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IITP supporting NZ Online Voting

IITP Staff. 12 December 2013, 1:20 pm

The Institute of IT Professionals will be working closely with the Department of Internal Affairs and others on the introduction of online voting for New Zealand elections, with Local Government Minister Chris Tremain announcing today that IITP CEO Paul Matthews will sit on the eVoting Work Group alongside other technology and local government experts.

"The group includes a range of experts, including people with experience in IT, electoral processes and local government. They will consider the advantages and difficulties associated with online voting and explore the possibility of using it for the 2016 local body elections," Minister Tremain said in a media statement today announcing the working group.

Matthews will be representing the IT industry and community and with the support of the Institute, providing input into privacy, security, technology, IT governance, accessibility and other IT-related issues that are likely to arise during the analysis and latter implementation of online voting.

"The Institute of IT Professionals, as the professional body for Information Technology in New Zealand, welcomes the opportunity to contribute to this very important eVoting project and I'm looking forward to participating in the working group on behalf of the IT industry," Matthews said today.

The other members of the group are Danny Mollan (Consultant, Chair), Darryl Griffin (Christchurch City Council), David Farrar (Kiwiblog), David Pannett (Ministry of Health), Jan Ziegler-Peri (Auckland Council), Jordan Carter (InternetNZ), Lorraine Vincent (Manawatu District Council), Nick Leggett (Mayor, Porirua City Council) and Anne Shaw (Office of GCIO).

Online voting is being introduced as part of the Government's commitment to increasing digital services and as a way of increasing voter turn-out, especially in local government elections. This year's local government election was the lowest ever recorded for voter turnout.

In making the announcement, Minister Tremain also said "Many people now are using smart phones and the internet for all manner of transactions - online voting should be one of them. However we need to understand the risks, benefits and costs before we make any final decision. Accessibility for all voters is a critical consideration in any move forward."

While it is early days and no decisions have been made on how eVoting will be implemented, New Zealanders who have a RealMe logon can already update their electoral enrolment details online and The Electoral Amendment Bill will enable electors with a RealMe verified identity to enrol online.

Minister Tremain has acknowledged previously that the security is of paramount concern when developing an online voting system. In an interview with Local Government Magazine he said "What we're dealing with here is more than passports online or some of these other transaction services. (It) is the democratic process, you know, and if you get this wrong it is not acceptable."


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Dominic Baron 13 December 2013, 2:57 pm

I am immensely pleased to learn that this progressive development is finally being studied.

I strongly urge extending electronic voting to the collection of signatures for Citizens Initiated Referendums, in addition to the process of actually voting on them.


Dominic Baron.

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