North America

Articles about voting issues in North America outside the United States.

Canada: Close race leads to recount request | Napanee Guide

Greater Napanee mayoral candidate Robert Dorey is asking council to consider a recount of the municipal election results announced on Oct. 27. Dorey said in a statement issued to media and supporters that he has been “inundated with requests from supporters that I demand a recount of the votes cast.” Incumbent Mayor Gordon Schermerhorn regained the mayoral seat on Monday night with 2,907 votes — only three votes more than first-time candidate Dorey, who received 2904. While he doesn’t believe a recount will come up with a different outcome, Dorey does think that there are some major flaws with the electronic voting system that Greater Napanee adopted for the first time this election. “I don’t think that the results will change, but I think that it’s important that we use this opportunity to examine electronic voting in a way that really matters,” Dorey said in an interview with QMI Agency on Wednesday. “I’m doing this to draw attention to the flaws in the voting process. They were obvious to me, and to other candidates and residents in this election.” Read More

Canada: Angry towns consider withholding payment to Internet voting company | Windsor Star

Leamington and Kingsville are considering withholding payment to the company that conducted Internet voting this election after results came in hours later than expected. “I’m very disappointed,” said Leamington clerk Brian Sweet, who is bearing the brunt of complaints in his municipality about how long it took to release voting results Monday night. “We were under the impression we would have our results between 8:30 and quarter to nine, possibly, before 8:30,” Sweet said. Instead, like in Kingsville and Tecumseh, results were not released to waiting crowds until close to 11 p.m. “What was frustrating for us was we were not getting results and we weren’t getting any information or time estimates either,” Sweet said. “We didn’t understand what the problem was.”  Read More

Canada: Rise of e-voting is inevitable, as is risk of hacking | The Globe and Mail

It took just one typo in one line of code to elect a malevolent computer program mayor of Washington, D.C. In the fall of 2010, the District staged a mock election to test out a new online voting system, and invited hackers to check its security. A team from the University of Michigan took them up on the offer. They quickly found a flaw in the code and broke in. They changed every vote. Master Control Program, the self-aware software that attempts to take over the world in the film Tron, was a runaway write-in candidate for mayor. Skynet, the system that runs a robot army in the Terminator franchise, was elected to Congress. And Bender, the hard-drinking android in the cartoon Futurama, became a member of the school board. Incredibly, it took D.C. officials two days to realize they had been hacked. …The use of Internet voting is exploding. Nearly 100 Ontario municipalities are using it in Monday’s election – including one that will even ditch paper ballots entirely. Proponents contend it is not only more convenient, but more equitable, giving people who cannot get to physical polling stations the same opportunity to vote as everyone else. But the expansion of e-voting has also caused consternation for some security researchers and municipal officials. They worry that entrusting this pillar of democracy to computers is too great a risk, given the potential for software problems – or hackers determined to put beer-swilling robots on the school board.  Read More

Canada: Toronto still years from authorizing Internet voting, while Markham introduced digital ballots back in 2003 | National Post

While Toronto residents line up at the polls Monday, neighbours to the north could well choose to vote with their feet up on the couch at home. And it’s not a new option. Residents of Markham have been able to vote online from anywhere with WiFi for the last 11 years. The City of Toronto has taken baby steps in that direction, but don’t expect everyone to be able to do the same in 2018. In July, city council authorized the use of Internet and telephone voting during the advance vote period for the next municipal election. Council had previously decided to implement online voting for people with disabilities for the Oct. 27 election, but the project was cancelled due to time constraints and failure to provide a secure system. “Online voting has been very well received in Markham since we introduced it in 2003,” said Frank Edwards, the city’s elections co-ordinator. “The number of people who vote online has increased to almost 11,000 people.” Read More

Haiti: Protesters rally in capital demanding vote | Associated Press

A few thousand protesters allied with Haiti’s opposition marched through the capital on Sunday demanding the chance to vote in legislative and local elections that are three years late, among other grievances. Placard-waving demonstrators started their rally in the downtown slum of Bel Air, burning piles of rum-soaked wood and holding up their voting cards to show they were ready to cast ballots. Some carried placards showing the bespectacled image of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who is confined to his home in a Port-au-Prince suburb amid a war of wills with a Haitian judge investigating corruption allegations against him. Earlier this year, President Michel Martelly called for legislative and municipal elections overdue since late 2011 to take place on Sunday. But the vote has been postponed due to an ongoing stalemate over an electoral law between the government and six opposition senators. Read More

Canada: Confidentiality concerns force Clarence-Rockland to backtrack on bold e-voting plans | Ottawa Citizen

Confidentiality concerns have prompted the city of Clarence-Rockland to backtrack on its plans to hold electronic elections and it has implemented an “emergency plan” to use traditional paper-based ballots. The municipality, located just east of Ottawa, said problems mailing out confidential personal identification numbers (PINs) to thousands of voters in the area ultimately forced it to drop its groundbreaking plans. “It was brought to our attention that the Voting PIN was visible through the window of certain envelopes resulting in both the Voter ID and Voting PIN not remaining confidential to the elector,” said the municipality in a statement released Tuesday morning. Read More

Canada: Advance poll turnout in Toronto sets a first-day record | Toronto Star

Toronto voters flocked to advance polls Tuesday to record the highest-ever first day turnout, the city says. “I think we can say this is a municipal election campaign that has caught the attention of Torontonians and they want their voice to be heard,” said Ryerson University politics professor Myer Siemiatycki. The city said the tally far surpasses the 16,000 votes cast during the six weekdays of advance voting in the 2010 election. That year, some 77,000 votes in total were cast in advance. So just the first day of 2014 advance voting represents about 37 per cent of the 2010 total, with five days left to vote early, through Oct. 19. (Election day is Oct. 27.) On day one of voting in 2010 the total was just 2,690 — although direct comparisons may be somewhat misleading because the advance poll was held at only six locations that year, compared with 45 this year: one in each ward and one at city hall. Read More

Canada: Conservatives denying some Canadians the vote, group says in legal challenge | The Globe and Mail

The federal government’s recent overhaul of Canadian election laws is facing a Charter challenge, one alleging the changes will deny some Canadians the right to vote. The groups behind the case argue that the Fair Elections Act, an amended version of which became law in June after the bill received widespread criticism, will suppress the vote of certain Canadians and make it difficult for some to obtain a ballot on election day. A legal challenge was filed Thursday in the Ontario Superior Court by the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Federation of Students and three individual electors. They are challenging the law under section three of the Charter and Rights of Freedoms, which guarantees citizens the right to vote, and section 15, which says every individual is equal before and under the law. “We believe [the bill] will disproportionately impact disadvantaged groups,” lawyer Steven Shrybman, who will argue the case, told a news conference Thursday. Read More

Canada: Register 16-year-olds to vote, says B.C. chief electoral officer | The Province

Registering voters as young as 16 for a B.C. election is one of three major recommendations the province’s chief electoral officer has made to law makers. Keith Archer says in his report to legislators released Tuesday that the voting age would remain at 18 but dropping the registration age would allow electoral officials to work with schools and driver-licensing programs. Read More

Canada: Latest Internet voting reports show failures across the board | Al Jazeera

Internet voting, a technology often cited as a solution to the United States’ problematic voting machines, received failing security and accessibility grades in the latest in-depth audit conducted by the City of Toronto. Two of the three vendors audited by the city currently have contracts with over a dozen U.S. jurisdictions for similar technologies. The accessibility report, prepared by researchers at the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University, and the security report, prepared by researchers at Concordia and Western universities, were obtained by Al Jazeera America through a Freedom of Information Act request. … The reports highlight the difficulty in creating a voting system that isn’t more susceptible to corruption than existing voting technology and that is easy enough to use for voters with a variety of personal computer setups, including those with disabilities who often use alternatives to traditional mice, keyboards and screens. …  ”It’s clear from the report for Toronto that the systems being considered don’t meet the minimum accessibility standards required,” said Barbara Simons, a board member of Verified Voting, and co-author of the book “Broken Ballots: Will your Vote Count?” who also obtained the reports through a Freedom of Information request. Read More