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Govt pulls plug on online voting

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/04/2016

After voting closes, ballot papers are manually counted under the scrutiny of officials. © Marty Melville/Getty Images After voting closes, ballot papers are manually counted under the scrutiny of officials.

Online voting in council elections will not go ahead later this year because of fears the system isn't yet secure enough.

Eight councils had planned to trial online voting in October's local body ballot, but Associate Minister of Local Government Louise Upston has pulled the plug.

Four months out, planned security tests had not yet been carried out, she said on Tuesday.

"Without seeing the results of testing we cannot be confident the systems are secure enough, and the trial could not be authorised."

Public confidence in local elections was fundamentally important and given real concerns about security and vote integrity, it was too early for a trial, she said.

She said councils had done a lot of work and would be disappointed, but maintaining public confidence and understanding was more important.

Online voting could be trialled in 2019 but there was still much to learn about it, Ms Upston said.

Selwyn, Wellington, Porirua, Masterton, Rotorua, Matamata-Piako, Palmerston North and Whanganui councils had all expressed interest in taking part in the trial.

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