News, Events and Culture

Council pitches for participation in voting trial

Friday February 5 2016

Palmerston North City Council is ready to progress to the next stage in the trial of online voting for the upcoming local body elections.

The Council is submitting a report to the Department of Internal Affairs explaining how it plans to prepare for the online voting trial as part of the local body elections on 8 October.

"We are confident our Council will meet the strict set of criteria required by the government before we are allowed to participate in the online voting trial," says PNCC Chief Financial Officer Grant Elliott.

PNCC is working with Whanganui District Council on implementing the project. Both Councils have selected their current electoral service provider; Auckland-based Independent Election Services to implement an online voting solution.

"We'll be working together to making sure on-line voting is secure, transparent and meets government guidelines."

"If we are selected for the trial, we will send voting documents to registered voters informing them they have a choice of either voting online or by post."

Each voter will be given a unique elector identity number. This will ensure their personal details are kept private when it comes time to cast a vote while at the same time allowing their voting document to be verified. 

The Palmerston North City Council has earmarked $100,000 in funding if selected for the trial.

"There is a growing expectation that online voting will become available soon in line with many other activities already undertaken on the internet. Our ability to offer online voting fits in with the Council's broader commitment to going digital by creating modern, efficient and convenient services online," Mr Elliott says.

Eight Councils have been asked to participate in the online voting trial.
Cabinet is expected to make a decision next month on whether the trial will go ahead and which Councils will participate.

If Palmerston North is successful, a proposal will need to go before the Council in June for ratification.