The TNRD will try to get support from other regional districts and municipalities for online voting in civic elections.
At its meeting this week (Feb. 14, 2019) , the board approved sponsoring a resolution to the Southern Interior Local Government Association when it meets this spring. If approved by SILGA, it would be presented to the annual convention of the Union of B.C. Municipalities for consideration in September.
Resolutions approved by UBCM are then presented to the provincial government.
Several directors, including me, opposed the resolution. Chair Ken Gillis, Sun Peaks director Al Raine and others expressed concern about the possibility of interference by those who might hack into the system and mess with the vote.
Kamloops Director Ken Christian supported it, saying we need to increase turnout in civic elections — which has fallen to 30 per cent and even lower — and online voting is one way to do it.
My objection was for another reason: people should be encouraged to get out of the house and participate in democracy rather than relying on technology without interaction.
In my view, online voting won’t increase the numbers of informed voters. We’re going through a period in which apathy and cynicism are keeping people away from polling stations, and we have to get at the root cause of that rather than trying to use easy technology fixes.
— Mel Rothenburger, Director, Electoral Area P, TNRD