E-voting: Coming to a city near you?

Surrey and Vancouver are planning to implement E-voting in upcoming civic elections, most likely due to my post last week on voting via the internet.

Well, maybe I can’t take all the credit, but I’m still excited by the news that we could see some form of E-voting sooner rather than later. The immediate prospect of increasing voter participation–particularly young voters–is exciting in itself but, for me, the potential this brings for true citizen involvement in public policy enraptures me even more than the rumoured Christy Clark fundraising calendar.

What say you?

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4 Comments

Filed under BC politics

4 responses to “E-voting: Coming to a city near you?

  1. Pam

    I’m an enthusiastic supporter in principle but the part about ensuring that the person who is voting is the person who is SUPPOSED to be voting baffles me… At one level we currently treat the right to vote as something that is so sacred you can’t just assign to your husband, or maybe your butler, to go vote for you — you actually have to do it in person. With internet voting, even if each voter is assigned an individualized code (which would be necessary), there is no way of stopping this code from being circulated to someone else. So do we care about this casual within-the-family transfer of votes, and if so how can it be stopped?

    On a more ominous level, what about political campaigns collecting codes from people to do the voting for them (why not, they offer to drive people to the polls…), or even buying codes from people? Surely we would need some new laws introduced to make this illegal, but even if it is illegal, it won’t stop people (especially some types who tend to be involved in political parties).

    At the very least I expect the only way such a system could work would be to require people to apply and sign up for the right to vote online in person witnessed by an electoral officer — rather than for codes just to be assigned to all voters indiscriminately and be floating around out there for the taking. This kind of defeats the purpose, and even then, voter fraud could still run rampant.

  2. Jason Scott

    Thanks for raising those points, Pam.
    I agree those are issues to be addressed, but I submit that these issues (and others) are also part of our current system.
    For instance, people can (and do) buy votes already. Also, I once showed up to vote with a care card and a hydro bill and was welcomed with open arms.
    These are legitimate concerns, though, and it’s good to get the conversation going so we can start looking for solutions.

  3. John O

    Christy Clark calendar? Are you a liberal?

    • Jason Scott

      Hi John O.
      No, I’ve never been a member of a political party, and I don’t intend to become one. I think our elected reps’ loyalty to parties, rather than constituents, is at the heart of most of the problems with our system.
      I think there are good people out there, and I cast my votes on people not on parties.
      If the next leader of the NDP (Nicholas Simons) also wants to put together a calendar I’ll buy that one, too.

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