By Heather Killen
This October municipal election voters can phone in their choices for town council in Middleton.
The town has opted to make the shift to an electronic voting system. At its regular meeting on May 7 council voted in favour of e-voting, a system where votes are cast by phone or computer instead of on paper.
Clayton MacMurtry, chief administrative officer, said that Yarmouth and Halifax have already made the switch and it seems to be a “convincing, secure, and accurate system.”
“There aren’t any recounts with this, it is what it is,” he said. “It has some advantages. It extends the advance polls and gives those who are out of town, like students, an opportunity to vote.”
For those too busy to go the polls, residents can vote via the internet and phone. People who enjoy going to the polls can still go to the kiosk to cast their ballots; but instead on marking the choices on paper, the choices would be made by touching a computer screen.
MacMurtry said because the town will need to invest in equipment, it is slightly more expensive (less than $1000) than paper voting, but he expects it to save money in the long run.
Two monitors will be purchased and available at the town office in the weeks leading up to the municipal election. He added that the system is very easy to use, with a touch screen and plenty of support from staff.
It is hoped that the new system may boost voter turnout by attracting a more tech-savvy generation, but MacMurtry isn’t convinced by the statistics he’s seen so far.