Kitchener-Waterloo

North Dumfries to reconsider online voting for 2022, says Mayor

North Dumfries Mayor Sue Foxton says she's heard from residents who had trouble voting online or by phone in Monday's municipal election. She says she wants council to think twice about how it will conduct the election in 2022.

'Some people had a very hard time doing it and some people just gave up,' Mayor Sue Foxton said

North Dumfries Mayor Sue Foxton says she's heard from residents who had trouble with internet and phone voting in the municipal election and she wants council to reconsider using it in 2022. (CBC)

Mayor Sue Foxton says North Dumfries will reconsider using online voting in the next municipal election.

North Dumfries was not negatively affected by the voting technology going down during Monday's municipal election, as was the case in Wellesley and Woolwich, because it used a different election system provider.

Still, Foxton says she heard from constituents who were unhappy with the process. 

"A lot of people did not feel safe about it. Some people had a very hard time doing it and some people just gave up and didn't vote. So I don't think it's the answer that we hoped it would be," Foxton said in an interview Wednesday.

In 2014, the township saw 39.3 per cent voter turnout. This year, it went down slightly to 37.6 per cent.

"One of the reasons doing this was to see if we could get more voter turnout," she said.

She noted most residents in the rural parts of the township don't have high-speed internet, which affected their ability to get on the website and cast a ballot.

"Attempting to get on, or all of a sudden being on and getting cut off, is an issue," she said. "And a lot of the ones that did the telephone voting couldn't understand what was being said. So you've got hearing issues and other things with an aging population."

Foxton says she wants to look at tabulators for the next election, which is scheduled for October 2022, and also is looking at the option of having more days to vote.

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