Last night at General Committee, Council discussed the 2022 Municipal Election – Voting methods… That’s right, we were discussing the way that each and every one of you would be able to cast your vote in the upcoming 2022 election. Well this discussion was not as in depth as last term when we first discussed making the move to implement online voting. This report was for Council to consider the recommendation to continue with the hybrid model that was used in the 2018 election.
I have always believed that internet voting is a great step forward for our Town as it would allow those that have accessibility issues, as well as seniors that might not be able to make it out to traditional polling stations, to be able to vote. Online voting will give those disenfranchised voters the opportunity to exercise their democratic right; ensuring everyone can access their right to vote.
While security concerns with online voting is an issue that has been raised previously, our Staff are not aware of any known instances where voter fraud has taken place, or where the security of the voting system has been compromised. This is a safe, reliable and the most accessible way to have residents exercise their democratic right.
We have time as per the ACT to approve the voting method for the 2022 election. However, the benefits of Council approving the hybrid model at this time are that we are able to continue to work with the same vendor from the 2018 election. This vendor is the most reputable provider of voting systems and one of the few that provide both online and tabulators together. By making this decision now, we will realize cost savings as we will be able to lock in at the 2018 price for 2022.
There have been additional discussions about removing the in-person paper ballot and moving to a full online voting system. While our world is moving more and more towards everything being done online, I have always believed that we need to continue to provide the option of casting a ballot in person. This ensures everyone can exercise their right to vote in the manner that best suits their preference and need.
I was pleased to see that Council approved the recommendation to continue with a Hybrid voting system for 2022 election. Looking forward to casting my ballot once again online.