Online voting trial for 2019 local body elections halted because of rising costs

Source: 1News

A trial of online voting in next year’s local body will not take place after a working party of nine councils decided to halt the trial because of rising costs.

A ballot box.

A provider who satisfied the security and delivery requirements had recently been selected but ballooning costs forced the decision to not proceed with the trial in 2019.

The working party will continue to work collaboratively with central government and the wider local government sector to deliver online voting for the 2022 local body elections. 

Their focus will be on legislative and regulatory changes that will allow online voting to occur and on securing the necessary funding to deliver an online solution.

Although online voting has been legal in New Zealand since 2001, current legislation requires the Government to make regulations that set out the way an online voting system would work and the expected standards. 

“The working party is hugely disappointed that the trial won’t proceed at next year’s local body elections,” Working Party spokesperson Marguerite Delbet said.

“We will continue to work in partnership with central Government and the wider local government network to ensure online voting is a reality for future elections.

“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.”

Auckland Council, Gisborne District Council, Hamilton City Council, Marlborough District Council, Matamata-Piako District Council, Palmerston North City Council, Selwyn District Council, Hamilton City Council, Tauranga City Council and Wellington City Council make up the working party.