Tāmaki Makaurau – A blockchain technology voting solution puts voting power into the hands of voters, by way of a mobile device and provides a high level of transparency that builds trust with voters, while preserving their privacy and security.
The answer could come from Melbourne-based blockchain digital voting venture Horizon State, run by Kiwi founder and chief executive Tim Goggin.
For next year’s local body elections, those unfamiliar with mobile computer technology, traditional polling stations with support staff can still be retained at public libraries and community centres.
The poor local body turn-outs has been declining for a decade, with only 41.7 percent of eligible voters exercising their democratic right in 2019 and is due partly to the postal voting system used.
Last month, Blenheim held the national local government conference, which prompted further discussions around the poor turn-out at local government elections.
A UK census-wide study in 2017 revealed that 43 percent of millennials had never used the postal service to send a card, letter, or parcel.
This has raised the prospect of electronic voting for the next election in October 2022. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has previously indicated her desire for on-line voting to become a reality at the October 8 local body elections next year.
Online trials in 2016 and 2019 had failed to make any progress, due to concerns over the security and vote integrity, as well as the high costs to establish an electronic system that could be trusted.
A voting platform built on Blockchain technology addresses these concerns. Inspired by this renewed interest in secure electronic voting, BlockchainNZ has caught up with Horizon State’s Tim Goggin.
He says the potential of blockchain to strengthen the electoral voting system should happen.
“Our system is operational and already suited for government clients both large and small and has already been deployed in the past for a New Zealand government department. Adding NZ council elections as the technology partner by 2022, is very realistic.”
The public want digital on-line voting, as polls conducted in Auckland in 2016 showed 74 percent were in favour.
Goggin says paper and postal voting solutions have a track record of being slow, inefficient, costly and error prone.
New Zealand’s 2019 local council elections experienced some controversy due to the lack of finality and reliability surrounding the counting of paper votes.
A recount of a council seat in Whakatāne led to a judge ordering a different interpretation of a single paper vote which overturned an earlier coin-toss conclusion.
With so much reform in the local government sector, such as substantial water reforms and potential council restructuring, it’s important for democracy that there is good representation across the country and across all eligible age groups.
A blockchain technology voting solution puts voting power into the hands of voters, by way of a mobile device and provides a high level of transparency that builds trust with voters, while preserving their privacy and security.
BlockchainNZ is part of the New Zealand Tech Alliance.