New Zealanders who have a RealMe logon can now update their electoral enrolment details online. The Electoral Amendment Bill recently introduced will enable electors with a RealMe verified identity to enrol online.”

Security will be the major concern.

But a RealMe logon is a lot more secure than postal voting and online voting might encourage better participation, especially among younger people.


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