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Internet Voting Available In New Zealand Today

Friday 30 June 2000

EMBARGOED UNTIL 11AM


INTERNET VOTING AVAILABLE IN NEW ZEALAND TODAY

election.com - the company that conducted the first legally-binding public election
over the Internet – opens New Zealand office and adds top local talent

election.com, the first global Internet elections company, today announced that it will now be offering internet voting to the New Zealand private and public sectors.

The US-based company, which conducted the first legally-binding public election over the Internet for the Arizona Democratic Presidential Primary in the U.S. earlier this year, will open an office in Christchurch. The company has acquired the Christchurch-based Accent Computer Services Ltd, gaining top local talent in election services and software development.

“There’s no doubt that the impact of the Internet on democracy has been the subject of much debate in recent years. Based on our experience in Arizona, however, it’s clear that people want to vote in their own time and on their own terms,” said Bill Taylor, Senior Vice President, Election Services, election.com.

election.com provides public and private sector election services for associations, non-profit organisations, trade unions, pension funds, public companies and political jurisdictions.

“Our mission is to help make the election process more inclusive and accessible than ever before by harnessing the power of the Internet to broaden participation, increase efficiency and reduce costs,” said Mr. Taylor. “Hundreds of organisations across the country are required to hold elections on an annual basis, including trade unions, associations, farmer groups and professional organisations. Internet voting is a viable option for all of these organisations in their next election.”

“By working with the local experts from Accent Computer Services, election.com will be able to bring comprehensive online election services to New Zealand more quickly. election.com is ready today to deliver Internet voting to organisations in New Zealand that want to introduce the convenience, cost savings and efficiency of online voting to their membership,” he said.

“At election.com we share a profound belief that Internet voting, if implemented responsibly and judiciously, will dramatically reinvigorate voter participation across both the private and public sector and exponentially increase voter access to ballots,” he added.

“election.com recognises that online voting raises a number of important questions surrounding security, privacy and equal access to technology,” said Mr. Taylor. “election.com is committed to addressing these issues to bring us closer to a shared, common goal: safe and secure elections in which every person has equal access to participate – both in the public and private sectors.”

“election.com has pioneered advances in technology which assure top-level security for voters, and we provide a complete management and supervisory service for organisations which want to introduce internet voting to their membership for the first time,” he added.

Mr. Taylor said that Steve Kilpatrick and Noel Thomas of Accent Computer Services bring impressive software and election services expertise to election.com.

“Establishing election.com operations in the Asia-Pacific region has been a critical component of the company’s global business plans from the start,” said Mr. Taylor.

ENDS

About election.com

election.com is a privately held company headquartered in Garden City, New York. The company's management team has over 25 years of experience in technology and election-related businesses.

election.com also has offices in Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas, London and Paris.

The company web site is located at www.election.com

For more information, please contact:

Chris Major
Network Communications
Ph: (04) 382 6601 or (025) 443 220

election.com New Zealand Operations


Accent Computer Services Ltd (ACS), based in Christchurch, is a software development company specialising in the development of customised and packaged software solutions for local government. As part of its software solutions, ACS offers an elections module which covers all facets of an election from electoral roll preparation to mail out, scrutiny, counting, tabulation and official results. In addition, ACS conducts mock elections as part of its extensive training courses for election officials throughout New Zealand.

Approximately 20 local governments used ACS software in their last elections in October 1998, including Hamilton City Council, North Shore City Council and Waitakere City Council. In total, 708,000 electors were processed by ACS software.

Steve Kilpatrick and Noel Thomas are the directors and owners of ACS. Mr. Kilpatrick will join election.com as Managing Director, New Zealand, and Noel Thomas will become the Technical Director, New Zealand. Both Mr. Kilpatrick and Mr. Thomas have over 20 years experience in the software development industry.

“election.com has been on our radar screen ever since they conducted the first legally-binding public election over the Internet for the Arizona Democratic Presidential Primary in the U.S. earlier this year,” said Mr. Kilpatrick. “We’re excited to be joining forces with such a dynamic, globally-focused company. election.com is clearly committed to taking advantage of the latest technology to make elections easier, more cost-effective and more accountable than ever before.”

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