Strathcona County council gave its thumbs up at a meeting on April 24 to a partnership with the City of Edmonton and the City of St. Albert to establish an internet voting pilot project for the 2013 municipal election. Jacqueline Roblin, manager of Strathcona County Legislative and Legal Services (LLS), stated in her presentation to council that the pilot would be applied to solely the special ballot process for those people who will be absent from the jurisdiction during the 2013 election. She noted that administration wants to add an amendment allowing for any voter to vote through this process. “We’re taking it in a very small portion of our election so that we can test out our systems and that will gradually start to build voter confidence in the process,” Roblin said.
… While the report was received as information, council members questioned whether the security of the electoral process could be maintained. Councillors Brian Botterill and Peter Wlodarczak recommended that once the system for online voting is finalized, it should be tested to see if it can be infiltrated by hackers prior to being used in the pilot project.
Roblin said the City of Edmonton is hosting a mock election this fall and is inviting computer science experts from the University of Alberta and NAIT to attempt to infiltrate the system. She added that the service provider for the online voting system, Dominion Voting Systems, has successfully implemented online voting in communities in eastern Canada. “As we work through this process, if at any time we think that the challenges cannot be adequately addressed… we will not proceed with the pilot if the integrity of the voting process would be compromised,” Roblin said.