Online Voting

'22 Ontario online voting

Numerous municipalities in Ontario have successfully implemented online voting in previous years. In 2022, of 417 municipalities, 217 are using online voting, up from 175 in the previous election, despite the 2018 failure of Colorado-based Dominion Voting Systems to properly contract and/or enforce its SLA with a local service provider (which caused more than 50 municipalities to extend voting hours. In particular, Thunder Bay, Kingston, Markham, Vaughan, Sarnia and Brantford are using a mix of paper ballots and online voting while Barrie, Belleville, Brockville, Kenora and Kawartha Lakes are offering a mix of online and IVR (touch tone) voting, foregoing paper ballots entirely (screenshots, ctv). In Toronto, we should follow the former approach.

Online or Electronic voting is often met with FUD and that may be the reason why we have yet to implement it in Toronto at public level, even though it has successfully been implemented in many private settings, such corporate board and general meetings, universities etc. The unfortunate reality is that we know very little about our existing, non-electronic voting systems - more precisely, we have no way of knowing that once votes are electronically collected they are not mishandled and we assume that nobody can take over an entire voting station or that it is subject to adequate checks, yet it is precisely this lack of knowledge and occasional malfunctions that some populist politicians were able to exploit. Those who oppose electronic voting do so by stocking up fear in a new system that is easier to use and allows more people to vote while professing trust in an older system that is likely just as vulnerable to hijacking, speculating the fear of unknown.

E-Voting in Estonia

Estonia and other similarly-sized jurisdictions have long ago successfully implemented it, increasing voter participation as Ontario experiments showed and making democracy more resilient to pandemic lockdowns.

Prestigious institutions such as IEEE have been studying it: not flawed, tech management, Namibia vs ~, verifiable, blockchain.