Poor postal vote return rates show why the Tasmanian Local Government election system is outdated and deeply flawed.

Kingborough Council Candidate, Dean Winter, today said this should be the last ever Local Government election using the current postal voting system.

“In the first week of polling, less than a quarter of Tasmanians returned their ballot paper.  That is an appalling result that shows a lack of interest in local government and an outdated electoral system,” Mr Winter said.

“Many Tasmanians have not taken the time to update their electoral details before the close of the rolls.  That means many voters will never receive a ballot paper, while others will receive multiple papers for former residents.

“The post is a dying communication system.  Some young Tasmanians will be almost completely unfamiliar with it.  Australia Post says letter volumes have declined by 25% since 2008.

“The current system is outdated, slow and poorly understood, producing low participation numbers.

“It’s time we embraced technology, and allowed residents to vote online quickly and efficiently.  Once it is set up, it will mean a cheaper, faster elections with higher participation rates.

“Simple and secure voting methods are being used around the world, including for municipal elections in Canada.”

The Municipality of Leamington, Ontario Canada is conducting its October 2014 elections using entirely internet voting, while still allowing people who are unable to access technology to visit their local office and vote in person.