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NZ Audiological Society Proposed TXT (SMS) Voting System

With the proliferation of TXT services available today there are a number of companies providing customised TXT solutions. The system will be capable of replacing the current NZAS voting system. The system must be easy to use, robust, reliable and open to scrutiny. The new system can be broken down into three main areas; 1 registration, 2 dissemination of voting information and 3 voting. 1. Registration of voters a. Members would need to register their cellular number with the NZAS. The NZAS would publish name, address, employer and cellular number of all eligible voters on a secured web page. It is the members responsibility to confirm they are registered by looking on the NZAS website. It is the collective members responsibility to ensure that ONLY eligible voters names appear on the list. b. The NZAS will make this list accessible to the TXT provider as an 'authoritative list' of voters immediately prior to an AGM or other voting occasion. c. Registration of your cell phone number would close at a certain time/date before the vote takes place. d. After registration has closed the TXT provider would download the latest list of numbers from the NZAS website and import them into their TXT system as approved numbers. This method provides transparency to members that votes will only be accepted from legitimate members phones. Votes from numbers not on the list would be rejected. 2. Dissemination of voting information a. The need for a vote will arise from a remit, a motion or election of officers. The information that requires a vote would be circulated via email to the last known email address of the member, as happens currently. TXT voting would follow at a fixed predetermined time. 3. Casting a vote a. The Hon Secretary/Treasurer would provide a laptop with internet connectivity and a data projector and screen visible to the members present at the meeting. Remits and voting instructions would be displayed prior to voting followed by results at the close of voting.

b. The TXT provider would make available to the Hon Secretary/Treasurer a secure login to a portal on their website where real-time voting results are viewable. The screen image on the secretarys computer would be projected onto an overhead screen for all members present at a meeting to view. c. The TXT service provider would accept TXT votes during a predefined time period known as the voting window allows for eligible absentee voters (previously known as proxy voters) to submit their votes. d. When the voting window opens eligible members would be able to cast a vote from their registered cell phone until the close of voting. A positive acknowledgement TXT would be sent back to the voters phone by the TXT provider. e. Results would be virtually instantaneous so at the closure of the voting window the result of the vote would be declared f. For the benefit of members not present at the meeting the NZAS would display the voting results on their website within X hours of voting.

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The technology to accomplish all the above is in widespread use today. We hear it on radio and see it on TV (eg Dancing with the Stars, Campbell

Live, X-Factor etc), so it makes good sense to utilise it. The system simultaneously offers privacy for the voters and transparency and accountability for the society.