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Thursday, June 23, 2016

City of Mississauga report on Internet Voting

A good, clear report about Internet voting from the City of Mississauga has been posted.

Potential enhancements for the 2018 Municipal Election: Internet Voting, Ranked Choice Elections and Vote Anywhere. (PDF)

It includes both an summary section (pp. 14-17) and an appendix on Internet voting specifically (pp. 18-23).

Some key highlights (selected by me):
Executive Summary (selected items)
  • Statistics indicate that internet voting does not increase voter turnout or youth participation.
  • The risks to the integrity of an election offering remote internet voting include: electronic security, authentication of elector identity, fraud and equipment failure.
  • Internet voting requires a significant financial investment of approximately $1.1 million
Some additional key quotes:

 "there are risks to be considered. Subversive internet activities continuously evolve in frequency, unpredictability and complexity and may threaten the integrity of an Internet Voting system." - page 15

"The academic community generally agree that there is no guarantee that the transmission of ballots through the internet is secure.

Election officials have no control over the security of the internet devices used by electors to vote remotely. An elector may unknowingly be using a device that has been compromised with illicit software that may direct him/her to a fraudulent election site, duplicate his/her personal information, change his/her vote, etc." - page 19

Unfortunately there are no citations, but that is not unusual for a municipal report.

Thanks to Rachael Williams for her article about the report and the Governance Committee debate about it in the Mississauga News - Mississauga won't use ranked ballots until province implements reform: Governance Committee, and for sharing the link to the report with me in response to a question.

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