With all the boldness of a very slow turtle, the Chief Electoral Office is talking of trialling online voting in 2014, 2017 and 2020 with a possible implementation in 2023.
I absolutely support a trial before any decisions are made on implementation, but online voting has been discussed and trialled globally since 1996. An 18 year wait until we even trial it is manifestly inadequate.
The 2010 local body elections represent a superb opportunity to trial online voting. As they already use postal voting, there is less of a culture change. You merely include a username and password with their voting letter, and maybe have them get a one time PIN e-mailed to them also.
Now you don’t have to trial it with every local body. Just choose a couple where it really doesn’t matter if the system breaks down – say the Ruapahu District Council.
Online voting has the potential to increase turnout but also increase informed voting. One can have candidates linked to their election pages so people can read about them just before they vote. And considering we have a zero level of security at the moment for voting, online voting can only be more secure. Now again I am not saying rush in and have online voting for 2011 general election, but at a minimum it should be trialled for some 2010 local body elections.