Work to continue on trialling online voting

  • Louise Upston
Land Information Local Government

The Government has agreed to continue work to enable a small number of local authorities to trial online voting, Associate Minister of Local Government Louise Upston said today.

“The agreement to continue work is in response to requests from local government to trial online voting at the October 2016 local authority elections. The councils that may participate in a trial are still to be determined.”

Ms Upston said it is important to ensure the trial process is secure and fair so public confidence in the integrity of local elections can be maintained.

“It will be up to local councils to ensure the necessary groundwork is in place before any trial can go ahead. Any participating local authority will need to ensure governance and funding arrangements are in place, and ensure their communities are consulted with.”

Ms Upston said central government will maintain some oversight and will work with local government to establish the security requirements for an online voting technology solution. 

“I’ve asked the Department of Internal Affairs to continue to work closely with the local government sector to develop the necessary policy and technical requirements so that online voting could be trialled safely and securely.

“It is likely local authorities will need to obtain independent assurance for their technology solutions to ensure it is fit for purpose, and it will be the responsibility of local government to address any security risks.”

Ms Upston also welcomes the Justice and Electoral Committee’s recent inquiry into the 2013 local authority elections. This inquiry noted that a successful trial of any online voting system would be required before it could be introduced in local government nationwide, and today’s decision is in line with the Committee’s recommendation.

The full Government response to the Justice and Electoral Committee’s 19 recommendations was tabled in the House today.