Nova Scotia

Province invests $800K in e-voting company

Nova Scotia is investing in an electronic voting company that Halifax Regional Municipality doesn't want to use in the next municipal election.

Intelivote Systems rejected by HRM for 2012 election

Nova Scotia is investing in an electronic voting company that Halifax Regional Municipality doesn't want to use in the next municipal election.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is making an $800,000 venture capital investment in Dartmouth-based Intelivote Systems.  

NSBI gets a seat on the company's board of directors, and if Intelivote performs well, NSBI can "cash out" by selling to another investor. If the company founders, the money is lost.

Intelivote competed for the contract to provide telephone and electronic voting for HRM in the coming municipal election, but lost out in January to Barcelona-based Scytl Secure Electronic Voting.  

Intelivote's bid came in at $883,000, almost 60 per cent higher than the Spanish firm's.

At the time, Intelivote owner Dean Smith complained about the way the competition was scored. He said the Spanish company was using the low cost as a way to get a foothold in the Canadian market.  

Prior to the January decision to award the online voting contract to the Spanish company, Intelivote had provided online and telephone voting for the previous two HRM municipal elections. Intelivote has provided electronic voting for corporations, unions, associations, and municipalities including Berwick, Huntsville, Ont., and Arnprior, Ont.

But the online voting system is not without its problems.  

In 2010, the municipality of Arnprior had to extend it's voting for a day after a glitch related to vote-tracking caused the system to freeze for 57 minutes near the end of the election.  

In March, Mayor Peter Kelly expressed concern over using Scytl after some problems with the NDP's online voting during the leadership election.

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