Budget cuts at Elections Canada have pushed a pilot project on Internet voting off the agenda indefinitely. The body that runs Canada’s federal voting had hoped to introduce online voting for byelections held in 2013, in an effort to see whether making voting more convenient would help boost participation. But according to figures in the agency’s recently tabled report on planning and priorities, spending will fall from $84 million in 2012-13 to a forecasted $74 million in 2013-14. “As part of the fiscal reductions taking place across government, we took an eight-per-cent decrease in our budget,” said Diane Benson, an Elections Canada spokesperson. “So a lot of it is focusing on core priorities we have to deliver for the next election.”
Internet voting has been touted by Elections Canada as far back as 2008 as a way to engage the youth and strengthen their connection with the electoral process.
… Given its budget constraints, Elections Canada will now focus on new electoral boundaries that will create 30 new federal seats for the election expected in 2015. It also says improving basic services to electors should remain the main concern at this time. … There is no word on when an Internet pilot program might start, but it will be after 2015.