Sarnia councillors voting in favour of awarding a contract for telephone and internet voting. March 20, 2017 BlackburnNews.com photo by Melanie Irwin

Council Awards Contract For Online Voting

Sarnia Council has taken a significant step forward in implementing telephone and internet voting for the next municipal election in 2018.

A $130,000 proposal, submitted by Intelivote System Inc., has been accepted to provide the services.

Councillor Bev MacDougall believes voting online or over the phone goes hand in hand with being a modern city.

“Many have told me, over the elections I have participated in, about the flaws of our current voting system,” says MacDougall. “People pass away and cards keep getting sent out. No system is without flaws. But, if we want to be a forward moving city, then I think we have to take these steps.”

MacDougall says it’s a necessary step if we want an accessible city.

“We have to meet people where they live. We have to make it easy for them and we’ve all been to voting stations where people are having difficulty maneuvering their walkers and getting in with assistance from friends. We are part of a modern world. Let’s get with the program.”

Mayor Mike Bradley and Councillors Dave Boushy and Andy Bruziewicz voted against the recommendation in a recorded vote. Councillor Brian White was absent from Monday’s meeting.

Bruziewicz said he struggled with his decision.

“I don’t want to be in the way of progress,” says Bruziewicz. “I was ready, almost, on Friday to move on. I gave it some more thought.”

Bruziewicz says he’s concerned about online hacking.

“This is not about Russians hacking here. We have our own local community of hackers.”

The next civic election will be held Monday, October 22, 2018.