At first blush, it appears electronic voting did little to conquer voter apathy in Halifax Regional Municipality. The 37 per cent total turnout in October matched that of the 2008 election. That plateau has prompted several councillors to call for a staff review to gauge how effective the $500,000 spent on telephone and online voting was compared to using paper ballots. Coun. Waye Mason questioned the system’s security and said he doesn’t think it should necessarily be used in 2016.
Halifax regional council hopeful Waye Mason says opening up the polls two weeks before the election is too early because that’s when candidates are kicking their campaigns into high gear and election drama becomes most interesting. “That’s when you see the media giving candidates the most coverage, people as well as the candidates are engaging more,” said Mason, who’s running in District 7. “I just don’t know that people really know what decision they want to make yet.”
Canada: Nova Scotia Business Inc. invests $800,000 in Dartmouth e-voting company | The Chronicle Herald
A Dartmouth electronic voting company is looking to increase its share of the national market, and has received a funding boost from the province. Nova Scotia Business Inc. announced Friday that it has submitted a venture capital investment of $800,000 to Intelivote Systems Inc., located in Burnside Park. Dean Smith, company president and founder, said Intelivote has signed up 15 of the 16 municipalities in Nova Scotia that will be offering telephone and Internet voting in municipal elections this fall., including Digby, Yarmouth, Kentville and Truro. Barcelona-based Scytl Secure Electronic Voting is handling the election in Halifax Regional Municipality.
Canada: Halifax Regional Municipality to review e-voting contract after cyber attack on NDP leadership election | Metro
The Halifax Regional Municipality will be reviewing a decision to award a Spanish e-voting company a contract for this October’s election. This in the wake of e-voting delays that plagued the federal NDP leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday. Scytl, the Spanish company that oversaw the convention’s e-voting, was awarded a contract in January to provide electronic voting for the upcoming HRM election. “With the events of the weekend … we certainly will be reviewing the situation with the company,” Mayor Peter Kelly said on Sunday. “(HRM will) determine whether or not this was an issue of just malfunction, or other factors as was indicated (by the NDP).”
Municipal elections are just nine months away and, perhaps not surprisingly, electronic voting has been a recent subject of discussion for local councils.
Truro Town Council received a pitch from a Halifax-based company lauding the virtues of electronic voting and tabled it for further discussion. Colchester County Council, meanwhile, rejected the idea outright. At the risk of sounding ridiculously old-fashioned, we concur with the go-slow or no-go approach to electronic voting. At least for the time being.