Porirua City Council must consider whether it will apply to be part of the pilot testing e-voting for the 2013 Council elections. The pilot scheme is an initiative which aims to make e-voting an accepted option by 2016.
Submissions have now closed on the proposal (see The Documents) to introduce e-voting as an additional method of voting in local government elections and polls, and offering Porirua City as a pilot site for e-voting for the 2013 local elections.
Submitters that indicated they wished to present their submission orally to the Council were invited to speak at a hearing.
Hearings were held from 16 to 18 May 2012. These hearings were open to the public to attend.
The Council considered the matters raised by submitters on 6 June 2012 and agreed that if requested to do so, Porirua City Council would participate in any pilot scheme to trial e-voting for local body elections.
For some time the demand has been growing for voters to cast their votes for local government elections online. Technology has now advanced to a stage that this is a practical option.
The Society of Local Government Manager's (SOLGM) Electoral Working Party is currently investigating the e-voting environment and has prepared a strategic framework in draft form for consideration by local and central government. The framework suggests that e-voting becomes an accepted option for the 2016 local triennial election and further suggests that pilot sites be identified for trialling e-voting for polls and for the 2013 election.
The system proposed by the Working Party is two-channelled. An elector will be able to exercise choice – to either use a postal vote or an e-vote. No one is disenfranchised because they do not have access to a PC, tablet, etc, or are not e-savvy.
The method used to elect representatives to Council is a core component of the democratic process. To amend the method of election is a significant decision that will trigger the Special Consultative Procedure as defined in the Local Government Act 2002.
The Council agreed that if requested to do so, Porirua City Council would participate in any trial of e-voting for local body elections.