Porirua looks to offer internet voting

Porirua City Council is pushing to be one of the first councils in the country to offer internet voting at this year's election.

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett addressed the Justice and Electoral select committee, which was hearing submissions on proposed changes to the local electoral act, this morning.

There, he called on the committee to look at including provisions in the amendment bill, allowing internet voting at local body elections.

E-voting would offer a better way for young people to get involved, he said.

The postal voting system was irrelevant to many young voters - most of whom paid little or no attention to local politics, he said.

''It's fairly safe to say that most people these days have a greater relationship with the internet ... than they do with their post box.

''Younger voters were always the hardest to convince to vote, so making it as easy as possible was an important part of the process.

''We can't afford to disenfranchise more than one generation of people.

''While young people would still need to be convinced to take an interest, it would remove at least one barrier, he said.

''It's an excuse to educate them as to why they should take part.''

Along with Manawatu District Council, Porirua had been researching how to introduce e-voting, and the two councils were keen to trial it for this year's local body election in October.

Select committee members said they would investigate what would be involved in running a trial.

Wellington reporter
Email: katie.chapman@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @katiechapman28

The Dominion Post