Online voting rejected by Waterloo city council

City of Waterloo residents will vote the traditional way in the 2014 municipal election, with a pencil and a paper ballot.

City of Waterloo residents will vote the traditional way in 2014, with a pencil and a paper ballot.

Councillors voted unanimously against online voting, citing potential security risks.

"That paper ballot is 100 per cent anonymous. Your initials aren't on it and there is nothing that links it back to your computer or your person," said ward 4 councillor Diane Freeman.

Freeman said she is open to revisiting online voting in the future.

"If other governments or other levels of government deem a system that can be duplicated, that can be anonymous, that can allow individuals to ensure that their vote is registered with complete personal anonymity, then we should look at it again."

Engineer highlights risks

Some councillors expressed interest in implementing an online voting system until they heard the risks highlighted by Dave Suffling, a senior research engineer with an anti-virus vendor.

"If someone refuses to count a ballot, the fraud is obvious. Whereas if you are dealing with a computer system it's going to spit out a number and you either trust that number or you don't," Suffling said.

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