WCC votes yes to online voting trial

WCC have announced:

This morning Wellington City Council voted yes (7-6) to join an trial for next year’s local body elections.

The Mayor of Wellington, Celia Wade-Brown, says Wellington City Council has shown it is progressive and willing to try online polling in the Smart Capital.

“The proposed pilot for the 2016 election will be a real time exercise with real candidates and a real result,” she says.

“We use online mechanisms as a way of increasing participation in many council processes, from Smokefree issues to our Long Term Plan, so it makes sense for us to participate in the online voting pilot.”

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, who is also Chairperson for Council’s Governance, Finance and Planning Committee, says it’s all about increasing participation and creating better accessibility for all.

“Wellingtonians are the most tech savvy people in the country, so this city is perfect for this trial to take place. Four out of ten Wellingtonians voted in the last local body elections, so, if this trial means we can get those numbers up then I think it’s well worth exploring further.”

Very pleased to see Wellington join the trial – both because as a resident I’ll get to use it, but more importantly because you need at least one major council involved to make it economic.

Eight Councils have agreed to take part in the trial for next year’s local body elections – with a confirmation vote still needed to be taken by Dunedin City and Marlborough District Councils.

The government will then decide whether the trial will go ahead. That decision will be made by the end of the year.

I hope the Government doesn’t hinder or block the progress made.

Thanks to the Councillors who voted in favour – Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, Jo Coughlan, David Lee, Mark Speck, Malcolm Sparrow and Nicola Young.

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