Aucklanders won’t be able to choose their next council at the click of a mouse. Local Government Associate Minister Louise Upston confirmed that the country’s biggest city wouldn’t feature in a trial of online voting for next year’s local body elections. Officials from the Super City are some of the biggest supporters of a digital voting revolution, but Auckland Council’s catchment has been deemed too big. “A trial that includes all of Auckland and its approximately 1 million electors is simply too large to adequately mitigate these risks,” she said. Stung by a dismal 36 per cent voter turnout in the 2013 elections, Auckland Council has lobbied hard to introduce internet voting. But its campaign has failed. Applications are now only being sought from smaller councils to provide a range of voting systems.
… Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule said although the council was understandably disappointed, a request to introduce voting to select groups of electors, combined with its million-plus voters, ruled them out of any trial.
Councils faced increasing levels of voter apathy. The 2013 elections recorded a dismal 41.3 per cent turnout across the country. The switch to online was hoped to reverse this trend.
“But the international evidence would suggest it doesn’t improve voter turnout,” Yule said.
Cabinet will decide whether the project goes ahead later this year.
Full Article: Auckland to miss out on online voting for council elections.