Airdrie City council unanimously voted to table a decision on Internet voting, Jan. 21. The move was made after a presentation, by Sharon Pollyck, Airdrie’s manager of legislative services, and a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of Internet voting in the next election, set to take place this fall. “I am not ready to make a decision this evening,” said Alderman Glenda Alexander. “I look forward to more information.” Pollyck presented council with a number of options for electronic voting, which is being piloted this fall in Alberta and is used worldwide, including using the method only for the advanced vote, discontinuing paper voting all together and doing a mixture of the two.
She said Airdrie has the opportunity to piggyback on the pilot project being conducted by Edmonton, Strathcona County and St. Albert. The pilot would cost the City between about $22,500 and $30,000 depending on how it is used.
“Internet voting is a very, very expensive proposition,” Pollyck said, adding Edmonton alone invested $150,000 into the upcoming pilot.
In the 2010 election, Airdrie’s voting station costs were about $22,000. For 2013, this number is budgeted at $36,000, according to a staff report. The total cost of this year’s municipal election is projected to be $42,500.