Beginning with elections in October Ajax will become the largest municipality in Canada to embrace e-voting. Though online voting was pioneered by near-by Markham, Ajax will be unique in its decision to go paperless in that Markham has only opened up e-voting for advanced voters. Paper ballots are still cast in Markham, according to NRU Publishing.
Ajax, NRU Publishing reports, will open up voting for an eight day period. All voters will receive a PIN which they will be able to use to vote online, or by phone. The Toronto Sun stated that after entering their PINs, voters will have to answer a series of security questions in order to deter hackers and skewed votes. There will also be e-voting booths for those who still prefer to vote in person, and that voting will be open 24/7 until polls close.
"Yes, it is an unsupervised method, but I would argue that unsupervised voting is certainly not a new thing, certainly not specific to Internet voting," said Nicole Wellsbury, deputy clerk of the Town of Ajax, "Many municipalities have been using the mail-in ballot for decades, which has been regarded as an acceptable method of voting, and I would argue that mail-in voting is less secure with less of an audit trail. We could tell if 300 pins were voted from a single IP address."
According to Nicole Goodman, a political science assistant professor at McMaster University, the real advantage to e-voting is accessibility. Previously the voting process was technically unequal due to the hindrances placed on those with disabilities or previous obligations by physical voting. Ease of use and accessibility have made paperless operations a popular path recently as more local governments and businesses have adopted document management software in the name of business process automation.