Upston announces online voting trial requirements

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Source: New Zealand Government – Online voting trial requirements set

Councils now have the guidance they need to decide if they want to offer online voting at the 2016 local body elections.

The Government has been looking into the feasibility of enabling local authorities to undertake an online voting trial in response to requests from councils, and a set of requirements for councils interested in undertaking a trial has been released today.

“Local authorities must show they can meet these requirements before the Government can give the go-ahead to trial online voting,” Associate Minister of Local Government Louise Upston said.

“Our main priority is to ensure the online voting trial process is secure and fair to maintain public confidence in the integrity of local elections. The requirements cover a range of factors including the security, reliability and accessibility of technology solutions used.

“The requirements also detail outcomes any online voting system will be required to meet and will guide local authorities in developing these services.

“It is now up to local authorities to demonstrate the proposed requirements can be met. I have asked Local Government New Zealand to advise me which territorial authorities believe they can meet the requirements and wish to proceed with a trial. If a trial is to be enabled for the 2016 local elections, regulations will need to be considered by Cabinet by the end of 2015.”

Ms Upston said any trial of online voting for local elections would be led and funded by local authorities.

“The trial will need to include a number of different councils to ensure it is representational and robust, while also managing risks associated with new technology.”

The requirements document, which is available at www.dia.govt.nz/online-voting, was prepared in consultation with a range of stakeholders including the Society of Local Government Managers, Local Government New Zealand, election and online voting service providers, and online security experts.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues.
Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia’s FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand’s The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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