Timmins residents will be able to vote online in the 2014 municipal elections. Voting from the comfort of one’s own home will be added to the usual in-person, ballot-box method. The move was approved on Monday in a 5-4 vote at city council. With the city needing to replace old vote tabulation machines, council entered into an agreement with Dominion Voting on a contract to provide both new machines and online voting capabilities. Some councillors took issue with the lack of evidence that online voting increases the number of ballots in an election. … Coun. Gary Scripnick did a little quick math to support his opinion that online voting isn’t worth the cost for the city. “If 10% of the people out there, for whatever reason, being away at school, being disabled or not wanting to vote, decided to vote online, that means every vote would cost $30 that would be done online,” suggested Scripnick. “If somebody wants to vote, they will find a way to get to the voting station.”
Coun. Pat Bamford voted against the motion as well. He said he wanted to split the move into two motions — one for the tabulation machines, and one for online voting. Last week, Bamford suggested voting from home might be beneficial to many residents in his widespread Ward 4, but said he still hadn’t made up his mind.
On Monday, it appeared he had. Bamford said the anonymity of online voting, as opposed to the transparency of online banking, is “the fatal flaw” of Internet voting systems. “It’s not the case (that it increases voter turnout). It costs more. We can’t authenticate the results,” said Bamford. “I’m not anti-technology, I think this is coming down the line but I don’t think we’re there yet.”
The dual deal with Dominion Voting includes a $6,000 rebate for the online voting portion of the $65,000 cost of the contract. With the rebate, moving to Internet voting with included support services, will cost $35,800. The tabulation machines cover the rest of the cost.
Full Article: Council approves online voting | Timmins Press.