ONLINE VOTING
Candidates for Council of Wards 5 and 6 were asked to express their feelings about the introduction of online voting during the advance polls in this year's municipal election.
   
ROBERT KIRWAN - WARD 5
 
ONLINE VOTING

 
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(to come)
 
During the 2014 Municipal Election in the City of Greater Sudbury, residents will be able to cast votes from their computers during the advance voting period. While this is being touted by staff and council as tremendous initiative that is sure to increase voter turnout for the 2014 vote, I am totally against the use of the system that has been installed and at this point I don't know of any way that we can protect the integrity of the voting with the use of online ballots.
 
Let me explain my concerns. Every person registered to vote in the election will receive a voter's card in the mail. That card will contain a personal PIN number that is assigned for your name only. When you access the web site in order to vote online, you will be required to enter your name and your date of birth and hen you will be asked to enter your PIN number. Once the computer accepts your PIN number, you will be taken to the page where you can cast your vote.
 
This all sounds very simple and I am sure that the level of security will protect the secrecy of the ballot and prevent anyone from doing anything innapropriate with respect to the technical side of the voting. I am also sure that the totals will be tabulated accurately.
 
My problem is that there is no way of identifying if the person entering the PIN number is the person to whom the PIN was assigned in the first place. I can think of my own situation in my family when my three sons were attending Laurentian University and living at home. If this were the case today, my household would receive five election information cards with five PIN numbers. If my children were not planning on voting themselves, I could ask them if I could vote for them and most likely they would say that there is no problem. If I was voting with a proxy, I would have to follow a rigourous process that ensures I have permission and also that I am only allowed one proxy vote. With the online voting, I could cast a vote for myself as well as my three sons and noone would be the wiser. I would rationalize the action as it being simply a proxy vote for the members in the household. So in fact, while it would appear as if five people voted, in reality only two people would have voted, but one person (myself) would have voted four times.
 
I don't care what people may say about voter "integrity" and "honesty", or about how most people would not intentionally commit voter fraud. However, in this case, there is no way of policing the voting process. And it is questionable whether or not it is voter fraud if your children tell you to vote for them and then indicate to you that they don't know who to vote for but they will take your advice and accept whoever you think should get the vote.
 
Any system that allows people to vote more than once should not be acceptable.

The city staff indicate that the system is set up to notice voting that is done from the same IP address in rapid succession. But how rapid would that be. I am sure that it will not flag four or five votes that come from the same computer one minute apart. And yet that is a definite possibility even if it is done properly. Many families would use only one computer to vote from.
 
I believe that the main reason for implementing the online voting for 2014 is so that we get over 50% of the eligible voters casting ballots so that the referendum results will be mandatory. However, at the end of the day, we will never know if we did receive over 50% of the voters casting ballots or just over 50% of the ballots being cast. That is a real problem.

While I understand that many municipalities have adopted the online voting, I have to ask why this kind of voting is not being used at the provincial or federal levels?
 
Robert Kirwan's Election Web Site
   
Other Candidates Who Have Been Invited to Respond:
   
JOSEPH BERTHOLOT - WARD 5
  
RICHARD LARCHER - WARD 5
    
JOHN LUNDRIGAN - WARD 5
  
KENT MacNEILL - WARD 5
 
WARD 6 CANDIDATES:
  
FERNAND BIDAL - WARD 6
 
KEVIN BRAULT - WARD 6
  
ANDRE RIVEST - WARD 6
  
RENE LAPIERRE - WARD 6
 
  
BACK TO MEET THE CANDIDATES HOME PAGE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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