Guelph to consider Internet voting for 2014 municipal election

Internet voting offers electors more accessibility and convenience

Guelph, On, July 5, 2013 – On July 16, the City’s Governance Committee will consider using remote Internet voting as an optional alternative to paper ballots at voting places, during the advance voting period in the 2014 municipal election.

“The City is exploring ways municipal voting can be more convenient and accessible to Guelph voters,” said City Clerk, Blair Labelle. ” Academic and best practices research confirms Internet voting—compared to vote-by-mail and telephone voting—offers the greatest benefits and poses the least amount of risk.”

Guelph residents also support the use of Internet voting, according to a public opinion survey commissioned by the City last month. The findings from 600 telephone interviews conducted by Oraclepoll Research Ltd. reveal a greater number of Guelph electors are more likely to vote using Internet voting (48 per cent) if offered by the City, when compared to traditional paper ballots (40 per cent).

Remote Internet voting, as recommended in a staff report by the City Clerk’s Office, will not replace the traditional method of casting a paper ballot at a local voting place. If the report’s recommendations are approved, Guelph voters can choose to cast their electronic ballot online from a computer, tablet or smartphone of their choice or by paper ballot at a voting place during the advance voting period. Internet voting will not be offered on voting day—Monday, October 27, 2014.

Use of Internet voting is becoming more common in Ontario municipalities. More than 100 Ontario cities will consider the use of Internet voting as either a primary or complementary voting method in the 2014 municipal election.

To submit your written comments or to speak to the Governance Committee on this topic, contact the City Clerk’s Office at 519-837-5603 or clerks@guelph.ca by July 12, at 9 a.m.

If approved by the Governance Committee, this matter will be added to the City Council agenda for consideration on Monday, July 29.

Read more information.

For more information

Blair Labelle
City Clerk
City Clerk’s Office
Corporate and Human Resources
519-822-1260  extension 2232
blair.labelle@guelph.ca