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Online voting debate gathering steam

Online voting debate gathering steam

InternetNZ is pleased to see the debate about online voting gathering steam and is happy with the progress noted in the Online Voting Working Party’s report in recent weeks.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter, a member of the Working Party that prepared the report, noted that the report established the feasibility of trialling online voting with a binding trial proposed as part of the 2016 local elections.

"I am very enthusiastic about the opportunities online voting presents to make the local electoral process more accessible. And I know I’m not the only one," he says.

"However, parts of the Internet and technology communities point out the dismal security track record of many online voting efforts that have been done to date. It goes without saying that security is a core priority in developing any such system - and that acknowledging that no online voting system can ever be 100% secure is an important part of the debate the community needs to have.

"As officials in the Department of Internal Affairs develop a response to the report, it is important that they engage beyond the local and central government officials who would be involved in implementing the framework for online voting.

"In particular, those with concerns need to be involved with these discussions - not to stymie them, but to ensure that all of the information is on the table as government prepares its response.

"I appreciated being asked to participate in the Working Group and I have confidence in the report we prepared. It's a solid and thoughtful contribution to this debate - but it isn't the last word on the subject.

"This is a great example of how technology decisions can affect many people, and where the intuition of most of us might run up against security and technology realities we aren't used to confronting.

"I hope the debate proceeds in a considered manner and I hope we can get an online voting system in place for local elections, and soon. I know others don't share that view. InternetNZ members have a very wide range of perspectives on this, from passionate support to passionate opposition.”

The Online Working Party's report can be found here: http://www.dia.govt.nz/pubforms.nsf/URL/Online-Voting-in-New-Zealand-report.pdf/$file/Online-Voting-in-New-Zealand-report.pdf

ENDS

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