Residents in Strathcona County will not be using internet voting as an option for the 2013 municipal election. Tuesday afternoon, county councillors were set to vote on whether or not to move ahead with a project that would see online ballots cast as part of the advanced polls in October’s civic election. However, Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths put the brakes on the idea before council had the chance to vote. “I support continued research and experience with internet voting systems, but at this time, I am not prepared to support the use of internet voting for the October 2013 general election,” Griffiths wrote in a letter sent to Strathcona County Mayor, Linda Osinchuk.
“Public discussions, and recent council decisions, have clearly indicated that a significant portion of Albertans are not comfortable with internet voting, despite the excellent communication and education efforts undertaken by your municipalities in the testing phase of this pilot project,” Griffiths wrote. Councillors say they were disappointed however, they instead passed a motion to test out a different internet voting pilot project.
Edmonton and St. Alberta both toyed with the notion of using internet voting in the next municipal election however, both municipalities voted against it in the end. Security is one of the main areas of concern with internet voting.
Gariepy suggested the possibility of offering a monetary reward to any student who could hack into their system, if the county’s pilot project is approved.