Edmonton could see a pilot pro-gram to test Internet voting in the next civic election, officials say. E-voting, which can include using phones, electronic ballots or the Internet, has occurred in more than 30 Ontario municipalities and four Nova Scotia jurisdictions.
Several Alberta centres, including Edmonton, Calgary, St. Albert and Strathcona County, are interested in trying the new technology, Laura Kennedy, Edmonton’s director of elections and corporate records, said Wednesday.
The group might work with Municipal Affairs on a small trial during the 2013 election, possibly focused on the special ballots sent to people who will be away or can’t get to the polling booth, she said. “We could all explore a different aspect of it,” said Kennedy, who estimated about 700 special ballots were mailed out in Edmonton for the 2010 election. “We could have different iterations and compare the results at the end.”
The process might involve simply sending people a PIN or a PDF so they could print their ballot, fill it out and mail it back, she said. City staff will study the issue, including costs and ensuring security, before reporting on the options to council next fall.
Internet voting requires changes to the Local Authorities Elections Act, but the province is supportive as long as the process is clearly spelled out and such concerns as doing recounts without a paper trail are addressed, Kennedy said.
“It’s another voting opportunity for residents. When we’re in non-election years, we’re always looking for other alternatives,” she said. “We want to make sure we have enough alternatives for people to come out to vote.”
Full Article: City jumps into cyberspace with E-voting pilot initiative.