THUNDER BAY – Readers Ledger – Opponents of internet voting are derided as being against progress and the future of democracy. I ask all of those who support internet voting this one simple question. How can we allow internet voting in municipalities, when there are no standardized procedures outlined in the Municipal Elections Act to address any concerns regarding privacy, security, accountability and transparency?
Section 47(5) of the Act authorizes scrutineers to assure votes are being counted properly, but these regulations only seem to be relevant with hand-counted ballot elections. Our present electronic scanned ballot counting system and internet voting are referred to in the Act as “Alternative Voting Methods”. In this case, the Act exempts “Alternative Voting Methods” from Section 47(5) disallowing scrutineers from examining the ballots and places the entire responsibility of verification with the City Clerk. The City Clerk is not required to verify the election results to the standard required for elections results determined by hand-count methods.
There are many concerns with internet voting that have never been addressed. If the results are manipulated, where is the proof, voting results have been electronically changed? Each voter will be assigned a PIN#. Both their name and chosen candidate are associated with that PIN#. Where is the assurance that their name is not directly associated with the candidate of their choice? Since voting will be done from a remote location, how can we be assured one person didn’t vote on behalf of all family members or even trusted friends?
On June 24th, I will be doing a deputation to city council expressing these and many other concerns. Democracy can never progress, if new technologies compromise transparency, accountability, security and privacy.