One thing to be said for internet voting, it would thwart the kind of robocalls shenanigans that played out in Guelph during the May 2011 federal election. In that still mysterious episode, hundreds of voters were directed through recorded phone messages to the wrong polling station in what appears to have been a clear voter suppression strategy. Online voters, of course, don’t have to attend a physical polling station to exercise their franchise, and there’s no waiting in line. But a push to get more Ontario communities involved in online and telephone voting in the 2014 municipal elections should, for now at least, stay on a waiting list.
Kitchener councillors came to that conclusion in December when they rejected internet voting in their city in 2014, and when Cambridge and Waterloo finish studies into the issue, we suspect they will come to the same answer.
The theory behind online voting — to get greater participation in elections — is certainly commendable, particularly with our ongoing apathetic voter turnout.
In Kitchener, for example, fewer than 25 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the 2010 municipal election. But there are key concerns, such as transparency, security and cost, that signal we should be cautious about embarking in a major way on online voting.
Great strides have been made in ensuring that a voter who turns up at a polling station is, indeed, entitled to vote. But in an online system, what’s to prevent a single member in a household from taking it upon him or herself to collect personal identification numbers, go online and vote on behalf of everyone in the family?
What about recounts, like the one in the last Kitchener election? How would they be undertaken without a paper ballot?
Full Article: Go slow on internet voting | therecord.