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Online voting trial decision - a lost opportunity for communities

19 Feb 2016

Further to the Government’s announcement, LGNZ has expressed disappointment that the online voting trial will not proceed in 2016 but remains committed to build on the momentum already created by trial councils for online voting to be an option for the future. 

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says it is important that councils have the opportunity to trial online voting.

“As voter turnout has been declining over recent years, we need to make the process of voting attractive to all potential voters across the board,” says Mr Yule.

“LGNZ supports initiatives to use new technologies in order to encourage greater interest by voters in our electoral processes and increase civic participation,” says Mr Yule.

The Government has advised more work is required to ensure a trial meets public and government expectations.  LGNZ agrees that confidence in local electoral processes is critical and looks forward to working with councils, the Government and stakeholder groups to ensure online voting is robust.

“The eight councils and major voting providers involved in the trial process to date have undertaken the process with rigour and due diligence.  However, it’s clear from the Government’s decision that additional testing is required before the trial can go ahead,” says Mr Yule.

While there may be disappointment in the decision made today, LGNZ believes we need to keep the momentum going.

“To ensure we build on the excellent work to date, LGNZ will be working with the Government and interested councils so that online voting can proceed at the next earliest occasion,” says Mr Yule. 

LGNZ considers it important to make voting as easy as possible for New Zealanders and will remain committed to enabling online voting in local elections to improve access and increase turnout.