Monday, August 22, 2016

City of Kitchener 2012 Report on Internet Voting

The City of Kitchener did a report in 2012, titled FCS-12-191 Alternative Voting - Internet Voting (link will open a page viewer).

Because the City of Kitchener website provides a page viewer and a button to generate a PDF download, I've made a copy of the PDF, you can view and download it from Google Drive (click the down-pointing arrow in the upper right of that screen to download).

The report is particularly good is in the area of turnout.  It concludes
there is no clear indication that [internet voting] increases voter turnout. There is data that shows internet voting does not increase voter turnout amongst younger voters. 
The conclusion is supported by tables in the Results and Outcomes section showing data from Markham, Peterborough, and Burlington, with a particularly detailed breakdown for Markham.  See the image extracted from the document below:

Let me re-emphasize the last sentence in the above extract:

There is clear evidence that, regardless of geography internet voting does not attract younger voters.

I believe it is the Markham evidence that underlies the Canadian Internet Voting Project's (@ivotingproject) October 31, 2015 tweet stating "Young ontario voters (aged 18-24) more likely to use paper ballots than internet voting"
The Kitchener report however unfortunately comes to an incorrect conclusion about security "Security issues are a real threat but most studies conclude that the risk is small to medium." The reality is most studies conclude the risk is large.

The staff report's Executive Summary recommended against adopting Internet voting and indeed Kitchener rejected Internet voting for 2014.

Executive Summary (extract)

Staff is of the opinion that [internet voting] should not be introduced in 2014 based on several factors outlined in greater detail in this report such as:
June 23, 2016  City of Mississauga report on Internet Voting

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