Elections P.E.I. drops online voting plans for next fall's municipal elections

·2 min read
Elections P.E.I. had issued a request for proposals in August after P.E.I.'s five largest municipalities voted in favour of introducing an online option in the November 2022 elections.  (Al MacCormick/CBC - image credit)
Elections P.E.I. had issued a request for proposals in August after P.E.I.'s five largest municipalities voted in favour of introducing an online option in the November 2022 elections. (Al MacCormick/CBC - image credit)

There won't be online voting in the next municipal election after all.

Elections P.E.I. said all the proposals it received for the development of an online voting platform were either too costly or didn't meet its technical and security requirements.

The office had issued a request for proposals in August after P.E.I.'s five largest municipalities voted in favour of introducing an online option in the November 2022 elections.

"We did get several responses," said Tim Garrity, P.E.I.'s chief electoral officer.

"It was determined that for the cost that we were hoping to stay within and the technical specs that we're requiring to be able to have the companies meet, we were not able to find a successful vendor that would be able to meet all of our specs in the timelines that we would require."

Garrity said Elections P.E.I. didn't want to make it prohibitively expensive for the municipalities to introduce an online option as they would still have to foot the bill for all the costs involved in a normal election.

He said Elections P.E.I. wanted all five elections to be held for under $100,000. Some vendors came close to that figure, but they failed to meet all of Elections P.E.I.'s other requirements.

Those who did meet the requirements were usually two to three times more expensive than what Elections P.E.I. was seeking, Garrity said.

He also said that with school board elections coming next year, it was becoming more complicated for the office to continue advancing the project.

"With the small office staff that we had, we just felt it was prudent for us [to decide] that the online option wouldn't be the best thing to proceed with for the 2022 elections," Garrity said. "Not saying that it can't be looked at for the next time around."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting