North

Northwest Territories' move toward online voting sparks spirited debate

The Northwest Territories' move to allow online voting in the upcoming territorial election — becoming the first province or territory to do so in a general election — is drawing plenty of discussion.

Residents laud increased access to ballot box, but some worried about potential fraud

Northwest Territories voters are split on the merits of online voting, with some saying it will provide increased access to the ballot box, and others decrying what they see as a potential security risk. (Peter Power/Canadian Press)

The Northwest Territories' move to allow online voting in the upcoming territorial election — becoming the first province or territory to do so in a general election — is drawing plenty of discussion, with some residents highlighting the opportunity for increased participation, and others saying the change puts the territory at an increased risk of voter fraud.

CBC's Trail's End asked several Yellowknife residents for their thoughts on the change.

When asked whether he would vote online, Donald Weston had a simple response: "You bet I will."

"It's 20 years overdue, for all of Canada, as well as the territories," he said. "Every province should have it."

Isabel Menacho agreed, saying she plans to vote online in October.

"I think it would be really easy ... I'm either over at work, or I'm at home, I really wouldn't have the time to go vote in person," she said.

Beyanna Lynn was more measured in her response, saying that she had some trepidation about the idea.

"There's something about being in person, I think, that matters," she said. "I guess I worry about the ability to tamper with online voting. Seems easier somehow."

Several online commenters expressed similar sentiments on Facebook:

Daryl Van Patten suggested that voter fraud could be on the rise with online voting on CBC North's Facebook page. (Facebook)
Greg Murphy said he trusted the old fashion methods of voting more, and suggested alternate methods for voter security. (Facebook)

Yellowknife North candidate Rylund Johnson also chimed in on Facebook, coming out in support of the idea:

Yellowknife North candidate Rylund Johnson says he plans 'to vote for myself online in bed in my pyjamas out of principle.' (Facebook)

"I am going to vote for myself online in bed in my pyjamas out of principle because I have been saying this should happen for years," he said.

What do you think of the Northwest Territories' move toward online voting? Comment below, send us a message on Facebook, or call our talkback line at 1-866-271-9957.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.