by Chloe Herrick

Voters can get ‘cluey’ this NSW Election

Mar 22, 2011
GovernmentMobileSmall and Medium Business

Enrolled voters can enlist the help of a Web application to simplify the “daunting” task of voting below the line in the upcoming NSW election on the 26 March 2011.

The Cluey Voter application was developed as a private project by Google engineering director, Alan Noble, and assists voters in easily classifying their group preference on an intuitive scale from two thumbs down to two thumbs up. The app then generates a numbering from the way the voter ordered the groups.

The order of the groups is shuffled while preserving the ballot order of candidates within each group which avoids introducing biases on account of ballot order. Voters can also make manual adjustments or go back and change the group order.

Once satisfied, voters can click on the “check” numbering button to ensure numbering is complete which results in a personal guide to voting below the line.

Voting below the line gives voters the option to decide on the order of choice for all the candidates by numbering each and every box and gives voters more flexibility to opting for their personal preferences.

According to Noble, this NSW election has 311 candidates contesting 21 seats in the Legislative Council, which is why many voters opt to vote “above the line” allowing their preferences to be allocated according to a ticket filed by the party, instead of the voter.

In an interview with lt;igt;Computerworld Australialt;/igt;, Noble, talks building businesses, following your own path and why government transparency is so important in the world of the participatory Web.

As reported by lt;igt;Computerworld Australialt;/igt;, the NSW Electoral Commission is well on the way to completing the first stage of its automatic electoral enrolment project, SmartRoll, in an effort to ensure an accurate and up-to-date electoral roll upcoming election.

The project was first conceived by the commission in 2009 following the realisation by electoral jurisdictions around the country that there are approximately 1.4 million “missing electors” who are eligible to vote, yet are not enrolled and a significant number of electors not currently enrolled at their current NSW address.

In January, the Commission noted the drastic expansion of its e-voting project, iVote, which is now predicted to exceed initial expectations of 15,000 users on polling day, 26 March.

The project, first slated in June 2010, will now allow blind, vision-impaired and disabled voters, as well as those living in remote areas and those out of the state on the day, to cast a secret and unassisted vote from home or in other locations using an interactive voice recognition by phone or through the internet.

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