Potential Internet voting option headed back to council
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Monday, January 28, 2013 2:28PM MST
Last Updated Monday, January 28, 2013 3:03PM MST
Days after the item was referred to a city committee – the possible addition of internet voting in time for the next municipal election was heavily debated in a meeting at city hall.
On Monday morning, the city’s Executive Committee tackled the possible implementation of internet voting in the city's future municipal elections, that would be used in addition to tradition paper and mail-in ballots.
The concept was tested by hundreds of voters in a mock election called the ‘Jellybean Election’ held in Oct. and Nov. 2012.
The participants registered to vote, and 400 of them filled out surveys after, and a number of them raised concerns about safety.
In Monday’s discussion, the committee heard from a number of people who echoed those concerns.
The matter has been returned to City Council.
If it’s passed by councillors, it will come with a cost of $400,000 – it’s hoped the province would cover some of that cost.
In addition to the price, the province needs to change their regulations to allow the internet voting option to be put in place – the province has said the regulations could be changed, if issues outlined by the Minister of Municipal Affairs were addressed.
The issues outlined in the letter include making sure only eligible voters can vote, and cast only one ballot, in private and that each voter’s choices cannot be associated with the individual, in addition to making sure the system is transparent and reliable.
City administration has recommended the system be in place by June, in time for the next municipal election that’s been slated for October.
The potential option would be implemented in addition to existing polling stations and mail-in ballots – and would be available to eligible voters during the 12 days of advance voting during municipal elections.