Elections Canada is working closely with Canadian security officials to address the “real risks” of potential hacking as the agency prepares to roll out new electronic voter-registration technology for the 2019 federal election. Elections Canada has secured commitments from its outside contractor that the Apple iPads deployed at some advance polls will have never been used − and will never be used in the future − in countries outside of Canada’s “Five Eyes” security partners. Internal documents reveal the sensitive discussions taking place inside Elections Canada as it prepares for an election campaign in an era when countries around the world are grappling with allegations of foreign interference and hacking in the democratic process.
Canadians will continue to cast their votes on paper ballots in 2019 and there are no federal plans to move toward electronic voting. However, new tablet-based technology called e-poll devices will be used for the first time in 2019 at advance polls in 225 electoral districts in an effort to reduce delays.
These devices will be used to register voters and record the fact that they have voted, replacing paper-based systems. Canadians who vote on election day will still face the traditional registration process in which their name is scratched off the voters’ list before they cast their ballot at a booth.