Porirua mayor calls for online voting
Mon, 13 Aug 2012 6:29p.m.
By Dan Parker
The country's youngest mayor has called on the Government to change electoral regulations and allow online elections.
Just 38 percent of eligible votes in Porirua cast a vote in the most recent local body election, but despite his success Porirua mayor Nick Leggett says the current postal voting system is archaic and needs to change.
“We are disenfranchising a whole generation, actually generations of kiwis who don't have any relationship with a post box,” says Mr Leggett. “What they do have in a lot of cases is iPhones, [so] they do have internet access.”
Mr Leggett wants to take advantage of that access and make next year's mayoral election in Porirua the country's first online election.
It was an idea well received by those who could not be bothered voting or were too young in 2010.
“It would be way easier,” says Michelle.
Fellow voter Mike agrees.
“If I got notice of what website it was on I’d probably jump online [to vote],” he says.
But the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) says it requires a regulation change from the Government to proceed with online elections. Mr Leggett says such a delay is not necessary.
“DIA have said that they are looking at trial in 2016. That is unacceptable, we are living in an internet age,” he says.
But Martin Cocker of NetSafe is urging caution.
“It would be hard to keep the integrity of the voting system intact. I don't know that New Zealanders or New Zealand systems are ready for online voting,” he says.
One thing Mr Cocker and Mr Leggett agree on though, is that it is not a case of if but when New Zealand adopts online voting.
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14/08/2012 7:34:47 p.m.
Hmmm, ANY excuse/solution to get the Labour voters to actually vote!, porirua has a low socio economic base, but also has Whitby/Camborne/Titahi bay (in parts) that are not low paid and these people actually vote...watch labour/Greens pick up the 'vote via internet/phone/KFC/McDonalds' mantra for next election as their voter base don't vote...lol
13/08/2012 11:35:18 p.m.
As much as I would like to see this happen as soon as possible, 2016 seems like a reasonable date. I totally agree with Martin Cocker and his point about the integrity of the data. If there is data online such as IRD numbers, licenses, addresses and other personal identifiable information, it will most likely be stored in a database, and will be susceptible to hacks and infiltration. Even though some of the information is in a phone book, in libraries and other places, information such as drivers licenses, passport numbers and IRD numbers will be left 'out in the open' for a 'hacker 'or security team to gain access to. Data can then be accessed, votes changed and people added to the voting system just to name a few possibilities.(See University of Michigan's online voting hack case study.)
Yes, it may make it easier for people to vote, as they don't have to move themselves using feet and their legs to a polling booth, but realistically, if they cannot be bothered to walk to a booth, can they really be bothered to go online, fill in several forms to vote? I would assume this is targeted to the 18-24 age bracket who probably live on their smartphone each day. If so, it would probably increase voters since some teens and early adults are lazy.
Even so, how will double ups (people voting at a booth, then going home to vote online) be handled. I'm sure political parties would LOVE that.
Don't get me wrong, it is a great idea to move to online polling especially with the digital age, but there are some concerns that will need to be addressed before online voting can get the go-ahead from the NZ government. It is not truly about WHEN NZ adopts online voting, it is about WHEN can an IT voting system be created which ensures the integrity of the votes are accurate and the database of a person's data is secure.
As much as I would like to see this happen, I doubt it will be anytime soon, and the 2016 trial seems reasonable.
13/08/2012 10:55:12 p.m.
Regulating online voting is easy even with public access computers. You simply have the vote strike associated with an IRD number or drivers license number to prevent gaming.
13/08/2012 9:55:50 p.m.
Are you saying, that once every 3 years, you can't get off your backsides, and go down to your local polling booth and cast a vote ?!
Perhaps they should have the polling booths at KFC's ?!?!
13/08/2012 6:59:42 p.m.
trina edmonds wrote:
no they wont go online to vote .electronic voting machines now their is a good one talk about open to corruption the national party would love them .
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