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Middleton revisits electronic voting

The Town of Middleton was all set to use electronic voting for the 2012 municipal elections but all seats were acclaimed. Almost four years later council is taking another look at the topic and is bringing in an expert for their May 16 regular council meeting.
The Town of Middleton was all set to use electronic voting for the 2012 municipal elections but all seats were acclaimed. Almost four years later council is taking another look at the topic and is bringing in an expert for their May 16 regular council meeting.

MIDDLETON - Middleton’s town council will be taking another look at electronic voting in advance of this fall’s municipal elections.

In 2012 council was ready with touch screens and all the technology but didn’t get to use it, says town CAO Rachael Turner.

“They agreed to do electronic voting for the 2012 election, but then there wasn’t an election – it was all acclaimed,” Turner said. “So Middleton has not had experience with electronic voting to date.”

The topic came up at Middleton’s committee of the whole meeting May 2 and after a brief discussion, councilors decided they should have a refresher course on the whole subject.

That’s been set up for May 16 at council’s regular monthly session.

“Last year Halifax Regional Municipality went out on a tender for a bulk purchase for electronic voting services and allowed other municipal units to participate in that,” said Turner. “So the Town of Middleton participated in that.”

Dean Smith from Scytl, the company that ultimately ended up with that contract, will make a presentation to council to outline some of the pros and cons of electronic voting, the security of the system, and the process.

“And I think to take a look at some of the demographics – who utilizes it,” said Turner. “And whether or not they would go with only electronic voting or if they would include paper ballots as well as electronic voting, because you can do both or you can do one of the other.”

The town already has some touch screens that were purchased in advance of the 2012 elections. “They weren’t utilized so we still have them to be used in the 2016 election,” Turner said. She noted they could be set up at town hall or in other locations and could be used in combination with smartphones and home Internet connections.

In 2012 council was ready with touch screens and all the technology but didn’t get to use it, says town CAO Rachael Turner.

“They agreed to do electronic voting for the 2012 election, but then there wasn’t an election – it was all acclaimed,” Turner said. “So Middleton has not had experience with electronic voting to date.”

The topic came up at Middleton’s committee of the whole meeting May 2 and after a brief discussion, councilors decided they should have a refresher course on the whole subject.

That’s been set up for May 16 at council’s regular monthly session.

“Last year Halifax Regional Municipality went out on a tender for a bulk purchase for electronic voting services and allowed other municipal units to participate in that,” said Turner. “So the Town of Middleton participated in that.”

Dean Smith from Scytl, the company that ultimately ended up with that contract, will make a presentation to council to outline some of the pros and cons of electronic voting, the security of the system, and the process.

“And I think to take a look at some of the demographics – who utilizes it,” said Turner. “And whether or not they would go with only electronic voting or if they would include paper ballots as well as electronic voting, because you can do both or you can do one of the other.”

The town already has some touch screens that were purchased in advance of the 2012 elections. “They weren’t utilized so we still have them to be used in the 2016 election,” Turner said. She noted they could be set up at town hall or in other locations and could be used in combination with smartphones and home Internet connections.

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