Will online voting attract other PEI municipal voters?

electors Charlottetown, Three Rivers, Cornwall, Stratford And the Summerside They can therefore have the opportunity to choose the mayor as well as the members of their municipal councils online, in 2022.

Summerside It was the latest municipality to approve the online voting project, at the end of June.

Political scientist Yvonne Grenier of St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia believes that the face of voters may change due to the choice of online voting.

Photo: Radio Canada

According to Yvonne Grenier, professor of political science at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, easy access to the virtual ballot box should attract citizens who were previously less inclined to participate in elections.

In all elections in the country, the people who will generally abstain are most likely young people, certain minorities, people who are disadvantaged in one way or another, and also less affluent people.

Quote from:Yvonne Grenier, political scientist

He said that this group of voters could change the rules of the game in the upcoming elections.

This is not easy, because in municipal elections, the party that always wins is the party with the least abstentions., he adds.

For other groups of voters, in-person voting will always be popular. Let’s say that for the wealthy, the elderly for example, it probably won’t change their participation rate significantly.Says Yvonne Grenier.

Norma McColman.

Norma McColman, loyal to Mayor of Summerside (Archives)

Photo: CBC

Vote in person

Norma McColman, the acting mayor of Summerside, was pleased with the approval of the project.

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According to her, although the option to vote online will be offered, in-person voting will still be possible.

So we thought that by offering both possibilities, people can choose, explain Norma McColman.

Next steps

Elections PEI will now have to select a company that can implement an online voting system.

A call for proposals will be issued to select a company that can meet all the needs and requirements of the Municipal Governments Act.

The chosen company will have to develop its platform using the PEI election database.

Tim Garrity.

According to Tim Garrity, Prince Edward Island’s chief election officer, the process of evaluating business proposals will give municipalities the opportunity to make informed choices.

Photo: CBC

In an email sent to CBCAnd the Tim GarrityPEI Chief Electoral Officer, explains that the proposal evaluation process will allow municipalities to understand the advantages and disadvantages of implementing the project.

This process will give a clearer idea of ​​whether or not an online component should be added to the upcoming municipal elections, especially depending on the level of security and costs.

Quote from:Tim Garrity, Chief Electoral Officer of Prince Edward Island

Tim Garrity He adds that the implementation of such a project represents an additional effort to organize the elections.

We hope there will be a positive outcome, but we recognize that there is a lot of work to be done before this becomes a reality., He said.

according to Norma McColmanThe cost of implementing the online voting system is estimated to be around $100,000.

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The next municipal elections will be held on the island in November 2022.

with information from CBC

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