Online vote option in jeopardy?
If you don’t know where your nearest postbox is, Google it now, because online voting at this year’s council elections appears unlikely to go ahead.
The Government is yet to decide whether to allow online voting at October’s election. But it is understood the Department of Internal Affairs is not confident councils can get systems in place to keep hackers at bay.
The Wellington, Porirua and Palmerston North city councils all want to offer online voting this year, as do the Whanganui, Rotorua, Matamata-Piako, Selwyn and Masterton district councils.
The Government recently contacted Wellington City Council to express its concerns.
That suggestion has Northern ward councillor Justin Lester worried – he said there was nothing stopping Wellington from letting its residents vote from the comfort of their computers this year.
‘‘A lot of people don’t even know where their local postbox is these days, and if you’re a younger voter, you’re even less likely to know,’’ he said.
‘‘In the not-too-distant future there may not even be a postal service, so we should be getting on with this. But all they’re doing is delay, delay, delay.
‘‘We’re already at the stage where a postal ballot is a bit ridiculous.’’
A spokesman for Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston said no decisions had been made, and any correspondence between the Department of Internal Affairs and councils was merely to keep them informed of progress on the issue.
Cabinet was expected to make a call on online voting thos month, he said.