Thursday, October 30, 2003

The fact that high on the list of reasons (if not the #1 reason) for not offering on-line voting to Ottawa voters is inaccurate voter lists does not reassure me in the least. Presumably, we'd all be receiving plain white envelopes marked Important Municipal Election Information if they could iron out that little wrinkle.

Out of curiousity, a friend of mine (one of the voters in this apparent field test of Prescott Russell, and Stormont Dundas and Glengarry) held his envelope in front of a common light bulb, easily reading his six-digit identification number and his four-digit authentication number (CanVote calls it a PIN).

This is truly scary. I thought these discussions (let alone implementations) were years off.
Over the last few days, I've been digesting the news that a limited number of Ontario voters will be able to vote over the Internet (and by telephone) in next month's municipal elections. I wrote the city, looking for more information. Here's their response:

From: suppressed []
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2003 3:13 PM
To: John.Jarvis@suppressed
Subject: RE: Electronic Voting: The Municipal Election and CanVote


From what I have viewed on the CanVote web site it appears that only 2 municipalities in Ontario are using this process. FYI, each municipality within Ontario runs individual election processes for their own municipality. I would suggest you contact the municipal offices listed on the web site to obtain their views. The City of Ottawa is not looking at internet voting as of yet as a result of the poor quality of the voters' list received from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.

Elections Office

-----Original Message-----
From: John.Jarvis@suppressed [mailto:John.Jarvis@suppressed]
Sent: October 29, 2003 11:36 AM
Subject: Electronic Voting: The Municipal Election and CanVote


I was surprised to learn that CanVote ( is providing electronic voting services for the Ontario 2003 municipal elections. Granted, it doesn't look like the service is available to Ottawa voters (yet), but I find myself wondering who decided this was a good idea, and what their plans are for the rest of Ontario in the future. Is this some sort of field trial? Has Ottawa considered it?

I'm really looking for any information you can provide; you don't have to browse the CanVote Web site for long to realize that it is woefully short on information.

Thank you,

John Jarvis