Local Body Elections

The Justice and Electoral Select Committee has reported back its inquiry into the 2010 local body elections.

I was one of a relatively small number of submitters, and was pleased to see they have endorsed some of the proposals I made. It’s a good reminder that we have a small enough country that individuals can have an effect on laws, without having to be an MP yourself.

The recommendations of the committee are:

  1. have five, not four, weeks between close of nominations and delivery of voting papers
  2. have a trial of Internet voting in the 2013 local authority elections
  3. have more flexibility around the timing of release of profiles
  4. ensure the order of candidates names in voting papers is completely randomised
  5. examine the issue of candidates serving on multiple boards
  6. explore having the Electoral Commisson responsible for the oversight of local body elections

Nos 2, 4 and 6 were proposed by me (and possibly some others). The Government is not bound to do what the Committee recommends, but I hope they do. Postal voting is a dying mechanism – fewer and fewer people go to the post office regularly. An option of voting over the Internet would list turnout rates for local body elections, and also make it easier to make an informed vote.

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