NSW to develop Web-based election software

New software could prepare online voting

The NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) will develop a range of Web- and Windows-based applications to support the operation of elections paving the way for the possible introduction of online voting throughout the state.

In an expression of interest document released this week, the commission is seeking a contractor to provide system integration services for "the ongoing development and support of .NET/Oracle computer applications".

These applications are being developed "with the support of other electoral authorities".

The NSWEC conducts elections for the Parliament of New South Wales, and for local government and commercial and community clients on a contract basis.

The initial contract term will be for a minimum of 18 months with an option to extend for a further period of not less than 12 months.

A total of eight people are required for the contract, including a project manager, technical architect, two business analysts, an Oracle database administrator and three programmers.

Tasks include IT project management, development of system requirements and functional specifications for IT systems, develop software in .NET 2.0 (Web and Windows environments) using the Oracle 10g database, prepare documentation, undertake testing, and provide operational support to systems during the election period.

A spokesperson for the NSWEC told Computerworld that it is working with the federal Australian Electoral Commission to keep abreast of electronic voting developments - particularly in light of this year's upcoming federal election - but would not comment on the extent of the state's plans.

The spokesperson said the AEC is investigating electronic voting for Australians in areas around the world not well suited for paper ballots, and "although, the NSWEC monitors the use of online systems, we have no specific plans for its implementation, nor does the current system development program incorporate this functionality".

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