Oceania

Articles about voting issues in Australia, New Zealand and other nations in Oceania.

New Zealand: Push for prisoners’ voting rights continues | Radio New Zealand

Arthur Taylor and six other inmates claim they were unlawfully barred from voting in the 2014 general election. In 2010 Parliament passed a law preventing all sentenced prisoners from voting, regardless of the length of their sentence. However earlier electoral legislation allowed prisoners serving a jail term of less than three years to vote. At the time the legislation was being considered, the Attorney-General warned Parliament that a blanket ban contravened the Bill of Rights, but the law was passed anyway. Read More

Papua New Guinea: Electoral Commission to use technology to transmit election results | Post Courier

The mobile application that the Electoral Commission will use to transmit election results will increase transparency for polling and counting processes, according to an IT expert. Electoral Commission Software Technician Henry Wakit said the application which does not rely heavily on the internet is installed in a tablet with each electoral officer for the 111 open and regional electorates in the country. Read More

Australia: Victorian inquiry backs limited Internet-based e-voting | Computerworld

A Victorian parliamentary inquiry has backed the roll out of Internet-based voting for state elections, but only in limited circumstances. A report by the state parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee on the issue was tabled yesterday. The inquiry endorsed the use of remote electronic voting for electors who are blind or have low vision, suffer motor impairment, have insufficient language or literacy skills, or who are eligible to vote but interstate or overseas. Internet-based voting should be backed by the “most rigorous security standards available” to the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC), the report recommended.  Read More

East Timor: Former independence fighter on course for presidency | Reuters

Former East Timorese independence fighter Francisco “Lu Olo” Guterres was on track on Tuesday to win the presidency in one round, based on early vote counting a day after Asia’s youngest nation went to the polls. Guterres, with nearly 60 percent of the vote so far, held a solid lead over his seven rivals in the tiny nation’s fourth election since independence from Indonesia in 2002. The national secretariat for technical and electoral administration had counted just over 30 percent of votes by Tuesday morning. A candidate needs more than 50 percent to win in one round. “I believe there won’t be a second round,” Guterres, who is backed by one of East Timor’s main political parties Fretilin, said after early results were counted. Read More

Australia: Labor says NSW voter ID plan is ‘undemocratic’ and unnecessary | The Guardian

The New South Wales opposition has warned against a plan to force voters to show identification at polling booths, saying the laws are unnecessary and would serve only to disenfranchise parts of the electorate. The NSW government is due to respond in coming months to a parliamentary committee’s report on the 2015 state election, which recommended that voters be required to produce ID in future polls. On Tuesday federal Liberal MP for North Sydney and NSW moderate powerbroker, Trent Zimmerman, called for compulsory voter ID for federal elections in the Coalition party room meeting. Identification laws are designed as a way of preventing voter fraud, but are criticised for imposing a barrier to voter participation. Read More

East Timor: Francisco Guterres leads in slow vote count | Sydney Morning Herald

A former anti-Indonesian guerrilla fighter is leading a slow vote count in East Timor’s presidential election, the country’s first without help of the United Nations. Backed by Fretilin, the party that led the revolutionary struggle to the country’s independence, Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres was leading with 59.24 per cent of votes. But only 34.34 per cent of votes had been counted by early Tuesday, reflecting huge logistical problems in the largely mountainous country with a poor road network. In previous elections, UN helicopters were used to ferry ballot boxes from the most remote polling stations. Read More

East Timor: Long queues as East Timorese choose to have a say in future of Asia’s newest democracy | Sydney Morning Herald

They rode ponies, steered boats and walked for kilometres along cloud-shrouded mountain paths to vote in East Timor’s presidential election on Monday. The vote will be a key to the future of Asia’s newest democracy amid concerns the half-island nation’s oil and gas revenues are rapidly running dry. “I’m really happy … most of the eight candidates are good men who could help my country,” said Mateus Lucas, a 49-year-old father of three, who voted at a school in Dili. “I voted amid fear in 1999 but now I am free to vote for whoever I like,” he said, referring to a violence-hit United Nations referendum where Timorese voted to break away from Indonesia. The election is the first that East Timor has organised without the help from the UN. Read More

Australia: Western Australia’s Web votes have security worries, say ‘white hat’ security experts | The Register

The Western Australian government is pushing back against concerns about the security of its implementation of the iVote electoral system. iVote is an electronic system already used in another Australian State, New South Wales, primarily as an accessibility tool because it lets the vision-impaired and others with disabilities vote without assistance. Perhaps in response to last year’s Census debacle, Western Australia has decided to put in place denial-of-service (DoS) protection, and that’s attracted the attention of a group of veteran electronic vote-watchers. Writing at the University of Melbourne’s Pursuit publication, the group notes that the DoS proxy is not in Australia: it’s provided by Imperva’s Incapsula DoS protection service. That raises several issues, the academics (Dr Chris Culnane and Dr Vanessa Teague of the University of Melbourne, Dr Yuval Yarom and Mark Eldridge of the University of Adelaide, and Dr Aleksander Essex of Western University in Canada) note. First: the TLS certificate iVote uses to secure its communications is signed not by the WA government, but by Incapsula; and second, that means Incapsula is decrypting votes on their way from a voter to the State’s Electoral Commission. Read More

Australia: iVote West Australia: Who voted for you? | Pursuit – The University of Melbourne

In the 2017 Western Australian state election, voters with disabilities can register and vote over the Internet for the first time, using a system called iVote. Voters with disabilities deserve to have just as much confidence in the privacy and security of their votes as able-bodied voters using a polling booth. Unfortunately, a breach of voter privacy, or overt tampering of ballots, may not be noticed if it happens online – and reading or altering someone’s iVote might be easier than it seems. Security vulnerabilities are successfully exploited every day to steal money, commit financial fraud and extract government secrets. US intelligence agencies blamed Russian government hackers for interfering in the US election. The iVote registration and voting servers are protected by Transport Layer Security (TLS), the Internet’s most common security protocol. If you visit your bank and click on the padlock in your browser’s address bar, you can see a TLS certificate that proves you are communicating with the true owner of that domain. However, if you visit the WA Electoral Commission’s online registration page or the iVote log-in page and click on that padlock, you see something surprising: the TLS certificate is owned not by the WA Electoral Commission (WAEC) but by a US company called Incapsula. Read More

East Timor: Timorese Australians given chance to vote in Timor-Leste elections | ABC

Timor-Leste’s electoral commission is giving some Timorese Australians the chance to vote in the country’s upcoming elections for the first time since independence. Citizens living in Darwin and Sydney will be part of the trial, which allows them to vote without flying back to Timor-Leste. In 1975, Darwin resident Dulcie Munn fled Timor-Leste and has not voted since the country’s independence referendum in August 1999. “That’s 18 years ago,” she said. “To be able to participate again this time, casting our vote for the future of our nation Timor-Leste, is quite important.” Read More