Online Voting

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Online Voting

Post by oneh2obabe »

Internet voting in advance polls in Markham has helped increase overall voter turnout, engage non-voters to vote and greatly improve overall voter satisfaction, according to a research and public opinion report released Monday.

In the report by Delvinia, a digital strategy firm, voter turnout in Markham has increased by 35 per cent since the introduction of Internet voting in 2003, and much of that is attributed to the advent of online voting.

“Offering Internet ballots in advance polls in Markham has permanently transformed advanced voter turnout,” said Nicole Goodman, a PhD candidate in political science at Carleton University who studied alternative voting methods for the report.

Markham was the first major municipality in Canada to experiment with Internet voting. Eighty municipal elections in Canada have used Internet voting.

Voter turnout at advance polls increased by 300 per cent in 2003 and continued to increase through the 2006 and 2010 elections. Michelle Huycke was among those early online voters in Markham last year.

She was among the 91 per cent of Internet voters who cast their ballot from home and among the 99 per cent who were satisfied with the online voting process.

“I didn’t have to find out where I was going to vote, or leave the house or worry about making it to the poll on time,” said Huycke, 64. “Plus it’s easy and you don’t have to wait in line.”

The report shows that Internet voting has the ability to lure non-voters into the election process: 25 per cent of online voters in 2003 said they didn’t vote in 2000; 21 per cent said the same in 2006 and 9 per cent in 2010. Overall voter turnout in Markham in 2010 was 36 per cent. It was 26.7 per cent in 2003.

The thousands who are now voting earlier have fundamentally changed the way politicians approach elections — they must make an impression as soon as the campaign begins, said Markham’s mayor, Frank Scarpitti.

“When I was out canvassing last year, I came across many people who had already voted online,” said Scarpitti, who’s been Markham’s mayor since 2006. “Luckily, they voted for me.”

Scarpitti believes this shift to early voting means that successful campaigns will no longer be geared to the big finish on election day.

“It was a real eye-opener for us,” Scarpitti said. “But we are so happy with the increased turnout and it’s worked out so well for us that it’s time to expand this to provincial and federal elections.”

Elections Ontario plans to have a pilot Internet voting test in 2012 and must report back to the legislature about alternative voting technologies. Elections Canada will also pursue Internet voting with a trial slated for 2013, likely in a byelection.

But what appeals most to voters is the convenience online voting provides. Huycke said previous trips to vote could take an hour or two, depending on the location of the polling station and the length of lineups.

“It took me five minutes to vote last year,” Huycke said. “And I was really impressed by the security.”

First, Huycke went online to request to vote through the Internet. Then she received a voter card in the mail with a unique identification number, which she input, along with a password she created, in order to register.

A week later, she received a second voter card in the mail with a new identification number, which she then used, along with her own password and date of birth, to log in to vote. Then she clicked a few buttons and voted.

Would you vote online?

•Those aged 45 to 54 are the most likely to make use of Internet voting.

•The average Internet voter has some university education and falls into an income bracket between $55,000 and $84,999.

•Most online voters have access to the Internet at home, use the Internet frequently and have good access.

•Users are more likely to be nonimmigrants and report English as their mother tongue. (There were seven languages to choose from in Markham’s online voting system.)

•The rate of use of Internet voting among young people appears to be declining with each election cycle, while it is increasing among older electors.

•About one-third of people 18 to 24 say they wouldn’t have voted had Internet voting not been an option.

•The youngest and oldest online voters are most likely to cite accessibility as their main motivation for voting.
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Re: Online Voting

Post by coffeeFreak »

It would likely engage many more to vote, but there are just too many variables that could effect the vote. If our own govt can't protect themselves, who is to say online voting won't be hacked and manipulated...

Government warned of hacking
Departments advised of potential computer breaches days before they happened
By The Canadian Press
Mon, Sep 26 - 4:55 AM
OTTAWA — Hackers may have had a four-day head start when they broke into government systems in January in an attack that continues to leave many employees without full Internet access and revealed flaws in the security of federal computers.

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press say the Treasury Board and Finance departments were notified of "harmful activity" on Jan. 24 by the agency that oversees communications security in Canada.

The departments, whose networks are linked, began to remove infected computers and institute a series of rolling Internet outages to get to the root of the attack.

"I received the report, nothing major," Luc Parson, chief of information technology security for the Treasury Board, wrote in a Jan. 25 email. "We were already doing all the recommendations except for like 1."

However, Communications Security Establishment Canada went back to the departments on Jan. 28, a followup that provided "our first realization of the severity of the problem," according to a draft action plan written by the agency after the incident.

Exactly what damage the hackers managed to do was censored in the hundreds of pages of emails, reports and other documents released under the Access to Information Act. But a Jan. 31 note says the attack was serious.

"Indications are that data has been exfiltrated and that privileged accounts have been compromised," the incident report says.

Meetings between CSEC and the two departments on Jan. 28 triggered a more drastic Internet shutdown that partially continues to this day and threw information-technology staff in both departments into crisis mode as officials scrambled for a fix without clear guidelines as to who was in charge.

"Governance around the crisis needs to change," wrote Marie McDonald, a senior bureaucrat within Treasury Board in the aftermath of the attacks.

When the attacks became public, then-Treasury Board President Stockwell Day acknowledged the hackers were after financial records, but said nothing was compromised.

Government employees in a number of departments had been repeatedly warned only a week earlier that someone was trying to break into their computers.
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Re: Online Voting

Post by western_star »

Well if banks can have secure websites to doing banking, I don't see why voting can't be online. Funny thing .. I have never heard of someone hacking a bank, have you? You would think if any hacking would go on it would be at the bank :)
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Re: Online Voting

Post by Ub2 »

western_star wrote:Well if banks can have secure websites to doing banking, I don't see why voting can't be online. Funny thing .. I have never heard of someone hacking a bank, have you? You would think if any hacking would go on it would be at the bank :)

Just google 'bank hacking' . . . here is a couple of links . . .

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