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Under the covers, new Election Management System shines

Under the covers, new Election Management System shines

Redeveloped in 2015 and 2016, the Election Management System processed nearly 75GB of data.

Like clockwork: new election system delivers

Like clockwork: new election system delivers

The Electoral Commission's new Election Management System performed well during the election, according to developer Catalyst.

Catalyst rebuilt the system – which is responsible for everything from rostering staff through to publishing the results of general elections, by-elections and referenda – in 2015 and 2016 after security concerns were raised.

The Commission operates two core systems, it explained in its 2014-2021 statement of intent (SOI). One, covering enrolment and the rolls, had been continuously updated throughout its life and was considered fit for purpose.

The second system, covering the conduct of electoral events, was described as a "legacy system that is increasingly vulnerable to security and maintenance risks".

"The system will meet our requirements for the 2014 general election but will not be suitable for 2017 without significant upgrades likely to cost several million dollars," the SOI said.

The cost of replacing the system were unclear at the time of the report, but estimated at $2.5 million. It appears to have been delivered on budget, according to the Commission's 2016 annual report.

Over the course of the 2017 election, as votes were cast at 2863 voting places around the country, around 20 million requests for updates were served and nearly 75 GB of data was processed, Catalyst said.

The results website, http://electionresults.govt.nz, hosted on the Catalyst Cloud, ensured that media and the public had up to the minute results throughout the evening. 

"From our perspective, it’s been a very routine process – we’ve been monitoring the systems closely and everything’s performed as expected," said Don Christie, managing director of Catalyst.

"We’re very proud of our long partnership with the Electoral Commission. The long hours and late nights are worth it for such an important cause."


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Tags governmentopen sourceDevelopmentelectionscatalystelection technologyCatalyst IT

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