P.E.I. electoral reform vote expected to happen over 10 days
Islanders to vote online, by phone or by paper ballot in November plebiscite
The province's chief electoral officer is recommending 10 days be set aside this fall for Islanders to vote on the electoral reform plebiscite.
Gary McLeod said that should give people enough time to vote online or by phone. Two of those 10 days will be set aside for people who still want to vote by paper ballot.
Islanders will vote in November on five options for electing their MLAs, including the current first-past-the-post system.
McLeod said last time the province held a vote on electoral reform, in 2005, it was done on only one day and voter turnout was low. He said the key this time is to educate the public on the different options, and give them ample time to make a decision.
"People want to know how a particular person is going to be elected," he said.
16 and 17-year-olds
Information cards will be sent to every eligible voter, which for the first time includes 16 and 17-year-olds.
It is also the first time Elections P.E.I. will use online and telephone voting. Worry not, McLeod says.
"There's credentials that will be required to make sure we do actually have the person who is going to be voting on the line, or on the internet," he said.
Elections P.E.I. is in the process of hiring a company to carry out the online and telephone voting, he said.
"It is all new to us, but it's not that this hasn't been tried and used in other places. Internet and phone voting has been used quite successfully in many other elections in Canada and North America."
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With files from Kerry Campbell