Question: This election cycle, our city will be voting exclusively using an e-voting format (internet and phone). The internet based method is being introduced for the first time this year, with paper ballots no longer being an option. What are your thoughts on this year’s voting process?
Answer: The choice to convert our voting systems to an electronic format was done in the name of efficiency. I believe emerging technologies do play a key role in government/civic process and am eager to see how this new format performs in our city. E-voting does offer a number of advantages that the paper ballot does not including ‘ease’ of voting anywhere there is a wifi connection. However, many believe it compromised accessibility and sense of data security without consulting the voters. No citizen should feel anxious about the voting process, a staple of our democracy. According to Intellivote, the company hired by the city to run this E-election, they are currently supporting the introduction of e-voting to 30 municipalities across the province that will be providing the option of a paper ballot. Why were we, the taxpayers, denied the opportunity to be informed and provide input about these decisions? Such actions disrespect the electorate and lead to a lack of confidence in the governing process. Transparency and openness are the markers for trustworthy governance. Any candidate for council needs to give citizens the assurance that they will give citizens a chance to be part of the dialogue in an effective manner.