In a bid to boost plummeting voter turnout rates, the B.C. government wants to introduce Internet balloting for future provincial and municipal elections. But research from Canadian municipalities and European nations has cast doubt on the power of e-voting to encourage more citizen engagement. “All of us are interested in increasing the voter turnout in elections,” Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, said in a written statement asking B.C.’s Chief Electoral Officer to appoint an independent panel to examine the logistics of Internet voting. Current legislation prevents municipalities from adopting electronic voting procedures. … Governments generally consider e-voting for two reasons, said Jon Pammett, a political science professor at Carleton University. Governments want to increase accessibility and voter turnout, he said, but there is no clear evidence that it positively affects the latter.
“It’s not the solution to low turnout,” said Dr. Pammett, who co-wrote a paper on electronic voting for Elections Canada that found inconsistent reports of increased voter turnout from Canadian municipalities and European nations using the system – some suggested increases while others did not.
… In August, 2011, Elections B.C. looked at the issue and published a research report that cited higher turnout as a rationale for Internet voting, along with convenience and the potential for cost savings and reducing errors. Areas of concern included security, availability and transparency.