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Sacc wants to introduce online voting, if it’s secure

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ONLINE voting for elections in Guernsey could be introduced.

States Assembly & Constitution Committee president Peter Roffey with lead referendum officer Liz Dene addressing the Guernsey branch of the IOD’s business breakfast yesterday. (Picture by Adrian Miller 21998502)

Peter Roffey, president of the States Assembly & Constitution Committee, yesterday told business leaders that his committee wanted to look at introducing e-voting. He made the comments during a speech about the upcoming referendum on Guernsey’s electoral system.

‘My committee would ideally like sometime in the not-too-distant future to bring in online voting,’ said Deputy Roffey, when he addressed the Guernsey branch of the Institute of Directors’ regular business breakfast event at the Old Government House Hotel.

‘But we have to be absolutely sure that the security is sufficient, at least as good as it is under the present system, to make sure that results can’t be subverted, not that I think Mr Putin’s particularly got his eye on Guernsey.’

Stressing the importance of getting guarantees around security, he added: ‘We want voting to be as easy as possible, so that’s the Shangri-La that we’d like to aim for.’

Speaking after the event, Deputy Roffey said that online voting could be introduced for the States election after the next one due in 2020 – alongside options of postal ballots and continuing to vote in person.

During the IoD business breakfast, Deputy Roffey also questioned whether there were too many deputies. In the past there were 55 politicians who did politics a ‘few days a month’, he said, but now there were now 38 ‘full-time’ politicians.

Referring to the October referendum, Deputy Roffey said: ‘We did wrestle with the idea of putting in an option which included a reduction in the number of deputies [but] decided we would probably struggle to get that through the States just at the moment because we have just reduced fairly significantly the number of deputies in the Assembly.

‘My personal view is that it’s still actually quite a large number for a community of 63,000 to have 38 politicians.’

He added: ‘I’m not convinced, though, I’m in a majority in the States in actually saying and thinking that, and there are obviously dangers if you get too small an Assembly because a relatively small faction can have a lot of sway if the total numbers are small. There is some safety in numbers in the sense you have more spread of opinion if you have a larger number.’

Will Green

By Will Green
Business Editor

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