Lot of attention is focused this Saturday on the mayor’s special budget conference.
It’s happening at City Hall, and local neighborhood council members are in attendance.
One issue is expected to be whether to postpone neighborhood council elections until 2014.
HIGH COST, LOW TURNOUT IN RECENT ELECTIONS
High cost and low turnout are factors. Some are advocating the use of an online system as a way around those factors.
Charles Hurman-Wurmfeld, a member of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, emailed us on Friday:
Digital voting/voting by phone solutions are pennies on the dollar compared to the old world, last century model...This new model would increase our voter turnout ten-fold compared to the old Silver Lake Rec Center model where there was never enough parking to accommodate wannabe voters. Many simply gave up. Even without the technology we could do old-style open meetings and work it out. The point is, elections must happen.
Herman-Wurmfeld was at a meeting on Tuesday at the Russian Orthodox Church in Silver Lake where online voting systems were discussed.
Representatives of the firm Everyone Counts made a presentation about the online voting system they provided to Honolulu in 2009 and 2011 neighborhood council elections.
INTERACTIVE SYSTEM ALLOWS FOR UPLOADING VIDEOS, PHOTOS
Katie Jensen explained how the interactive platform lets elections extend over several weeks, improving turnout. Candidates would also be able to post bios, pictures and even You Tube videos.
Jensen said the system helped Honolulu’s neighborhood board elections in 2009 and 2011 cut costs in half and increased turnout.
The Silverlake Neighborhood Council had tried to do Internet voting in the past, only to be prohibited by the City, according to member-at-large Paul Michael Newman.