On­line vote op­tion in jeop­ardy?

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

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.

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