The Herald reports:
Auckland electoral officer Dale Ofsoske is calling for online voting to increase participation at local body elections.
Latest figures show just 18.2 per cent of votes have been returned in the region so far.
That’s slightly higher than the last election, but down from the election in 2010.
Today, Ofsoske said online voting would be a good solution to increase the voter turnout, particularly among young people.
He said there was a push this year to re-engage with young people, whose lives revolved around technology. He favours using both online and postal voting.
Postal voting is a dying medium, It was fine 20 years ago when people would post letters several times a week. Now the average under 40 uses the post office maybe two or three times a year at most.
We don’t need online voting for parliamentary elections as turnout there is high, and it is important enough for people to go to a polling place to vote.
But only allowing postal voting for local body elections is bad for democracy.
Eight councils put up their hand for online voting, but the initiative was canned by the Government in April because of security issues.
At the time, Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston said: “Given real concerns about security and vote integrity, it is too early for a trial.
I disagreed with this decision. The DIA working group (which I was on) found a trial was viable. Postal voting is in fact far more insecure than Internet voting. E-voting is not about having a computer that can be hacked determine the winner. It is merely allowing people to send their ballot paper to the returning officer over the Internet – something that overseas voters can already do.