Plans to allow online voting in next year’s councils elections have run into a wall of opposition from technology experts, who say internet voting can’t be secure. Local Government New Zealand will issue a tender for an online system that would be used in nine council elections, including in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington, alongside postal voting. The decision to shop for an online voting system comes amid growing international concern about election interference by foreign powers in the wake of the United States 2016 presidential election and Britain’s Brexit vote. … James Valentine, chief technology officer of Wellington IT company Fronde, was among dozens of technologists who took to social media to oppose the local government plan, tweeting there were “lots of concerns” including security and ballot secrecy.
“I’m a digital-first kind of guy – but I’m far from comfortable that electronic voting, and in particular online voting, is a good idea.”
Former State Services Commission deputy commissioner and government chief information officer Laurence Millar tweeted “just don’t do it, it is a really bad idea”.
Ryan Ko, head of the Cyber Security Lab at Waikato University, said no existing commercial systems to allow online voting were “100 per cent secure”.