Online voting is back on the table for Hamilton City Council after a new motion from councillor Angela O'Leary was passed to keep Hamilton in the conversation.

Last month mayor Andrew King used his casting vote to push through an amendment not to proceed with online voting, however the amendment which became the motion, failed, which meant the status quo prevailed, allowing Ms O'Leary another shot at the matter.

Councillor Mark Bunting was absent from that vote, but he had supported O'Leary's new notice of a motion along with councillors Paula Southgate, Siggi Henry and Rob Pascoe.

At the time the motion to not proceed with online voting was supported by mayor King, deputy mayor Gallagher and councillors Garry Mallett, Geoff Taylor, James Casson and Leo Tooman.


The new motion allows staff to investigate the benefits of online voting and bring back a report to council, with no costs spent.

"All I'm asking for elected members is for staff to go away and get some information. This does not tie ourselves to anything what so ever," Ms O'Leary said.

"I wouldn't want to risk the election by rushing things through."

Councillor Dave Macpherson said the pace was glacial, but spoke on behalf of deputy mayor Martin Gallagher, who was absent from the chambers.

"He implores me to tell everyone here that he had an epiphany," Mr Macpherson said.

"He has been to see some young people and they have convinced him to change his mind.
"He wanted me to pass on to you all that he has completely changed his mind."

Councillor Rob Pascoe was keen for council to stay in the conversation, but said it is also a central government issue too.

"Central government tend to be very quiet about this," Mr Pascoe said.

"I'd like to see some encouragement from central government, even if it is dropping some regional money into our next election."

Ms Southgate said council needs to explore all ways to engage the public.

"We have to make sure that whatever the subset, it does not create any equity in the voting system but lets be part of a progressive voting system."

Mr Casson also had a change of heart from his previous vote, saying he was for keeping Hamilton in the conversation.

"I also concur with what councillor Macpherson said in regards to the deputy mayor Gallagher, as the deputy mayor just sent me a message via Morse code that he is fully for it now," Mr Casson said.

Mr King said he would vote in support for it, but had serious concerns about spending money on a trial.

"It is not costing anything but staff resources and I am comfortable with that," Mr King said.

Ms O'Leary said in her reply to the chamber that council must do whatever is possible to increase voter turnout.

"If we are to be an expert in anything, we must be an expert in democracy," she said.
"If it goes through it will allow council to look for other novel ways."

Mr Mallett was the only councillor opposed to the motion. Mr Gallagher was absent from the vote.