Three local and district councils have opted out of a broad trial of online voting in New Zealand, citing concern over security and costs. Marlborough District Council this week joined Dunedin City Council and Christchurch city Council in voting down the proposed trial, while New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland, has already been deemed to large to take part. Last year, a working party nixed plans for a broad roll-out of online voting and instead recommended trials of the “relatively untested” technology be conducted in the 2016 local body elections. Thirteen councils, including the ones that are now backing out, expressed initial support for taking part in the trail. However, South Island councils in particular appear to be expressing increased concern about the proposal. Christchurch rejected the trial after a phalanx of IT security experts fronted council with overseas examples of online voting system failures.
… Dr Andy Asquith, a local government specialist with Massey University’s School of Management, has questioned whether online voting actually increases voter turnout. New South Wales elections in Australia have been quoted as an example of online voting success, but voting there is compulsory anyway, he pointed out.
Even in that example, voting had to be temporarily suspended after academics found a vulnerability they said could allow votes to be manipulated. That issue was later played down by officials, who saidhuman error was to blame, not the system.
Full Article: Councils peel away from online voting trial | ZDNet.