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Local Government Online pushing e-democracy again--new site

www.VOTE.co.nz - LGOL pushing e-democracy again

Local Government Online is reminding those sick of the tea tape saga there is another way they can engage with their politicians in the next nine days leading up to election day - through its www.vote.co.nz site.

Following the launch of www.elections2010.co.nz for last year's local body elections Local Government Online is doing it again - this time for central government elections. LGOL has launched www.vote.co.nz a site profiling this year's general elections and referendum that profiles each party and candidate standing.

"The majority of the feedback we had from the local elections model fell into two areas - 'why can't you vote online as well?' and 'will you be doing this for the central government elections?'" says LGOL CEO Cassandra Crowley. "www.vote.co.nz addresses the demand that was expressed for a centralised place for voters to explore their candidate options for the general elections."

Many New Zealanders keep their political allegiances private or find themselves unable to attend the traditional meet the candidate meetings, but still want to know where politicians stand on the issues that matter most to them. www.vote.co.nz offers a 24/7 forum where candidates can engage with voters and voters can pose the questions they are interested in directly to candidates and parties.

The site is free to use for all candidates and parties. Candidates have the ability to post profiles and videos, identify their top election issues and provide links out to their own dedicated sites. It will also provide election night results on the site as they come through from the Electoral Commission. "The feedback we are already receiving on www.vote.co.nz indicates voters are supportive of those who have invested some time and effort into completing a profile."

"One of the key drivers in running a similar portal for general elections is to familiarise voters with the concept and hopefully encourage them back to the same place for 2013 local body elections."

www.elections2010.co.nz received almost 2 million hits the day that voting closed, so LGOL is expecting traffic on the general elections site could be extremely high. "Working closely with political parties, the electoral commission, bloggers and mainstream media we are looking forward to improved engagement from the levels we experienced during the local elections and have planned for capacity several times the peak we experienced on www.elections2010.co.nz " says Ms Crowley.

Following the general elections the two sites will be merged together and New Zealanders will be a step closer to using www.vote.co.nz as their first stop for election and candidate questions. LGOL hopes that this will play a part in increasing voter awareness and participation in both general and local body elections.

Visit www.vote.co.nz to learn more about the politicians standing for election in your area.


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