Edmonton

City to meet with province on e-voting

City staff will meet with the province Thursday to discuss an electronic voting pilot project for the 2013 municipal election.

City staff will meet with the province Thursday to discuss an electronic voting pilot project for the 2013 municipal election. 

E-voting allows people to cast ballots online or over the phone. The city would like to try it on a small scale as a way to increase voter engagement.

"Full blown, city-wide internet voting is not on the radar," said Laura Kennedy, director of elections and corporate records. "It's very much a small scale, lets test something, lets see if it works for us."

The city would like to try e-voting with people who use special ballots because they have mobility issues or are soldiers  serving overseas.

The pilot project would likely have voters download a PDF of the ballot and mail or email it back to the city.

The province would have to make changes to the local authorities election act to allow e-voting. There are concerns about security and cost.

Coun. Ben Henderson also questioned how effective it is.

"Despite the fact we think that voter turnout would go up, that in the municipalities where or in the places where they have done this, there's actually been no change in turnout," he said.

St. Albert, Calgary, Lethbridge, Airdrie and Strathcona County are also looking at e-voting projects.