Transcript: The New Frontier of Online Voting | Sep 19, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and checked blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "The new frontier of online voting. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says VOTING ELECTRONICALLY, THAT
IS, VOTING ON-LINE VIA THE
INTERNET, HAS BEEN ON THE RISE
IN MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN
ONTARIO FOR THE LAST DECADE.
IN THE ELECTIONS TO BE HELD ON
OCTOBER 22ND, SOME
MUNICIPALITIES ARE ONLY OFFERING
THE E-VOTING OPTION.
JOINING US NOW TO CONSIDER
WHAT'S AT STAKE IN SUCH A SHIFT:
NICOLE GOODMAN, ASSISTANT
PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
AT BROCK UNIVERSITY IN ST.
CATHARINES AND DIRECTOR OF THE
CENTRE FOR E-DEMOCRACY AT THE
MUNK SCHOOL OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS AT
U OF T...

Nicole is in her late thirties, with shoulder-length straight brown hair. She's waring glasses, a black blazer and a printed blouse.

Steve continues AND ALEKSANDER ESSEX, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SOFTWARE
ENGINEERING, SPECIALIZING IN
ELECTION CYBER SECURITY, AT
WESTERN UNIVERSITY IN LONDON ONTARIO.

Aleksander is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted blue tie.

Steve continues IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU TWO HERE
WITH US ON TVO TONIGHT.
WE WANT TO SHOW A COUPLE OF
GRAPHICS.
SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD, THE FIRST
GRAPHIC, PLEASE, WHICH TAKES A
LOOK AT ONTARIO MUNICIPALITIES
OFFERING ON-LINE VOTING OVER THE
PAST DECADE AND A HALF

A chart appears on screen with the title "Ontario municipalities offering online voting. Out of 444 municipalities."

The bar chart shows that the number has grown from 12 in 2003 to 194 in 2018.

Steve continues AND AS
WE CAN SEE, 15 YEARS AGO VERY, VERY FEW.
AND NOW IT'S ABOUT HALF.
THERE'S 444 MUNICIPALITIES IN
ONTARIO, SO WE GOT ALMOST HALF
OF THEM THAT ARE OFFERING SOME
KIND OF ON-LINE VOTING.
IF YOU FLIP TO THE NEXT CHART AS WELL...

Another chart reads "Options in municipalities offering online voting."

A pie chart shows that 81 percent only offer online and 19 percent also offer a paper ballot.

Steve continues SOME OFFER ONLY ON-LINE,
AND THEN YOU CAN SEE THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ON-LINE AND
PAPER BALLOTING.
OF THE 194 MUNICIPALITIES THAT
WILL OFFER INTERNET VOTING, 37
OF THEM, 19 percent, WILL ALSO STILL
OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER
BALLOTING.
THIS IS ALL INFORMATION
ACCORDING TO INTEL VOTE, THE
LARGER VENDOR OF INTERNET VOTING
IN ONTARIO.
ALL RIGHT, YOU SEE ALL OF THESE
NUMBERS HAPPENING.
NICOLE, WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?

The caption changes to "Nicole Goodman. Brock University."
Then, it changes again to "E-voting evolution."

Nicole says YEAH, I MEAN, THERE'S BEEN
TREMENDOUS GROWTH.
SO IN 2003 THERE WERE 12
MUNICIPALITIES THAT TRIALED
ON-LINE VOTING.
MARKHAM WAS THE LARGEST AND 11
SMALLER MUNICIPALITIES, AND
SINCE THEN, WITH EACH ELECTION
CYCLE, USERSHIP HAS ALMOST
DOUBLED.
MUNICIPALITIES HAVE FOUND
SUCCESS WITH ON-LINE VOTING IN
TERMS OF INCREASED
ACCESSIBILITY, CONVENIENCE,
SATISFACTION AMONG ELECTORS AND
TURNOUT.

Steve says WHAT'S YOUR VIEW OF
THE WAY THAT ARROW IS GOING, ALEX?

The caption changes to "Aleksander Essex. Western University."

Aleksander says WELL, IT LOOKS LIKE THE NEXT
ELECTION CYCLE WE'LL HAVE 100 percent
SATURATION IN ON-LINE VOTING,
AND AS A COMPUTER SECURITY
TECHNOLOGIST, I'M CONCERNED AND
OTHER COLLEAGUES LIKE ME
INTERNATIONALLY ARE CONCERNED
ABOUT THIS TREND.

Steve says WHAT'S YOUR CONCERN?

Aleksander says WELL, WE HAVE A LOT OF
CONCERNS, BUT IT REALLY COMES
DOWN TO THE IDEA OF HOW YOU
PROVE THAT AN ELECTION REALLY
WAS COUNTED UP THE WAY THAT IT
WAS INTENDED.
THIS IS THE THING THAT WE HAVE A
REALLY GREAT STANDARD FOR THIS
WITH PAPER BALLOTS.
I CAN WATCH THE BALLOTS, THE
PAPER GOING INTO A BOX.
AT THE END OF THE NIGHT I CAN
WATCH THEM POUR IT OUT.
ALL OF THE CANDIDATES
REPRESENTATIVES, THE
SCRUTINEERS, CAN WATCH IT
COUNTED UP.

Steve says YOU HAVE THE PROOF.

Aleksander says YEAH, NOTHING UP MY SLEEVE.
AND SO IN THE ON-LINE VERSION OF
THIS, WHAT'S THE ANALOGUE TO
WATCHING THE PAPER COUNTED UP?
SO THIS IS THE QUESTION.

Steve says I WILL CONFESS TO
YOU... I SHOULDN'T DO ANY
CONFESSING ON THIS PROGRAM, BUT I
WILL CONFESS TO YOU THAT WHEN I
HAVE VOTED IN THE PAST AND I'VE
MADE THE LITTLE MARK ON THE
BALLOT AND THEN I WATCH THE
PAPER GO INTO THE MACHINE AND I
SEE ON THE TALLY, THE LIGHT GOES
OFF, AND IT SAYS THAT IT HAS
BEEN COUNTED, THERE IS A SMALL
SKEPTICAL PART OF ME THAT
WONDERS, NOW, DID THAT REALLY
GET COUNTED?
BECAUSE I CAN'T REALLY SEE THAT
IT DID.
SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT
KIND OF SKEPTICISM?

The caption changes to "Nicole Goodman. Centre for E-democracy."

Nicole says YEAH, YOU RAISED A GOOD POINT
THERE.
YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU CAST A
PAPER BALLOT, BUT IT WENT
THROUGH AN ELECTRONIC VOTING
MACHINE.

Steve says A READER.

Nicole says YES, THE READER.
SO THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
TABULATION, ELECTRONIC
TABULATION AND ON-LINE VOTING.

Steve says WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

Nicole says SO ON-LINE VOTING IS CASTING
A BALLOT AND HAVING IT BEING
COUNTED VIA THE INTERNET, EXCEPT
ACTUALLY IN THE U.S. THERE ARE
HYBRID MODELS USED FOR MILITARY
OVERSEAS WHEREBY THEY RECEIVE
THEIR BALLOT ELECTRONICALLY,
PRINT IT AND MARK IT AND PUT IT
IN THE GOOD OLD MAIL.
THAT WOULD GIVE YOU A PAPER
RECORD.
TABULATORS DON'T USE THE
INTERNET.
THEY ARE JUST MACHINES.

Steve says THEY CAN'T BE HACKED?

Nicole says THERE CAN BE PROBLEMS WITH
TABULATORS.
BUT THEY ARE VERY DIFFERENT, SO
I JUST WANT TO MAKE THAT CLEAR.

Steve says AND YOU'RE TALKING
WHERE YOU ARE BULLISH IS ON THE
GROWTH IN INTERNET-BASED BALLOTING?

Nicole says YES, AND PARTICULARLY REMOTE
ON-LINE VOTING, BECAUSE THERE'S
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ON-LINE
VOTING.
SO YOU CAN VOTE FROM A POLLING
PLACE, RIGHT?
YOU CAN VOTE AT A POLLING PLACE.
AT A KIOSK.
KIOSK ON-LINE VOTING TAKES PLACE
AT MALLS, COMMUNITY CENTRES,
LIBRARIES, CITY HALLS, FOR
EXAMPLE.
IT'S NOT YOUR HOME BUT IT'S ALSO
NOT A TRADITIONAL POLLING
STATION.
SO THE GOAL THERE IS IT
INCREASED ACCESSIBILITY FOR
ELECTORS, BUT THERE'S STILL SOME
CONTROL AMONG ELECTION
OFFICIALS.
REMOTE VOTING OFFERS THE
GREATEST CONVENIENCE FOR
ELECTORS BUT THE LEAST CONTROL
FOR OFFICIALS AND I THINK THAT'S
WHERE THE ISSUES COME FROM.

Steve says I GATHER GUELPH TRIED
ELECTRONIC ON-LINE VOTING
PREVIOUS BUT NOT THIS TIME.

Aleksander says WELL, THE COUNCIL VOTED NOT
TO PURSUE ON-LINE VOTING IN THIS
ELECTION CYCLE.

Steve says BECAUSE WHY?

Aleksander says WELL, I CAN'T SPEAK ON BEHALF
OF THE COUNCIL AND THEIR
DECISION, BUT I WAS ASKED BY
LOCAL RESIDENTS TO COME AND
SPEAK ON THEIR BEHALF.
THEY WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THE
SECURITY SIDE OF THINGS.
THEY WERE ARTICULATING SOME OF
THESE CONCERNS.
I THOUGHT THEY WERE DOING A GOOD
JOB OF IT, BUT THEY FELT THAT
COUNCIL WASN'T REALLY LISTENING
TO THEM, SO THEY ASKED ME TO
COME AND SPEAK ON THEIR BEHALF,
AND I DID, AND SOME OTHER
COMPUTER SECURITY TECHNOLOGISTS
WERE THERE AS WELL.

Steve says APPARENTLY WHATEVER
YOU TOLD GUELPH WAS USEFUL TO
THEM, BECAUSE THEY CANCELLED IT.

Aleksander says IT'S DIFFICULT TO SAY BECAUSE
THEY HAD ALREADY VOTED THE SAME
WAY IN THEIR PREVIOUS COMMITTEE
TO STEP AWAY FROM ON-LINE
VOTING.
SO WHEN THEY ACTUALLY DID THE
FINAL VOTE, EVERYTHING WAS
EXACTLY THE SAME, SO AT BEST WE
JUST DIDN'T... WE HELPED PEOPLE
NOT CHANGE THEIR MINDS.
BUT IT WAS A CLOSE DECISION.
IT WAS ONE VOTE MARGIN.

Steve says HMM.
NOW YOU MENTIONED MARKHAM A FEW
MOMENTS AGO.
MARKHAM, I GUESS, IS THE BIGGEST
CITY IN ONTARIO THAT EMPLOYS
THIS KIND OF ON-LINE VOTING?

Nicole says YES.

Steve says AND WHAT DID MARKHAM
SEE THAT MADE THEM DECIDE WE'RE
HAPPY WITH THIS, IT'S SAFE, OUR
PEOPLE LIKE IT, WE'RE GOING TO
KEEP DOING THIS?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Nicole says YEAH, SO, MARKHAM STARTED A
REALLY ROBUST PROGRAM IN TERMS
OF CONSULTING WITH VOTERS AND
SEEING HOW THEY FELT ABOUT IT.
SO RIGHT IN 2003 THEY PARTNERED
WITH A COMPANY DELVINIA IN
TORONTO, AND THEY STARTED
SURVEYING THIS.
AND THEY FOUND HIGH
SATISFACTION.
SO IN 2003 WHEN THEY INTRODUCED
IT, THEY OFFERED IT IN ADVANCE
POLLS ONLY AND TURN UP WENT UP
300 percent IN THE ADVANCED POLLS.
IN 2006 WHEN THEY USED IT AGAIN
IT WENT UP A FURTHER 43 percent.
IN 2010 THERE WAS NO CHANGE.
BUT IT TRANSFORMED ADVANCE
VOTING IN MARKHAM.
SO BEFORE THEY HAD, LIKE, YOU
KNOW, MAYBE A THOUSAND SOMETHING
VOTERS, AND NOW THEY WERE
REGULARLY GETTING 10,000 VOTERS
IN THE ADVANCE POLL.
AND THIS TIME AROUND MARKHAM IS
TRYING SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT
DIFFERENT AND OFFERING ON-LINE
VOTING FOR THE FULL ELECTION, SO
NOT JUST THE ADVANCE POLL BUT UP
UNTIL AND INCLUDING ELECTION
DAY.

Steve says SO IF YOU BELIEVE IN
INCREASED CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT,
YOU GOT TO LIKE WHAT YOU'RE
SEEING OUT OF MARKHAM?

Nicole says YES.

Steve says DO YOU HAVE ANY REASON
TO EXPECT THAT NOW THAT THEY'RE
GOING TO DO IT NOT JUST FOR THE
ADVANCE POLL BUT FOR EVERYTHING
THAT WE'LL SEE SIMILARLY LARGER
NUMBERS OF PARTICIPATION?

Nicole says YES.
SO I MEAN, IN SOME OF MY
RESEARCH THAT I CARRIED OUT WITH
MY COLLEAGUE DR. LEAH STOKES AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
SANTA BARBARA, WE LOOKED AT
WHETHER IT AFFECTS TURNOUT.
WE LOOKED AT DIFFERENT... WHAT
ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO
PARTICIPATE, AND WE FIND THAT
THERE'S GREATER UPTAKE WHEN IT'S
OFFERED FOR THE FULL ELECTION.

Steve says PEOPLE MAY NOTICE YOUR
FIRST NAME IS SPELLED WHAT
DIFFERENTLY, AND THE "K" IS IN
THERE BECAUSE YOUR BACKGROUND IS
ESTONIAN.

Aleksander says MY GRANDMOTHER WAS ESTONIAN,
AND SO IT WAS IN HER HONOUR.

Steve says I ONLY RAISE THAT NOT
TO TEASE YOU ABOUT IT OR
ANYTHING LIKE THAT, BUT ESTONIA
IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE PLACES
IN THE WORLD THAT HAS REALLY
DIVED INTO THIS.

Aleksander says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says HOW SO?

The caption changes to "Aleksander Essex, @aleksessex."

Aleksander says WELL, THEY HAD THE FIRST
ON-LINE ELECTION FOR A NATIONAL
ELECTION IN I THINK IT WAS 2006,
AND THEY HAVE CONTINUED TO
DEVELOP THEIR TECHNOLOGY.
AND YOU KNOW, ESTONIA HAD A
TOUGH TIME SORT OF IN THE 20TH
CENTURY, SO AS MY GRANDMOTHER
WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW, I'M JUST SO
HAPPY THAT THEY'RE OUT THERE AND
THEY'RE VOTING.
THEY'RE VERY PROUD OF THEIR
TECHNOLOGY AND THEIR
ACHIEVEMENTS IN CIVIL AND
e-DEMOCRACY.
I THINK THAT'S A POSITIVE THING.
BUT YOU KNOW, WE STILL HAVE
THESE SECURITY CONCERNS RELATED
TO THEIR SYSTEM AS WELL.
IT'S NOT... IT'S NOT A CLEAR-CUT
THING.

Steve says I'LL READ A LITTLE BIT
MORE HERE ABOUT HOW IT WENT FOR
ESTONIA IN THE 2005 ELECTION,
ACTUALLY, AND THIS IS FROM A BBC
ARTICLE.

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Has the time now come for Internet voting?" The quote reads "Since Estonia's i-voting began in 2005, there have been no serious security issues.
A crucial part of Estonia's system is that online voting is linked to the country's state-of-the-art electronic identity cards -carried by every citizen and resident.
Digital ID cards allow for the secure authentication of the owner online, and enables a digital signature to be linked to the account. Newer cards include an electronic copy of the owner's fingerprints."
Quoted from Gabriella Mulligan, BBC.com, May 2017.

Steve says NICOLE, I MEAN, IS THIS...
THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF
CONCERN ABOUT PEOPLE GOING TO
THIS MUCH... YOU KNOW, THIS KIND
OF WHAT SOME WOULD SAY IS AN
INTRUSIVE FORM OF I.D.
DOES THIS PREVENT US FROM REALLY
EMBRACING I-VOTING AS MUCH AS
YOU'D LIKE US TO?

Nicole says ESTONIA HAS A TERRIFIC SYSTEM.
IT WORKS REALLY WELL THERE.
ONE OF THE REASONS YES ESTONIA
HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL IS BECAUSE
THEY HAVE BEEN TRIALING THE
TECHNOLOGY FOR SO MANY YEARS.
IT'S THE SAME WITH SWITZERLAND.
THEIR APPROACH MAY NOT WORK IN A
COUNTRY LIKE CANADA WHERE WE
HAVE, LIKE, 32 TIMES THE
POPULATION, BUT...

Steve says ESTONIA HAS THE SAME
POPULATION I THINK MAYBE AS TORONTO.

Nicole says YES.
YEAH, SO A BIT OF OPPORTUNITY TO
GROW THERE.
BUT I THINK THE LESSON WE CAN
TAKE AWAY FROM COUNTRIES SUCH AS
ESTONIA AND SWITZERLAND IS THAT
THEY STARTED WITH PILOTS AND
THEY REALLY PUT A LOT OF
RESEARCH IN.
IF WE WERE TO SEE ON-LINE VOTING
AT HIGHER LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT
IN CANADA, WE WOULD REALLY WANT
TO SEE THEM INVESTING IN
RESEARCH, WORKING WITH PEOPLE
LIKE ALEKS.
NOW RATHER THAN JUST JUMPING
INTO IT.

Steve says IF WE HAD DIGITAL I.D.
CARDS IN CANADA, WOULD YOU BE
ANY MORE SANGUINE ABOUT GOING TO
I-VOTING?

Aleksander says YEAH, IT'S BETTER THAN THE
ALTERNATIVE, WHICH IS NOTHING.
BUT THERE'S TWO THINGS ABOUT THE
ESTONIAN NATIONAL IDENTITY
CARDS.
ONE IS THAT IT PROVES YOUR
IDENTITY TO THE GOVERNMENT,
OKAY?
SO, FINE.
THERE'S MAYBE A BALLOT SECRECY
ISSUE, A CONVERSATION TO HAVE
THERE.
BUT WHAT IT DOESN'T DO, AT LEAST
NOT BY ITSELF, IS PROVE THAT THE
VOTE WAS COUNTED CORRECTLY.
SO IT PROVES FROM, YOU KNOW, THE
CITIZEN TO THE GOVERNMENT, BUT
IT DOESN'T PROVE FROM THE
GOVERNMENT TO THE CITIZENS.
THE OTHER ASPECT OF THIS IS THAT
OCCASIONALLY YOU HAVE
VULNERABILITIES.
CRYPTOGRAPHY IS NOTORIOUSLY
DIFFICULT TO IMPLEMENT
CORRECTLY, AND LAST YEAR THERE
WAS A MAJOR VULNERABILITY
DISCOVERED IN THE ESTONIAN PKI.
THE CARDS WERE ACTUALLY
GENERATING THE SECRETS TO MAKE
THESE DIGITAL SIGNATURES IN A
WAY THAT ALLOWED RESEARCHERS TO
DEMONSTRATE THE RECOVERY OF
THESE KEYS.
SO IMAGINE THAT I COULD CAST A
BALLOT ON YOUR BEHALF AND THEN
ACTUALLY CREATE A DIGITAL
SIGNATURE ON YOUR BEHALF.
SO THEY HAD TO OVERHAUL THEIR
WHOLE PKI.

Steve says PKI STANDS FOR?

Aleksander says PUBLIC KEY INFRASTRUCTURE.

Steve says JUST CLARIFY THIS FOR
US AS WELL.
IF YOU HAVE A DIGITAL I.D. CARD
AND THE GOVERNMENT PRESUMABLY
GAVE IT TO YOU, IF YOU USE THAT
CARD TO VOTE, DOES THE
GOVERNMENT KNOW WHO YOU VOTED FOR?

Aleksander says WELL, SO YOU HAVE TO
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THEY HAVE
THE ABILITY TO RECOVER THAT
INFORMATION BETWEEN WHAT THEY
SAY, WHICH IS, WELL, WE DON'T LOOK.

Steve says GOT IT.
AND DO WE BELIEVE THAT, THEY
DON'T LOOK?

Aleksander says DO YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IT?

Steve says THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
MYTHS ABOUT ON-LINE VOTING.
WHAT'S TRUE AND FALSE?

Nicole says A LOT OF PEOPLE ADOPT ON-LINE
VOTING THINKS IT'S GOING TO
ENCOURAGE YOUNG PEOPLE TO
PARTICIPATE.
I'M SORRY TO SAY THAT IS NOT THE
CASE.
YOUNG PEOPLE PREFER TO VOTE BY
PAPER BALLOT.
NOT TO SAY NO YOUNG PEOPLE WOULD
VOTE ON-LINE.
BUT THEY PREFER PAPER BALLOTS.

Steve says CAN I SAY SOMETHING
TERRIBLE?
YOUNG PEOPLE PREFER NOT TO VOTE
AT ALL.
THE MAJORITY DON'T VOTE.

Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Nicole says IT IS.
BUT IF THEY VOTE, THEY PREFER A
PAPER BALLOT.
THEY ARE VOTING FOR THE FIRST
TIME OR EARLY IN THEIR VOTING
CAREER, AND IT'S A RITE OF
PASSAGE FOR THEM.
MYTH 2 IS THAT OLDER ELECTORS
WILL NOT USE ON-LINE VOTING.
NOT TRUE.
THEY ARE THE PREDOMINANT USERS
OF ON-LINE VOTING.
THE AVERAGE AGE OF AN ON-LINE
VOTER IN ONTARIO IS 53 COMPARED
TO 44 YEARS FOR A PAPER VOTER.

Steve says WE ACTUALLY HAVE THIS.
GO AHEAD.
LET'S BRING THIS GRAPHIC UP,
SHELDON.
WHO VOTES ON-LINE?

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Who votes online?"

Steve reads data from the slate and says
HERE IS YOUR AVERAGE INTERNET VOTER.
53 YEARS OLD AS NICOLE SAID, 55
TO 65 IS THE MOST COMMON AGE GROUP.
HAS SOME UNIVERSITY EDUCATION IN
THEIR BACKGROUND.
ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME ON THE
HIGHER END OF THE INCOME SCALE,
IS MARRIED, LIVES IN THE SUBURBS
AND IS A FREQUENT VOTER.
SO YOU'RE RIGHT, NOT YOUNG
PEOPLE, AND THAT'S KIND OF
SURPRISING BECAUSE WE'RE LED TO
BELIEVE THAT YOUNG PEOPLE ARE SO
TECH SAVVY THAT THEY WOULD LOVE THIS.

The caption changes to "Digital divides."

Nicole says YES, YES, BUT ON THE OTHER
HAND A LOT OF MUNICIPALITIES AND
GOVERNMENTS IN GENERAL WERE SORT
OF WARY ABOUT ADOPTING
TECHNOLOGY THINKING IT WOULD
ONLY APPEAL TO YOUNG PEOPLE AND
NOT YOUNG VOTERS.
THAT'S A MYTH.
ONE OTHER MYTH IS A LOT OF
PEOPLE SAY ON-LINE VOTING
DOESN'T INCREASE TURNOUT.
BASED ON A STUDY I CARRIED OUT
OF MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS WE FIND
THAT IT DOES INCREASE TURNOUT,
BY 3.5 PERCENTAGE POINTS, AND IF
VOTING BY MAIL WAS NOT IN PLACE
BEFOREHAND, TURNOUT INCREASE WAS
DOUBLE THAT.
THIS IS REALLY SIGNIFICANT,
STEVE.
ALTHOUGH IT IS AT THE LOCAL
LEVEL SO WE CAN'T MAKE JUDGMENTS
ABOUT HIGHER LEVELS OF
GOVERNMENT, BUT WHEN WE CHANGE
AN SMP ELECTORAL SYSTEM FOR
EXAMPLE TO A MORE PROPORTIONAL
ONE, THE LITERATURE SHOWS THAT'S
ABOUT A 5 percent DECREASE IN TURNOUT,
DEPENDING ON WHAT WAY YOU GO.
A FIRST PAST THE POST ELECTORAL
SYSTEM.
IF YOU CHANGE A PROPORTIONAL
SYSTEM TO... SORRY, A PLURALITY
SYSTEM TO A PROPORTIONAL SYSTEM,
YOU SEE ABOUT A 5 percent INCREASE.
IF YOU IMPLEMENT COMPULSORY
VOTING, THE INCREASE IS 7 TO
14 percent, DEPENDING ON THE
JURISDICTION.
ON-LINE VOTING COULD BE A MUCH
SMALLER CHANGE IN VOTING RULES
THAT COULD DELIVER MUCH LARGER
PAYOFFS FOR GOVERNMENTS IN TERMS
OF TURNOUT INCREASE.

Steve says ALEX, GIVEN HOW FEW
PEOPLE VOTE AT THE MOMENT AND
PARTICULARLY WE'RE COMING UP TO
A MUNICIPAL ELECTION, MUNICIPAL
ELECTION TURNOUT OFTEN, YOU
CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG, I THINK
IT'S 25 TO 30 percent OR SOMETHING.
IT'S REALLY NOT GREAT.
IF YOU COULD BUMP THAT BY 5, 10,
15 percent BY INTRODUCING I-VOTING,
WOULD THAT BE WORTH DOING IN
YOUR VIEW?

Aleksander says WELL, YES, BUT IT DEPENDS ON
THE COST, RIGHT?
SO IF THERE'S A HIDDEN COST TO
THIS, WHICH IS THAT IN THE LONG
TERM WE DON'T HAVE AS MUCH
CONFIDENCE IN THE OUTCOME AS WE
HAD IN THE PAPER BALLOT METHOD,
THEN IN THE LONG TERM THAT'S
MAYBE NOT A GOOD TRADE.
YOU KNOW, THERE'S A LOT OF TALK
ABOUT THE NOTWITHSTANDING
CLAUSE, AND SO I WENT BACK TO
LOOK AT SOME SUPREME COURT
DECISIONS TO PREPARE, AND YOU
KNOW, THE SUPREME COURT SAYS THE
DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IS A
CORNERSTONE OF OUR SOCIETY, AND
IT FLOWS FROM THE CONFIDENCE
THAT WE HAVE IN THE MACHINERY,
IN THE PROCESS.
SO THE SYSTEM GETS LEGITIMACY
FROM THE CONFIDENCE IN THE
PROCESS.
SO WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO HAVE
THAT CONFIDENCE, AND SO IF WE
MOVE TO A SYSTEM THAT DOESN'T
HAVE THAT SAME TRANSPARENCY,
THEN IN THE LONG TERM HOW DO WE
MAINTAIN THAT LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE?

Steve says LET ME PICK UP ON
ANOTHER ONE OF NICOLE'S COMMENTS
IN TERMS OF WHEN YOU INTRODUCE
INTERNET VOTING, WHO VOTES?
MIGHT THE COMPOSITION OF THE
ELECTORATE BE AFFECTED IF
COUNCILS DECIDE TO INTRODUCE
I-VOTING OR NOT TO HAVE IT?

Aleksander says WELL, SO, I THINK THAT NICOLE
MIGHT BE THE BEST PERSON TO
ANSWER THIS QUESTION BECAUSE
SHE'S DONE RESEARCH INTO THIS
NOTION OF WHAT DIGITAL
TECHNOLOGY CAN DO TOWARDS
DISENFRANCHISING INDIVIDUALS,
BUT I WOULD SAY THAT IF YOU LOOK
AT THE UNITED STATES AND THE
LEGAL WRANGLING THAT THEY HAVE
WITH VOTER I.D. LAWS, SIMPLY
ALLOWING SOMETHING AS SIMILAR AS
ALLOWING I.D. AT THE POLLING
PLACE HAS THE PERCEIVED EFFECT
OF DISENFRANCHISING GROUPS OF
PEOPLE.
SO NOW WE MAKE IN THESE CITIES
THAT HAVE ONLY ON-LINE VOTING WE
MAKE... I MEAN, I HAVE RELATIVES
THAT HAVE NEVER OWNED A
COMPUTER, NEVER WILL.
HOW DO THEY VOTE?

Steve says THEY WOULD BE
DISENFRANCHISED IF YOU HAD ONLY
INTERNET VOTING.
POSSIBLY.

Nicole says IF I CAN SPEAK TO EQUALITY
AND INCLUSIVENESS OF VOTING.
A COUPLE OF POINTS, ONE WHEN
IT'S INTRODUCED AS A
COMPLEMENTARY METHOD, WE SEE
BENEFITS IN TERMS OF INCREASING
THE INCLUSIVENESS OF THE
ELECTORAL PROCESS.
SO ONE, IT INCREASES THE
ACCESSIBILITY FOR SPECIAL GROUPS
OF ELECTORS THAT HAVE... FACE
ADDITIONAL BARRIERS WHEN VOTING.
PERSONS WHO BELONG TO INDIGENOUS
COMMUNITIES, ELDERLY PEOPLE WITH
MOBILITY ISSUES, STUDENTS WHO
ARE AWAY AT SCHOOL, BUSY
FAMILIES, OTHER PERSONS LIVING
OVERSEAS, SO WE CAN SEE IT
IMPROVE VOTING FOR THEM, ALSO
FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.
PAST APPLICATORS THEY CAN VOTE
UNASSISTED FOR THE FIRST TIME.
WHEN YOU'RE ELIMINATING PAPER
VOTING AND OFFERING AN ONLY
ON-LINE OR ELECTRONIC ELECTION,
SO A LOT OF MUNICIPALITIES WILL
OFFER HYBRID, ON-LINE AND
TELEPHONE VOTING TOGETHER, YES,
THAT
COULD CERTAINLY CHANGE THE
COMPOSITION OF THE VOTING
POPULATION, AND SOME OF THE
RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT PEOPLE
ARE BEING DIGITALLY
DISENFRANCHISED ON THIS BASIS.

Steve says WHO, FOR EXAMPLE?

Nicole says PEOPLE WITH LOWER LITERACY
SKILLS AND ACCESS.
WE'RE CARRYING OUT WITH RYERSON
A PROJECT THIS FALL CALLED THE
ELECTRONICS PROJECT, AND WE HOPE
TO ANSWER THREE QUESTIONS.
ONE IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU
TAKE PAPER VOTING AWAY WITH
RESPECT TO VOTER TURNOUT.
HOW DO THINGS CHANGE.
TWO, HOW DOES IT AFFECT THE
COMPOSITION OF THE VOTING
POSITION, AND POTENTIALLY
ELECTORAL OUTCOME AND THE THIRD
QUESTION LOOKS AT PAPER
ATTITUDES.
WHEN WE TAKE PAPER VOTING AWAY,
DOES THAT GIVE YOU MORE NEGATIVE ATTITUDES.

The caption changes to "For more information: electronicelections.ca"

Steve says YOU MENTIONED THE
NOTWITHSTANDING CLAUSE A SECOND
AGO WHICH SEEMS TO BE A BIT IN
THE NEWS THESE DAYS.
IT'S ALL PART OF THE CHARTER.
GIVEN THE POTENTIAL
DISENFRANCHISEMENT NICOLE JUST
MENTIONED, IS THERE A POTENTIAL
CHARTER CHALLENGE HERE AROUND ANY OF THIS?

Aleksander says WELL, REMEMBER, THE WHOLE
REASON WHY WE'RE IN THIS WHOLE
MESS TO BEGIN WITH IS BECAUSE
THE GOVERNMENT DECIDED TO CHANGE
THE GROUND RULES OF AN ELECTION
DURING THE ELECTION.

Steve says THE PROVINCE.

Aleksander says YES.
SO WITH ON-LINE VOTING GOING TO
A MODEL WHERE YOU CAN ONLY CAST
YOUR VOTE ON-LINE, THERE ARE
POTENTIALLY GROUPS THAT WILL BE
DISENFRANCHISED BY THAT.
BUT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN
RELATES TO THE CANDIDATES AND
HOW WE CAN ASSURE PEOPLE THAT
THEIR VOTE'S COUNTED AND THAT
THE CANDIDATES THAT LOST, THAT
THEY REALLY LOST.
SO YOU KNOW, WE ALREADY SAW THE
SPECTRE OF THIS RAISED DURING
THE PC LEADERSHIP RACE, FOR
EXAMPLE, WHICH WAS DONE IN AN
ON-LINE VOTING SYSTEM.

Steve says JUST TO CLARIFY, THIS
WAS THE ONE WHERE DOUG FORD BEAT
CHRISTINE ELLIOTT, CAROLINE MULRONEY.

Aleksander says THAT'S RIGHT.
SO HIS CAMPAIGN RAISED THE
SPECTRE OF CHALLENGING THE
LEGITIMACY OF THE ON-LINE VOTE
BECAUSE OF TECHNICAL ISSUES AND
SO FORTH.
SO THIS IS THE RISK THAT WE'RE
RUNNING BY EXPERIMENTING WITH
THIS PARTICULAR TECHNOLOGY, BUT
YOU KNOW, YOU CAN GO DEEPER THAN
THAT AND JUST SAY, WELL, WHAT IS
THE EVIDENCE THAT WE'RE
PROVIDED?
I MEAN, I HAVE PEOPLE CONTACTING
ME FROM ALL AROUND THE PROVINCE.
I HAD A MEMBER OF A CANDIDATE
FOR ONE OF THE COUNCIL RACES
CONTACT ME JUST THIS MORNING AND
SAID... WAS ABLE TO ARTICULATE
THIS ISSUE, WHICH IS HOW DO WE
KNOW THAT OUR VOTES ARE COUNTED
UP CORRECTLY?
WHAT IS THE BURDEN... THE BURDEN
OF PROOF IS THAT THEY, THAT THE
GOVERNMENT HAS TO PROVIDE
EVIDENCE.
AND WHAT WE SEE WITH THE ON-LINE
VOTING SYSTEMS IS SOMETHING
SIMILAR TO TAKING THE BALLOT BOX
INTO A ROOM AND, YOU KNOW, WE
DON'T KNOW WHO'S IN THE ROOM AND
THEY COME OUT WITH A NUMBER.
SO...

Steve says WELL, LET ME JUMP IN
THERE FOR A SECOND.
NICOLE, WHAT CAN YOU SAY TO ALEX
TO ALLAY THOSE CONCERNS THAT HE HAS?

Nicole says WELL, I THINK ALEX'S CONCERNS
ARE IMPORTANT, AND I'M REALLY
GLAD THAT YOU'RE HAVING THIS ON
TODAY TO DEBATE THIS.
THIS DEBATE GETS AT THE CORE
DEBATE OF ON-LINE VOTING THAT
HAS BEEN HAPPENING FOR 20 YEARS,
AND THAT IS ACCESSIBILITY AND
TURNOUT ON THE ONE HAND AND
SECURITY ON THE OTHER, AND THE
REALITY IS THAT BOTH OF THESE
THINGS NEED TO BE BALANCED.
WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE
MAINTAINING ELECTORAL INTEGRITY,
AND ONE OF THE THINGS WE'LL GET
TO ALEX AND I ADVOCATE FOR
PUTTING IN GUIDELINES OR
STANDARDS THAT MUNICIPALITIES
COULD FOLLOW TO ENHANCE THEIR
TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AND GIVE
THEM A BETTER ABILITY TO VET
VENDORS, AND ALSO ENSURE THAT
WE'RE HOLDING THINGS TO A HIGHER
STANDARD.
ON THE OTHER HAND, IF THE
GOVERNMENT... THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT WERE TO TAKE AWAY THE
ABILITY FOR MUNICIPALITIES TO DO
THIS, YOU KNOW, THEY COULD BE
REALLY AFFECTING TURNOUT.
AS SOCIETY CHANGES AND WE
INCREASINGLY ADOPT TECHNOLOGY,
IT MAY BE LESS OF A QUESTION DO
WE NEED ON-LINE VOTING TO
ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO VOTE OR DO
WE NEED ON-LINE VOTING TO KEEP
PEOPLE VOTING, RETAIN CURRENT VOTERS.

The caption changes to "Lobbying for legislation."

Steve says IF WE DON'T OFFER THAT
AS AN OPTION, TURNOUT COULD
CONTINUE TO FALL.
THAT IS A CONCERN, WOULDN'T YOU AGREE?
WE DO HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO...
I SHOULDN'T SAY IT.
I SHOULD ASK IT.
DO WE NOT HAVE TO DO SOMETHING
TO ENSURE THAT TURNOUT DOESN'T
CONTINUE TO FALL TO ALARMINGLY
LOW LEVELS?

Aleksander says WELL, IT AGAIN IT COMES DOWN
TO THIS QUESTION OF AT WHAT COST.
SO IF YOU WERE TO IMAGINE A
SITUATION WHERE THERE WAS, YOU
KNOW, A MAGIC BOX THAT JUST
PRODUCES A RESULT AND THEN, YOU
KNOW, WE HAVE TO FORM A
GOVERNMENT BASED ON WHAT THAT
MAGIC BOX SAID, YOU KNOW, THAT'S
NOT GIVING US THE CONFIDENCE
THAT THE SUPREME COURT SAYS THAT
WE NEED TO HAVE IN THE
INSTITUTIONS.
SO WE REALLY HAVE TO LOOK AT
WHAT IT IS THAT WE'RE TRADING
OFF FOR THE ADOPTION OF THE
TECHNOLOGY.
WE DON'T HAVE TO TAKE ON NEW
TECHNOLOGY.
PEOPLE SEEM TO VIEW PAPER BALLOT
VOTING AS KIND OF SIMPLE IN THE
SORT OF NAIVE WAY WHEN, IN FACT,
IT'S SIMPLE IN THE ELEGANT WAY.
IT'S A DESIGN ELEGANCE FORMAT.
SO THERE'S THIS ARGUMENT,
COUNTER-ARGUMENT THAT SAYS IF IT
AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT.

Steve says SHOULD THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT PASS A LAW SAYING
UNTIL WE ARE 100 percent SURE OF THE
INTEGRITY OF AN e-VOTING OR
I-VOTING SYSTEM, WE'RE NOT GOING
TO ALLOW MUNICIPALITIES TO DO IT ANYMORE?

Aleksander says WELL, LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT
THE MUNICIPALITY ELECTIONS ACT.
IN THE SECTION ABOUT ALTERNATIVE
METHODS, IT DOESN'T EVEN NAME
ON-LINE VOTING.
IT NAMES TELEPHONE VOTING AND
VOTE BY MAIL.
BUT THE ACT WAS WRITTEN IN THE
WINDOWS OF '95 ERA.
ON-LINE VOTING HADN'T HAPPENED
ANYWHERE, AS FAR AS I CAN TELL.
AT THE TIME THEY WEREN'T REALLY
THINKING ABOUT THIS.
THIS WAS BEFORE SEPTEMBER 11,
BEFORE FLORIDA 2000, BEFORE
HAVA AND THE AMERICAN
ELECTIONS COMMISSION SYSTEM AND
HACKING DEMOCRACY AND ALL OF
THESE BIG BANG EVENTS THAT HAVE
SHAPED OUR UNDERSTANDING OF
ELECTIONS AND CYBER SECURITY.

Steve says WOULD YOU BE PREPARED
TO SEE THAT KIND OF A LAW PASSED
UNTIL EVERY I WAS DOTTED AND T
CROSSED TO PEOPLE'S SATISFACTION?

Nicole says LOOK AT WHAT'S HAPPENING
RIGHT NOW WHEN THE PROVINCE IS
TRYING TO DIP THEIR HANDS INTO
MUNICIPAL BUSINESS.
YES, SO I TAKE ALEX'S POINT.
HOWEVER, I ACTUALLY... I SAVOUR
THE LANGUAGE OF ALTERNATIVE
VOTING FOR A FEW REASONS.
ELECTIONS ONTARIO DID A REPORT
IN 2011 WHEN THEY WERE
CONSIDERING ON-LINE VOTING AND I
THINK IT'S CALLED ALTERNATIVE
VOTING TECHNOLOGIES, ACTUALLY.
SO THAT LANGUAGE HAS BEEN
CARRIED AND IS RELATIVE CURRENT.
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE
MUNICIPALITIES, SURE, THEY ARE
CREATURES OF THE PROVINCE, BUT
THEY SHOULD HAVE RELATIVE
AUTONOMY TO CARRY OUT ELECTIONS
AS THEY SEE FIT.
IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT
THERE IS VAST VARIANCE IN TERMS
OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF
MUNICIPALITIES, THEIR RESOURCES,
THEIR GEOGRAPHY.
SO WHAT WORKS IN ONE MAY NOT
WORK IN ANOTHER.
SO I THINK KEEPING THAT LANGUAGE
OF ALTERNATIVE VOTING IS
IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT CAN
ENCOMPASS SO MANY DIFFERENT
VOTING METHODS AND ALLOWS THEM
TO PICK AND CHOOSE.
IF I COULD MENTION ONE OTHER
QUICK THING WITH RESPECT TO
DIGITAL DISENFRANCHISED, I
WANTED TO MENTION THAT
MUNICIPALITIES GOING ALL THE WAY
ELECTRONIC, FULLY ELECTRONIC
ELECTIONS, THEY ARE TAKING
MEASURES TO IMPROVE
ACCESSIBILITY.
THEY ARE GOING DOOR TO DOOR WITH
iPADS.
THEY ARE... IN RETIREMENT HOMES,
FOR EXAMPLE.
SUDBURY HAD A BUS IN THE LAST
ELECTION THAT CIRCLED THE CITY.
SO THEY ARE TAKING MEASURES TO
IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Steve says GOTCHA.
GOOD DEBATE.
WE'LL SEE WHERE IT ALL LANDS.
IT WON'T ON OCTOBER 22, BUT IT
MAY AS THE YEARS UNFOLD.
NICOLE GOODMAN FROM BROCK UNIVERSITY.
ALEKSANDER ESSEX FROM WESTERN UNIVERSITY.
THANKS FOR COMING ON TVO TONIGHT.

Both guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: The New Frontier of Online Voting