The NSW Government will spend $3.6 million expanding its electronic voting system iVote for the 2015 state general election. iVote was first used in a limited capacity in the 2011 state general election. The NSW Government announced earlier this year it would expand the use of the system in the 2015 election, following hanges to relevant legislation. It today approached the market for a supplier to build and implement the new expanded voting system, and also revealed the state’s treasury had approved funding of $3.63 million for the project. Over 46,800 voters used the iVote service to cast their vote in the 2011 election – around 1 percent of total votes taken. The NSW Electoral Commission expects around 100,000 will use iVote during the 2015 state election.
The expansion allows more remote citizens — classified as those who live more than 20km from a polling booth and those out of state on election day, as well as blind and disabled citizens to cast their vote via phone or computer. It will also be available to anyone overseas at the time of the election.
The NSW Electoral Commission also sees the expansion as a way to reduce systemic errors in current voting processes — specifically informality in ballots cast, loss of ballot papers in transit between the voter and counting centre, and transposition and counting errors.
The agency said it would also mean lower costs associated with postal and attendance-based absent voting.