Intelivote Systems Inc.

Intelivote Systems Inc.

September 28, 2009 08:00 ET

Online Voting Results in Record Number of Voters Participating in Halifax By-Election

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 28, 2009) - It appears a lot of voters like the convenience of electronic voting. More voters cast ballots in the September 19th by-election for the new District 6 - East Dartmouth -The Lakes Councillor for Halifax Regional Municipality's Council than in any of the other 12 by-elections since the Halifax Regional Municipality was amalgamated in 1996, and almost 75% of those votes were cast online using the internet or the telephone.

Voters were mailed a personal identification number and required this number and other detailed information as credentials to cast their ballots electronically. A voter could choose whether to cast a traditional paper ballot at a polling location or simply use a phone, or a PC and the internet, and vote from anywhere over the 7 day voting period. Of voters who cast their ballot electronically, approximately 80% voted using the web and 20% used their cell or regular telephone to select the candidate of their choice.

Intelivote Systems of Dartmouth, NS provided the secure electronic voting services to the Municipality, and company President and Founder, Dean Smith was delighted by the record turnout.

"We provided the evoting services when Halifax piloted the use of Internet and telephone voting for three days in advanced polling in their 2008 general municipal election", Smith said, " and the municipality told us many voters wanted to know why they couldn't use the technology on election day last year as well. They listened to the voters and used it for this by-election and the turnout was outstanding."

Over 28,700 citizens voting in the 2008 election cast their ballots electronically in the advanced poll which was held 12 days before the October 18th Election Day.

Halifax's Chief Returning Officer, Linda Grant, who has responsibility for all aspects of the traditional paper voting and the electronic voting for the municipality, confirmed that it would be hard for the municipality to go back to traditional paper voting only.

"When you have thousands of voters who are comfortable using electronic voting and an event like this runs without any electoral concerns or incidents at all, and it affords disabled voters, military personnel, and students away at school an opportunity to cast their ballot; I'd say that's a very positive step for democracy," said Grant.

The last by-election in the Dartmouth region in 2007 resulted in a turnout of only 10.4% and this election more than tripled that turnout with 35.20% of the 12,476 eligible voters casting a ballot.

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