City council exploring online voting methods for future elections

By Dryden Observer Staff

Dryden is making it easier for you to cast your vote.

On Monday night council approved the use of Internet and telephone alternatives for the 2018 municipal election.

City clerk Debra Kincaid put forward the measure stating some of the benefits are improved convenience for voters, enhanced accessibility and the opportunity for increased voter turn out; to the last point Kincaid said that Dryden has always had high turn out for municipal elections.

Alternate, remote, methods of voting are not new to Ontario municipalities; vote-by-mail and telephone voting has been used in a variety of municipalities for decades and, more recently, voting via the internet has been increasing in popularity.

In 2014, 97 Ontario municipalities utilized the internet/ telephone alternative voting method for their municipal elections including Kenora. There were no reports of security issues or accessibility of the system.

For the 2018 municipal elections several municipalities in the Kenora/Rainy River District will be investigating if there is any cost benefit to contract jointly with a preferred service company to secure a reduced group rate for these voting services.

For Internet voting all eligible voters receive their voter’s information package by mail and included is a unique PIN code. Voters log on to the election website, enter their PIN and then proceed to mark their ballots electronically.

Kincaid concluded that if we can bank online there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to vote online.

The motion was approved by council with a bylaw to come at a later council meeting.

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