P.E.I.'s 5 largest municipal councils in favour of online voting option for next elections

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Tim Garrity, chief electoral officer for Elections P.E.I., says there's still 'a great deal of work to be done' before online voting is in place for municipal elections. (Kirk Pennell/CBC - image credit)
Tim Garrity, chief electoral officer for Elections P.E.I., says there's still 'a great deal of work to be done' before online voting is in place for municipal elections. (Kirk Pennell/CBC - image credit)

All five councils of Prince Edward Island's largest municipalities have now voted in favour of the option of online voting for the next municipal elections.

Summerside council was the last to vote, unanimously agreeing on Monday night. The other municipalities that voted in favour were Charlottetown, Three Rivers, Cornwall and Stratford.

"We're happy about it," said Norma McColeman, deputy mayor of Summerside. McColeman said there will still be an option for in-person voting.

"Some people do prefer online voting, whereas, you know, you may have some people who still wish to do the in-person voting," McColeman said.

"So we felt that by having both available, it really covers that gamut for people to have that choice."

'It's progress'

Now that all five of the municipalities have given the green light, Elections P.E.I. can move forward with next steps.

Wayne Thibodeau/CBC
Wayne Thibodeau/CBC

That includes a formal request for proposals to see if there is a company that can meet all of the needs and requirements of the Municipal Government Act and work with the existing database systems at Elections P.E.I.

"The RFP process will give the municipalities a clearer picture whether or not the online component should/could be added to the next municipal election based on the level of security and costs," said Tim Garrity, chief electoral officer for Elections P.E.I., in an email to CBC.

"We hope that there will be a successful outcome but realize that there is a great deal of work to be done before this becomes a reality."

McColeman said Elections P.E.I. gave municipalities a breakdown of the approximate costs for implementing an online voting system, which she said was about $100,000 all together.

Summerside council discussed the option of online voting for a fair amount of time, making sure their decision was aligned with what voters wanted, said McColeman.

"Many people today are online for so many other different things. Many people do all of their banking and studying online," she said.

"I believe that it's progress."

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