Monday, May 8, 2017

Internet Voting in Canada

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D., CEO at The Internet Voting Research and Education Fund, wrote about Internet Voting in Canada.

On April 3rd, 2017 the Government of Canada responded to the recommendations of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, and accepted the recommendation against National Online Voting, stating "We will not implement national online voting at this time."

Internet Voting is currently offered as an Option in Municipal Elections in the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia. The number of Cities offering it is growing, and User satisfaction is extremely high.

In 2003, 12 Cities in Ontario offered an Internet Voting Option. That grew to 20 in 2006, and doubled to 44 in 2010. Then the number leapt to 97 Cities in Ontario in 2014.

In 2008, 4 Cities in Nova Scotia offered an Online Voting option. That increased to 16 Cities in 2012, and then 20 Cities in 2016.

In 2014, 59 Cities went entirely Paperless, offering just Online Voting or a combination of Internet and Telephone Voting.

Security Ambiguity
No evidence has been offered of any Votes or Vote Totals having been changed by Hackers in any Canadian Public Election. Security Precautions have been successful. Methods of Voter Authentication vary. Some only require a Secret PIN. Others call for a Secret PIN, Birth Date, email Confirmation, and a Security Question, which some Voters found to be complicated.

In general, Election Administrators report that their Municipality chose Internet Voting to make Voting more Accessible and Convenient for Voters. But it was also more convenient for them, especially as to the Speed and Accuracy of the vote count. 31% of Administrators thought Costs had Decreased due to the adoption of Online Voting, 18% thought they had Increased, and 14% believed they stayed the same. The vast majority had confidence in the Security of their Internet voting Technology. As to Turnout, Early Voting increased when Online Voting was offered as an Option, but overall turnout only increased slightly. The General Increase was around 3.5%. 96% of Administrators were ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied with the process, and none say they were ‘not at all’ satisfied with the process. Over 90% of Administrators said they would recommend Internet Voting in future Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Elections. 81% of Administrators said they would ‘definitely’ recommend Internet Voting for their 2018 Municipal Election.

37% of those Voters who chose not to Vote Online cited Security concerns. 54% of all respondents said they believe Voting-by-Mail is less safe than by Internet, but 28% feel Mailing in Ballots is safer, and 18% were not sure.

In a recent Political Science Study of Ontario, 95% of Respondents report being satisfied with the Online Voting process. 88% were ‘very satisfied,’ suggesting a high degree of enthusiasm for the Internet Voting Option. They love the Convenience of Voting from Home. 88% cast their Ballots from Home, and 7% from Work.

Over 95% say they would recommend Internet Voting, and 14% of Online Voters indicated they either ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ would not have cast a Ballot had it not been for Internet Voting. Surprisingly, only 4% of Online Voters are aged 18 to 24 years. 65% of Internet Voter respondents report being over the age of 50.

69% of Candidates report being satisfied with the Internet Voting process. 47% say they were ‘very satisfied'. 73% of Candidates were satisfied with the Security of the Election.

for information about the Online Voting System Ontario used.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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