Premature success

October 17th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Well this is a new one for me – a campaign winds up before it even launches, because it has had premature success.

As readers will know I have been advocating a trial of for local body elections for some time. A few months ago the Government agreed to a trial in 2016 and possible implementation in 2019. This was a welcome decision, but myself and other advocates thought it wasn’t ambitious enough and we decided to launch a campaign next week to try and speed things up. The aim was to use any by-elections as a trial and then get as many Councils as possible in 2016 committing to using .

Myself and (ex Len Brown political advisor) were going to be co-spokepsersons (political balance to show not a partisan thing). We had three major city mayors on board, plus other prominent Mayors. We were all set to launch next Monday.

Then yesterday announced:

Local Government  Minister Chris Tremain says he will be instructing a working party to explore what would be needed for online voting to be fully introduced in the next local  body elections.

Voter turnout at the 2013 election was the lowest ever recorded with a projected figure of around 40 per cent.  Final results will be confirmed by Local Government New Zealand on Thursday.

“Figures as far back as 1962 (see below) show voter turnout at local body elections are traditionally low but I am concerned that it is on a slow decline,” says Mr Tremain. 

“A large number of people work from smart phones and online voting is definitely the way of the future.  However there are risks involved in transferring to an online system, so it is important we clearly understand those risks before making any final decision.  Accessibility for all voters is a critical consideration in any move forward.

“The government has invested in online verification technology, RealMe, which will enable secure authentication of a person’s identity for online voting.

“The working party, which was announced before the recent local body elections, is being tasked with establishing the technical, financial, and security issues involved in online voting.  In addition I will now ask them to explore the possibility of having full online voting available at the next local body elections.  A condition of this must be that an opportunity exists for a significant trial before 2016. 

This is basically the outcome we were after, so we’ve decided there is no point in launching a campaign when we’ve already had premature success and got what we want! I wish we could take credit for it, but the credit goes to Chris Tremain for deciding to prioritise the trial. And it is important we do have a trial – there are security issues to be worked through etc.

“I will also be inviting the Justice and Electoral Committee, who conduct reviews of local and national elections, to investigate other initiatives that will lift voter turnout. 

“Part of this will be considering the confusion created by the single transferable voting system especially when voters are presented with two voting systems on the same voting papers. Another issue that has been raised, post the elections, has been the three week voting timeframe, so it would be timely to consider this as well.

“Online voting will give people more choice but on its own will not solve low voter turnout.”

It will not get people to vote who are not interested in voting. But it will make it easier for people who do want to vote, to vote. The postal system is slowly dying and the future for local body elections will either be ballot box voting or e-voting, or both.

The annoying thing with the campaign being over before it starts, is we don’t get to do the usual celebratory drinks :-)

Tags: , ,

19 Responses to “Premature success”

  1. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    Oh great…….just what we needed………..our in boxes flooded with ‘how to vote’ rubbish ect.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. ciaron (1,157 comments) says:

    Y’know what will really get the voters out?

    not having to choose between having the shit sandwich or the diarrhea salad.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. tvb (3,938 comments) says:

    I assume for those who do not have access to the internet they have alternative options. In the meantime when people enrol they provide an email address as a first step. A trial next year for the general election for two or three seats could be done. The forthcoming referendum could be used maybe.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Manolo (12,622 comments) says:

    Change success in the heading by ejaculation and we have another discussion topic on Len Brown.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. nickb (3,629 comments) says:

    Another pun about Len Brown disguised as an unrelated post!!!

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    I don’t suffer from premature ejaculation, it’s awesome! :-P

    Wait, what are we talking about again…?

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    I don’t think you need to worry about anyone prematurely flooding YOUR box Harriet. :cool:

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. gravedodger (1,426 comments) says:

    When it came up as a headline I thought, not another ‘Brownout’.

    So I accept that we are in the 21st century and all that delivers but getting off ones arse and toddling along to a polling booth is a small effort to endure while participating in democracy.

    There are many examples of corruption in voting throughout history but manipulation, coercion and fraud become much easier with voting at home, at work or anyplace where anonyminity and independence are able to be compromised.

    I am very suspicious of rest-home and hospital voting for example where the potential for the “assisting person” to in fact make the decision, accompanied by serious questions of capability on the part of the voter.

    The low turn out is mostly due to the pathetic behavior and inane decision making by elected representatives so if it is of such diminished import to a voter why not leave it to the motovated and interested to vote and leave the rest to complain.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. NK (916 comments) says:

    It will not get people to vote who are not interested in voting.

    So why do it then? Those who do it will voe anyway, no matter how hard it is. Why go to this expense and hassle for no gain? It’s madness; and it won’t improve voter turnout. In fact, I think it will make it worse. What’s harder than ticking a few boxes ona bit of paper sent to you with a return envelope and putting it back in the post box? If you can’t be bothered doing that, you simply don’t care. And internet voting won’t make any difference.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Nigel Kearney (747 comments) says:

    No, I don’t accept there is a single person who was interested in voting, wanted to vote, but chose not to vote because filling out a form and posting it was too hard for them. If you can’t be bothered doing that, you didn’t really want to vote.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    RRM & DPF#

    “…….Oh great…….just what we needed………..our in boxes flooded with ‘how to vote’ rubbish ect…………………..I don’t think you need to worry about anyone prematurely flooding YOUR box Harriet…..” That is funny RRM :cool:

    Anyway, I was making a joke.

    Online voting is what is needed for council elections, however living in Aust I’ve found that Federal and State elections are days when people are willing to get out and vote and actually celebrate the day for what it is – democracy, people power, Liberty, free society ect.

    I’d hate to see that go.

    But for the likes of overseas millitary and ex-pats, then I think it would be better for them than postal votes ect. The Aust millitary actually have voting booths overseas, but I would think that online voting would not be taking away much of anything as they are ‘non-civilians’ anyway.Cheers.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. JeffW (303 comments) says:

    I concur with many of the commentators above. I strongly suspect that the low turnout is due to voters feeling disenfranchised – it does not matter who gets in, council waste continues and rates go up. I heard John Palino described as right wing on TV last night – his position was that rates should “only” go up at the same rate as inflation. Given where council waste is today, such as position would seem to be very much centre-left to me. Put me in charge, I’ll show you right wing. And I bet voting would go up, with some pleased that rates will have gone down and others moaning that their sinecures and subsidies have been cut.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. kowtow (6,694 comments) says:

    If 70 % of the electorate is too lazy or too uninterested to exercise one of our most important rights,duties,responsibilities in a democracy ,then the malaise is much deeper than being fixed by making it even easier than postal voting!

    I say get off your bum and present yourself at the ballot box,is that too much to ask?

    Maybe the “struggle” for the universal franchise was never worth the effort put into it all those years ago.

    If you can’t be bothered to vote then you deserve to be disenfranchised.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Redbaiter (6,478 comments) says:

    This is just sweeping the real issue under the rug.

    The biggest improvement in voting would be if the useless damn National Party gave people something to fucking well vote for.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. alwyn (359 comments) says:

    I had been in favour of allowing on-line voting until I read Chris Trotter’s latest post on Bowalley Road.
    He is saying, and quoting from articles that support the thesis, that it would be readily hacked and the election therefore easily compromised. Have you considered the points he is making David?
    In a less serious vein.
    Imagine, if you can, the prospect of the ruler of another New Zealand Blog, the self-proclaimed Worlds Greatest Sysop getting loose!
    With his enormous skills (cough, cough) we would have a Parliament with 120 Labour members.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. wiseowl (573 comments) says:

    What we have in this country is a generation who are computer savvy and an older generation who are not.I know many many people who do not have a computer or do not want a computer.
    On-line voting is not the answer.
    Some one has mentioned how people feel disenfranchised.That’s the crux of it to me.people feel that they will not be represented,listened to or Central Government will interfere in local government issues ,so what’s the point in voting.
    Tremain shows how pathetic he is with this knee jerk reaction probably fed to him by advisors.
    National are letting Local Government go to the progressives bigtime.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Well David, I guess thanks for nothing then.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. wiseowl (573 comments) says:

    So I plug for a return to a day for the vote.Let people get out to a polling booth and it will help prevent the papers being left on the table syndrome.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Viking2 (10,712 comments) says:

    Some decent research would be appropriate.

    Curia should use its facilities to ask some pertinent questions during surveys.

    Gut feeling says lack of interest but personally I consider that comes from lack of political and Nationhood education. Lack of believing in NZ.

    I think it is most likely that the % has dropped since 18 yr olds were given the vote and that would be because of the above lack of education, a lack of empathy with the political process and the geny y etc give me cult.

    In local body elections i consider that the only people who should qualify for voting are the actual ratepayers. After all they are the people who fund the outfit.
    Would get rid of all the lefties.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.