New Zealand Law Society - Passage of Local Electoral Matters Bill recommended

Passage of Local Electoral Matters Bill recommended

This article is over 3 years old. More recent information on this subject may exist.

Parliament's Justice Committee has released a report on the Local Electoral Matters Bill, with a recommendation that it be passed with amendments.

The bill proposing amending the Local Electoral Act 2001 to allow partial trials of new voting methods in local elections.

It would also amend the Electoral Act 1993 to allow local authorities to access date of birth information from the database of registered electors, and to clarify that researchers could be supplied with date of birth information and age group information for the purpose of analysing voter participation in local elections.

If passed, the bill would open the way for trials of online voting in the 2019 local body elections.

The committee recommends an amendment to ensure that the requirement for consultation applies to the trials of new voting methods. It also proposes a new clause to enable an elector to recast their vote if a voting method becomes inoperable or unreliable during an election.

Another recommended amendment would allow voter participation researchers to access lists of voters of Māori descent.

Clarification of the circumstances in which electors' date of birth information must be provided to local authorities is also recommended.

The bill was referred to the committee on 9 May 2018 with submissions closing on 22 June 2018. The committee received 27 submissions.