The Institute of IT Professionals New Zealand (IITP), the professional body for those working in the IT industry, has welcomed the release of the Report of the Online Voting Working Party recommending a way forward for online voting in New Zealand.
The report, authored by a Working Group formed by the Minister of Local Government and Internal Affairs, investigated the feasibility of online voting in New Zealand in detail and recommended that online voting should be adopted in New Zealand starting with a trial in 2016.
The report found that online voting should work alongside postal or booth voting, not replace it. IITP CEO Paul Matthews, who sat on the working group, welcomed the release of the report.
“This report plots the path forward for online voting in New Zealand, and carefully weighs up the issues around security and other factors," he says.
During the development of the report, the Institute was heavily engaged and very pleased with the focus of the Working Group and Government on protecting the integrity of voter’s private information amidst the security implications of online voting.
“We especially support the recommendation of a ‘bug bounty’ approach to the online voting system.
"While bug bounties are used extensively in our sector by most prominent technology companies, this would be a step forward for a Government and is one of the key recommendations from the IT profession to Government last year, following various public sector security breaches.
“We thank the Minister for looking to IITP and other organisations such as Internet New Zealand to provide independent expertise for this Working Group.
"As the representative body for the IT Profession, this enabled IITP to work with others to ensure tech-related factors were well considered, independently and without technology bias."