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NZ's First Internet Election Begins Today


16 October 2000

MEDIA STATEMENT

NEW ZEALAND’S FIRST INTERNET ELECTION BEGINS TODAY

Students at Auckland’s University of Technology (AUT) became the first voters in New Zealand to exercise their democratic right over the internet today.

In this ground-breaking election, up to 15,000 students are eligible to vote for their president on-line.

Posters adorned campus notice boards urging students to “click to tick” during voting week, which runs until Friday 20 October.

The election is being conducted by election.com, the global internet election company that launched in New Zealand in June 2000. The company conducted the first legally-binding public election for the Democratic Party’s Presidential Primary in Arizona this year, and are proud to now be bringing internet voting to New Zealand for the first time.

Stephen Kilpatrick, election.com’s New Zealand Managing Director, noted that student council elections have experienced declining participation rates in recent years.

“It is our intention that by making voting easier and more accessible, we will be able to improve election participation significantly. The “dot.com generation” already uses the internet to bank, buy CDs, listen to music and contact friends, and it makes sense that they should be able to vote over the net too.”

Mr Kilpatrick believes this first internet election will prompt many more New Zealanders to want to vote over the internet. election.com intends to offer their services across both the public and private sectors.

“Voting for your local council representative, board of trustees, company directors or professional association president could become a whole lot easier. People will be able to vote when and where it suits them, from their office, library, school or at home over breakfast.”

During the AUT election, a mobile voting unit (better known as a laptop) is providing students with the ability to vote on their own time and in their own space – be it the quad, the gym, or a café. They can also log on to the designated election.com voting page from their own computers or on one of the university’s hundreds of PCs.

Mr Kilpatrick believes the AUT election is an important one for on-line voting in New Zealand. “New Zealanders are known to be forward-looking, technology-uptaking people. It is great to think we could now be taking up on-line voting with the same passion that we have adopted the internet.”

ENDS


About election.com
election.com, the leading global internet election company, provides public and private sector election services for governments, associations, non-profit organisations, labour unions, credit unions and corporations around the world. Committed to broadening voter participation in the democratic process, election.com provides a cost-effective, seamless migration path from the traditional, paper-based election process to the Internet, enabling all people, whether they live in the city, country regions or abroad, greater voting access. election.com is headquartered in New York and has offices in Christchurch, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Washington DC; Austin, Texas; London; Paris and Geneva.

Media are welcome to visit the campus during voting week (16-20 October) and witness New Zealand’s first internet election.

Please call Chris Major on 025 443 220 for details.


Press Release
For Immediate Use
16/10/00


AUT Students’ Association to hold NZ’s first on-line election


The AUT Students’ Association (AuSM@AUT) announced today they would be holding their annual elections solely over the Internet. The election, for the 2001 President and Executive office holders, will be the first of its kind in New Zealand. election.com, a company which has shot into prominence since facilitating the first major on-line election in the United States, will be running the elections.

“This is grass roots democracy at its best,” Said Michael Heard, incumbent President today

“Auckland University of Technology students are quick to pick up on and demand new technologies. We are extremely happy to be able to respond to their needs and be the first democratic organisation in New Zealand to offer this sort of voting flexibility” Said Mr Heard.

Campus IT has also come on board, sponsoring a mobile polling booth which will utilise the latest digital mobile technology to catch students on their way around campus.

There will be an official launch of the election with entertainment at 12.00pm today on Monday 16 October at the AUT North Shore campus on Akoranga Drive.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Michael Heard
President
Auckland Student Movement @AUT
Ph 917 9999 x 8571
Mobile 021 392-079

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