Manageable risk: NSW electors flocked to iVote despite security criticism

NSW electors loved iVote so much, there’s suspicion many claimed to be travelling on election day just so they could use it. The CIO behind the system is adamant its security risks can be managed and that electronic voting has a place in Australia, as a secondary channel.

Ian Brightwell

Ian Brightwell

Electronic voting should be an alternate channel in all Australian elections, according to New South Wales Electoral Commission chief information officer Ian Brightwell, but paper ballots should remain the primary system for the foreseeable future.

“We’re very interested in getting engaged in the public discussion,” Brightwell said last week at the Technology in Government conference. “I’m sure as the federal election approaches there’ll be more talk about electronic voting, and we’ll happy to engage in discussion with anyone about that.”

The state elections CIO insists the well-publicised information security risks are manageable and that a system like iVote in NSW has a place as a “complimentary service” for those who can’t easily cast a ballot the traditional way. “I wouldn’t like to see it being dominant,” he said. In his view, the two channels could enhance each other’s integrity.

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