Posted September 24, 2014
Well if it didn’t work in this week’s New Brunswick provincial election as advertised, what makes it workable in Guelph?
It seems Dominion Voting Systems Corp. has signed contracts with dozens of Ontario municipalities to use its integrated Internet and manual voting systems.
Yep! Guelph has signed on.
When council voted to introduce Internet voting, the administration songbirds touted it as another progressive step to bring the city in lock step with the growth of technology. Guelph is not alone in signing up with this company. Other cities and towns include Halton, Burlington, Peterborough, Markham, Oshawa, Kingston, Chatham-Kent
The City of Toronto passed on this system in favor of its own Internet voting system for the visually impaired. Do they know something the others don’t?
The Dominion Voting Systems Corp. contract requires two options: To buy online voting services or lease the vote counting machines.
It is not known at this time which option Guelph chose.
The experience in New Brunswick revealed that first, the poll results are called into the returning office where they are manually entered into the system and posted online.
Later on, memory cards from tabulation machines are brought from the polling stations to the returning office The memory card results are uploaded to the provincial website, replacing the results that were entered manually.
The New Brunswick election officials admitted there was “slight discrepancy” between the data from some of the memory cards and the numbers that were entered manually.
It would appear that a “slight discrepancy” is an indication that the system contracted by the City of Guelph is open to human error and the potential of manipulating the vote.
Absent is no apparent checks or balances system to ensure validity of the vote. The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for Guelph is recently appointed city clerk, Steve Vincent. He’s been on the job about three months replacing Blair Labelle who was moved to head up the IT (information technology) department.
As this is probably the most important vote in recent memory, the administration must ensure the system operates without error, that all is above board and transparent.
Another important aspect for this CEO is to avoid the debacle in recent elections where certain voters deliberately voted more than once. One student bragged that he voted five times.
On the surface, the Dominion Voting Systems Corp has experienced some glitches that may or may not be the fault of the system purchased by Guelph.
You can be assured that today, there are some very concerned electoral officers in two dozen municipalities across Ontario who signed contracts with this company.
The last thing we need is a contested election based on a breakdown of the voting system and or fraudulent voting.
After all, Guelph has the dubious distinction of being the home of vote fraudster Pierre Poutine in the last federal election.