Local Body Elections

The Dom Post reports:

A website designed to help boost the country’s low voter turnout figures for local body elections has gone live.

The website, elections2010.co.nz, is a one-stop shop that aims to equip voters with all the information they need to vote in October’s local body elections.

Just 44 per cent of eligible local body election voters cast ballots in 2007.

By keying their residential address into the website, voters are instantly told which council and ward they are eligible to vote in and which candidates are standing for council and mayor.

The site contains detailed profiles on each candidate, including information on their political leanings, conflicts of interest and five main issues.

There are also links to candidates’ Facebook and Twitter pages and pre-recorded video addresses, and voters can post questions to candidates online.

The site, developed by Local Government Online with backing from Local Government New Zealand, also details which other entities voters are eligible to vote for, including district health boards and various local trusts. It will contain information on thousands of candidates, trusts, councils and boards.

What a good initiative.

I stuck in the street I live on, and it listed the four elections I can vote in, and where they have been supplied, a link to a candidate’s page.

What would be good is to take this further, and actually allow people to cast their votes via the Internet. One could have a ballot paper with hyperlinks to candidate’s pages. That way people would gain far more info than the usual 200 word biography you get in the post.

Well done to LGNZ and LGO for creating this.

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