Edmonton’s decision not to proceed with an electronic voting pilot project likely means St. Albert will drop the idea as well, but with regrets. On Wednesday Edmonton councillors voted down a proposal to test out Internet voting in the October municipal election. Edmonton had partnered with St. Albert and Strathcona County for the pilot project, which would have offered electors the chance to vote in an advanced poll later this year. Mayor Nolan Crouse conceded that, with Edmonton’s vote, the project is likely doomed in St. Albert as well. “Likely we’re going to follow Edmonton and not pursue it,” Crouse said.
“I’m a little disappointed we don’t get on with this decade that says we do things online.”
Of concern to Crouse, and, according to media reports, to Edmonton councillors is security. One individual told Edmonton councillors he had been able to hack the voting system for the trial vote last year and vote twice.
Crouse said his biggest disappointment is in the security of the software that would have been used.
“I guess I’m disappointed the technology can’t be more secure,” Crouse said. “You’d think with all the digits we use, you’d think things would be more secure.”
Crouse was once a fervent supporter of Internet voting, even lobbying Doug Griffiths, Alberta’s minister of municipal affairs, on Twitter to allow St. Albert to pilot the technology.
Internet voting has been tested in different provinces in Canada over the last few years, in communities such as Markham and Peterborough, Ont., as well as Halifax, N.S. But it has never been done in Alberta, as the legislation governing how municipal election run would need to be changed.
The technology has been touted as a way to bolster sagging voter turnout, which barely topped 34 per cent in St. Albert in the 2010 municipal election. Crouse was also hoping the city’s experience with conducting its municipal census partially online would boost the appeal of a pilot project.
Full Article: News | St. Albert Gazette.