Accessible Online Voting Removed For Upcoming Election in #Guelph:

Although 12,800 citizens, (33% of the overall vote), used accessible online voting in 2014, City Council voted 7-6 last night to remove the ability for voters to use this same method of casting their ballots in the 2018 election.

I’d like to thank everyone who engaged on this issue over the last few weeks.

Many will ask me, so this is how the voting went:
Voting to save accessible online voting:

Mayor Guthrie, Councillor Mackinnon, Councillor VanHellemond, Councillor Gibson, Councillor Downer, Councillor Billings

Voting to remove accessible online voting:

Councillor Gordon, Councillor Hofland, Councillor Allt, Councillor Salisbury, Councillor Bell, Councillor Wettstein, Councillor Piper.

Take care,


12 responses to “Accessible Online Voting Removed For Upcoming Election in #Guelph:”

  1. Laurie Avatar

    I’m rather disappointed that this issue continues to be muddied with the issue of accessibility. It sounds like you are stating that councillors were against accessibility rather than against the risk of ballot tampering. It is unfair and inappropriate to lump the two to protest one. Let’s look at the accessibility issues and solve them with something other than a hackable method of voting.

  2. lukemabblog Avatar

    Thank you Council for voting against online voting In 2018!

    The professor from London was so interesting.

    Online voting is not like online banking. The need to have your vote be completely private creates a real problem in the software – a moment when the data must be unencrypted – a place where a “talented” hacker can gain access and change the final voting results.

    I’m sure that what is alleged to have happened in the USA presidential election has made the danger so much clearer to all of us who voted online last year.

  3. Craig Avatar

    I used online to vote for Bell,, now I’ll make sure I go stand in line and NOT vote for him !!!

  4. Somerville Team Avatar

    That result is very disappointing! Let’s make sure to get out and vote for Cam in person next election. Cam Guthrie will win again, he is a great mayor and for the first time, I feel connected with the City. Online or in person, you can’t stop the love.

  5. Alan J. Leonard (@alanjleonard) Avatar

    Accessibility is very important. What else is important is security and the integrity of democracy. The internet is NOT a safe place for anybody’s information. Until there is a way to verify security (the Ethereum network could be a solution for this there is no sure way for a citizen of Guelph to verify that the vote that they cast online, is the same one that is counted online. There are too many variables, points of failure, people that write the code that can be influenced (read: bribed), servers run by who-knows, and a myriad of other vulnerabilities.

    Guelph may be a small-ish city, but it’s also a city where a lot of pilot project start and takeoff. I’m glad to see that–for whatever reason–that this isn’t going forward so other municipalities will hopefully follow and choose to NOT cast votes online, where democracy is up for grabs to anybody with a copy of Kali Linux and a little know-how.

    1. Bob Avatar

      I guess I need to tell my accountant stop foling my taxes online as he has done for several years. Sad to see so many dinosaurs exist on city council.

      1. Alan J. Leonard (@alanjleonard) Avatar

        The difference between your taxes and your vote is your name and other info is linked to your taxes. You can trace it back to where things went wrong if you don’t get your return. And you’ll definitely notice if you don’t get your return. When you vote online, and if things go awry, you don’t have any way of knowing that anything is amiss.

        I do my taxes and banking online as well. An anonymous vote is not the same thing.

  6. Marcia Barrett-chartrand Avatar
    Marcia Barrett-chartrand

    I mistakenly voted for Gordon in the past electionS. He has disappointed me on a few issues since Cam Guthrie has become our mayor. I’m so sorry this form of voting has been sidelined BUT I expect I knew it was coming. Here’s hoping I can tolerate the line and get my vote in next election.

  7. Barry Avatar

    One other question I had was each presenter had 5 minutes to present and yet Councilor questions went on and on and some were allowed to ask more than one question. Are there no limits or should there be? I got fed up and stopped watching at 930 for that reason. 3 hours was enough of wasting my time.

    1. Ted Pritchard Avatar
      Ted Pritchard

      I sat in the Gallery from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am the following day and didn’t consider it a waste of time. I’ve never considered considered the 20 minutes it takes to vote in a municipal election a waste of time either. I haven’t missed a single municipal, provincial or federal election from the time I could vote until now and I’m 70. Voting process security and the accuracy of our voting lists is fundamental to the democracy that every Canadian should value. Understanding the candidate who best represents your interests all takes time. The security and the voting process all takes time. Understanding the dangers to your democratic right to cast a vote all takes time. The democracy every Canadian benefits from is worth the time.

      1. Barry Avatar

        Ted I agree with all you said. I guess I should have clarified that I was watching council on my laptop and after 3+ hours I had enough of hearing the same type of questions asked by a select few and decided to do other things with my time. I admire that you sat in this council meeting for that period of time. I have a mobility issue and decided after listening for that length of time that the writing was on the wall and that I would not have online voting for the 2018 election. That was my point but I stand on my other issues based on certain councillor’s history.

  8. Barry Avatar

    Odd that two experts just happened to know about our council meeting and they arrive from London and Waterloo. I noticed as well where and what side of the horseshoe the questions to them were located. I also found it strange a number of our citizens sent in letters and presented but yet it wasn’t an issue to them in 2013-2014. Why were the two out of towners even allowed to present to a council and city they didn’t reside in. I have two words about last night. SET UP!!

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