Wanganui might be one of the eight councils in line to trial online voting in next October’s local body elections but it is not a given that it will participate. The Government still has to give final approval for the trial and that is not expected until February 5. A number of Whanganui District councillors still have misgivings about being in the trial. Mayor Annette Main told the council’s meeting this week that when the Government make its final decision that would be the time when the council could decide if it wanted to take part.
The elections cost the council $100,000 but half of that is shared by Horizons Regional Council and the Whanganui District Health Board. Whanganui’s electoral office handles the voting for those other two bodies.
However, being involved in the online trial would cost the council an extra $75,000 and that figure had some councillors baulking.
Councillor Jason Granville said while he supported being in the trial, he thought being first in line would mean getting some financial assistance from central government.