Bringing innovative change to enable communities to shape the world we live in.
Who we are
Through 25 years of innovation in New Zealand, Election Services has pioneered the delivery of successful elections, polls and consultations for local government, corporations, iwi and energy trusts. Our ability to combine technology and process management well means your requirements are guaranteed each time and our track record proves it. We provide as much or as little help as you need, and our store of expertise means we are ready with the answers when you need them.
We strive to uphold our exceptional reputation and continue to be the leading end-to-end electoral service provider, bringing innovative change to enable communities to shape the world we live in.
The inspiration to offer an independent, specialist electoral service in New Zealand was formed when director Dale Ofsoske was working as the internal electoral officer for Auckland City Council in the late 80’s. In 1994 he and his wife Judith started their own company, Independent Election Services Ltd., in order to be able to share their expertise in electoral processes both with other local authorities and with the newly created energy trusts.
The ability to contract an experienced electoral team who could take care of any element of their electoral requirements proved popular with these organisations, and within a few years Election Services was providing services to dozens of customers across the country.
This increasing volume of work called for innovative thinking to ensure that we could manage elections and vote processing on a large scale without compromising our reputation for absolute care and attention to detail. Robust processes were developed and honed, with innovations such as electronic vote capture in 1997.
The company gained a nation-wide reputation as the people to turn to for advice and assistance on compliance, legislation and best practice. Dale had become a well recognized and respected figure in the industry and had a key role as a founding member of the Electoral Working Party, who played a significant part in the development of the Local Electoral Act in 2001.
2001 was also the year we launched our own election management software.
We successfully introduced optical vote scanning to local government elections in 2004 (notable, as we were the only ones not to mess this up!).
Our client base continued to grow and diversify, with discerning corporations, educational facilities and unions recognizing the benefits of using a professional and independent election specialist. While we had already been working from early on with some of the long-established Maori trust boards, an increasing number of iwi were reaching settlements with the Crown and required ratification polls and elections for their newly established governance entities.
Each of these customers has had unique requirements, and time and time again we have shown our flexibility in customizing our service to their specific needs.
In 2009 we launched our online voting platform, VoteOnline, after many months of careful design, development and testing. This new service was quickly taken up by a number of our regular customers who were eager to engage with their voters by the best and most up to date methods. As we continue to develop this platform and explore the full potential of online voting technology, we are excited to be playing a key role in the future of elections in New Zealand.
In the same year our VoteOnline platform was introduced, the Government’s Chief Electoral Office undertook a national referendum on parental correction, but they required additional resources to undertake postal vote processing for over three million electors. They chose Election Services as their partners in this task, and we set up a processing centre in Wellington to successfully deliver results according to their requirements.
At the time, this was the largest postal voting process the country had run!
2010 saw a significant development in New Zealand’s local government scene in the formation of the new Auckland Council, with a population of well over a million people. The election of the inaugural Council was an exceptionally high-profile and high-stakes event, and required a service provider that could be relied on to deliver a seamless process from beginning to end. It was Election Services who were entrusted with this responsibility, and we lived up to our reputation throughout the entire project.
We are proud to have been the choice of election service partner for both of these events - the largest postal voting processes which have been undertaken in New Zealand.
In 2015 a proposed trial for online voting was announced, which came with a number of requirements and security measures. Election Services set to work redeveloping our VoteOnline platform in order to deliver. The result was our VoteOnline 2 platform, with a renewed interface and stricter security measures. Even though the online voting trial didn't proceed in 2016, Election Services retained the technology and knowledge that we were able to put to good use providing our clients with the best possible service, expertise and experience in the following years.
2018 saw considerable changes behind the scenes at Election Services. A full-scale redevelopment of our election management system software has allowed the team to bring the latest technology and tools to our election management processes. The redevelopment of this core piece of software has also allowed us to integrate our VoteOnline 2 platform, increasing security measures and practices as well as significantly streamlining our workflow to deliver even better results to our clients and an improved experience for electors.
In 25 years there have been many changes to the services that our customers have required, but the fundamental needs remain the same: accurate results on time, with underlying processes which are transparent, auditable and cost-effective. In this time Election Services has been consistently successful in introducing new innovations to better meet these needs and to reflect the changing ways in which our society interacts. Whatever the next twenty years may hold in New Zealand elections, we have proven that we can innovatively deliver results, and are committed to continuing to do so.