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WIN! Guelph chapter celebrates City Council vote against online voting proposal

Guelph chapter activist Richard Chaloner speaks against online voting at Guelph Committee of the Whole meeting, April 3, 2017.

The Council of Canadians Guelph chapter is celebrating the defeat of the use of online voting in next year’s municipal election in their community.

Guelph Today reports, “Guelph City Council has officially rejected online voting for the next municipal election. At a meeting that started Monday [April 24] night and lasted over six hours, council voted 7-6 against a motion to have online voting available for the advance polls in 2018.”

That article highlights, “Monday’s meeting included 15 delegates, 13 of them speaking against online voting at this point.”

Chapter activist Norah Chaloner tells us, “Several Council of Canadians members wrote letters and made delegations at this meeting.” Overall, more than 290 emails were sent to city councillors on this issue.

At the City Council meeting last night, chapter activist Lin Grist told councillors, “Voting in an election is not like shopping for groceries.”

The Guelph Mercury reports, “A couple of Internet experts from Kitchener-Waterloo and London, Ont., warned council that online voting threatens the integrity of the voting system, largely because of the risk of hacking.”

The Guelph Today article adds, “Aleksander Essex, a Western University professor with an expertise is online voting, told council that ‘we are all in uncharted territory here’ when it comes to online voting. He said there are ‘insufficient advances in the technology to implement it at this time’.”

That article also notes, “Dave Suffling, who works for a private cyber security company, also spoke out against online voting at this time. ‘I would like to tell you what you want to hear, but I have to tell you what you need to hear’, Suffling said.”

A fuller analysis of concerns about online voting by our Guelph-based community activist ally Susan Watson can be read here.