Two councils that signed up to trial online voting at this year’s elections are disappointed at the Government’s decision to can it. Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston says more work needs to be done and there are “real concerns” about security and vote integrity. “Due to timing restrictions, preparations for the proposed trial have not yet met the legislative requirements and cannot guarantee public confidence in the election results. “Security testing has been planned but has not yet occurred. Without seeing the results of testing, we cannot be confident the systems are secure enough and the trial could not be authorised.”
Eight councils — Selwyn, Wellington, Porirua, Masterton, Rotorua, Matamata-Piako, Palmerston North and Whanganui — had all expressed an interest in trialling online voting in this year’s elections.
Ms Upston says the councils will be disappointed by the decision, but getting the process right is vital. “There are significant timeframe pressures in preparing for a trial in this year’s local elections and these issues and pressures exacerbate the risks inherent in a trial.” She believes online voting could still be done in future, but there is “still much to learn”.