Australia looks at e-voting

ABC reports:

Many Australians do their tax, submit Medicare claims and manage their Centrelink benefits via the internet.

But when it comes to the most fundamental element of our political process – voting – the nation remains rooted in the long held tradition of using a pencil and paper to cast their vote at a primary school or community hall.

Frank Reilly from Arcadia in New South Wales has asked Curious Campaign why voters don’t have access to electronic voting. …

Although the AEC has moved very cautiously with electronic voting, it has trialled electronic voting for the blind and vision impaired, for Defence and Federal Police personnel overseas, and for Australians living in the Antarctic.

The combined costs of the trials at the 2007 election was over $4 million, with the average cost per vote cast of $2,597 for electronically assisted voting for blind and low vision electors, and $1,159 for remote voting for selected defence force personnel. This compared with an average cost per elector of $8.36.

We already have in NZ. If you live overseas you can scan or photograph your ballot paper and send it to the Electoral Commission via the Internet.

Our questioner, Frank, can take some heart that both the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have expressed support for some iterations of electronic voting.

I don’t see a need for e-voting for our parliamentary elections as we have fairly high turnout and our current system is very secure.

However I strongly support it as an option for local body elections as e-voting would be much more secure than postal ballots, and turnout is very low for local elections.

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