Edward Mandla
Electing to Replace Attendance Voting for Postal Voting

Published On: 23/02/2015

This isn’t a very tech savvy Council.

When I was first elected Councillor, I sat in this chair and said where to I plug in my laptop and now here is the fix.

I expressed amazement that we were locked into Internet Explorer as our browser. After 18 months, we can now use Firefox and Chrome.

I was stunned at the volume of Council papers and how we kept getting colour copies of PowerPoint’s for Briefings and another one for Committees. We had to drag endless folders back and forth. Today, we have all our papers on an iPad and we’ve saved hundreds of trees and have the convenience of ready Council papers anywhere.

I led the charge for Webcasting. Got the motion up a couple of times and then you led a Recession motion. So today, residents have to come to the Chamber to hear discussions. Our fears into the way of technological progress.

Now, enabled by the NSW State Government, The City of Sydney Council has the opportunity to display forward thinking and to be a global leader in modern democratic voting. This would be by freeing citizens from the old fashioned obligations of having to turn out to a polling booth and instead conduct voting by post only.

Attendance voting at polling booths is a shocking waste of environmental resources. Thousands of trees are needlessly destroyed with endless election paraphernalia at polling booths, which most people do not want. At the end of the voting day, each polling booth resembles a park concert littered with waste.

Sydney is one of the most technological cities in the world with a busy and productive electorate. Ultimately, they know that voting will one day be fully electronic and that the first step is for voting to be fully by post. Most are repulsed by Election Day traffic congestion, waste and the creation of needless greenhouse gases.

We have an opportunity to display leadership in Australia voting. We’re didn’t even debate it and the Luddite default of the City of Sydney has prevailed. That’s why I’m voting “No” to this motion.

Edward Mandla
February 2015

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