Surrey is considering moving to a web- and telephone-based voting system for civic elections.

Surrey, Delta look at online voting

Surrey, Delta share concerns about potential abuses.

Before long, voting for your choice of mayor and city councillors could be a matter of walking to your computer – or phone – and selecting your favourite candidates.

Electronic voting is under consideration by Surrey council, which will debate the issue on Monday.

Mayor Dianne Watts favours the idea, but she wants to ensure it won’t be subject to abuse.

She says the advantages of such a system could be substantial, among them an increase in voter participation, ease of taking part in the vote, and environmental benefits, as people won’t be driving to polling places.

Under the system, registered voters would be mailed a PIN (personal identification number) which they would use to log in to a website or identify themselves on the phone.

However, concerns remain regarding the security of the system, Watts said.

Left unchecked, it could be possible for someone to acquire that PIN – or several of them – to vote for the people of their choice.

The system would not be ready for this election, Watts said.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson shares Surrey’s concerns and notes there’s a method in place that works well now. It would be a shame, Jackson said, to wander into a system that could be widely abused.

Last year, Ontario residents in 33 municipalities were given the option of voting over the Internet or phone. Several problems occurred, including some delays in getting people their PIN numbers by mail.

Union of B.C. Municipalities president Barbara Steele, also a Surrey councillor, said she’s heard from some members who are interested in the possibility. She agrees with Watts that a web- and telephone-based system won’t be ready for this November’s civic election, as it would require provincial approval first.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey MLA says she’s still in the dark about RCMP investigation

More than three months have passed since Jinny Sims resigned as minister of citizens’ service on Oct. 4

Late artist Li-Leger would be ‘thrilled’ to see exhibit of his work at Surrey gallery

Cora Li-Leger recalls some adventures she shared with husband Don, who died in 2019

One dead following pedestrian collision in South Surrey’s Campbell Heights

Incident occurred just after 7 a.m. on 24 Avenue near 188 Street

Closures planned for Pattullo Bridge to test early warning systems for earthquakes

TransLink recently installed early seismic warning, wind monitoring systems

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Much-raided Langley animal rescue society loses registered charitable status

Revoked following an audit by Canada Revenue Agency, records show

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Youth hit with gun butt during fight at Lower Mainland mall

RCMP are investigating the fight between two groups of youths

Weather warning: 80 mm of rain expected overnight in Metro Vancouver

Environment Canada is urging caution when driving

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

Most Read

l -->