On Monday April 3rd, despite learning that over 12,800 votes (33%) cast during the 2014 Guelph municipal election were submitted online, seven councilors decided they wanted internet voting removed altogether in 2018.
This was unprecedented. On a recomendation from staff to expand internet voting in 2018 to include election day, seven Councilors unexpectedly brought forward an amendment of their own. An amendment to completely remove internet voting in 2018. And within 30 minutes they had passed it. No consultation, no notice, no public debate.
They passed this motion with full knowledge that the 2014 Guelph Municipal Election saw the highest voter turnout in 20 years (43%). Up from only 34% in 2010. In addition, they passed this motion with full knowledge that hundreds, if not thousands of new voters intended to use internet voting in 2018 (based on phone survey results).
In conclusion…they knew it would suppress the vote.
Guelph if you valued the ability to cast your vote online in 2014, or would consider it in 2018, please consider sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to express your support. The council ratification vote is on April 24th and emails need to be received before April 20th at noon.
Council needs to hear your voice on this!