A trial of online voting is proposed for the 2019 New Zealand local body elections. At present much of the discussion about whether and how to proceed is being held in local government circles. Nine councils initially indicated a willingness to be involved; the Department of Internal Affairs has organised two invite-only consultations on regulations; and legislation, the Local Electoral Matters Bill, is before Parliament to allow the trial to take place in sub-sections of local territories, such as wards rather than the whole district. Online voting is already permissible under the law.
This working paper is designed to provide some information on issues related to online voting in New Zealand. It is structured around problems and solutions: what problems do proponents hope online voting will solve? What do we know about whether it would actually solve these problems? And what new problems might online voting create?
The paper will be added to in 2019; feedback is welcome.
UPDATE: the 2019 online voting trial was cancelled on 12 December 2018; the parties to the trial are now working towards implementing online voting for the 2022 local government elections.
The Department of Internal Affairs was asked what advice or input it had given to the proposed 2019 online voting trial.