SEGUIN TWP. - Seguin has taken a first step into the digital democratic age.
At Monday’s council meeting, staff was directed to review alternative voting methods for the 2014 municipal election. In particular, internet and telephone voting is being looked into.
David Conn, mayor of Seguin Township, said they want to look into ways to make voting even easier for the constituents.
“It’s my understanding that internet voting is a very efficient, and some what convenient way for voters to cast their votes and it’s particularly important for an area such as ours where so many voters are seasonal,” said Conn.
Seguin enjoys a very high voter turnout when compared to similar municipalities. Voter participation in the township has consistently been between 53 and 57 per cent. Staff believe internet and telephone voting would increase participation even further.
Seguin currently makes use of a vote-by-mail system which replaces the need for traditional polling places. The new system being reviewed would have voters using the internet or their phones to vote.
“I think our vote-by-mail system has worked extremely well,” Conn said. “I think it’s one of the key reasons our turnout is either 55 per cent or higher, and I just see internet voting as the logical next step. My understanding is, other municipalities who have used it have said it’s a very effective way to vote.”
Surrounding municipalities have indicated support from their ratepayers for a similar switch towards the more modern voting method. The Town of Parry Sound is implementing internet and telephone voting for its 2014 election.
Election day for Seguin Township is scheduled for the fourth Monday of 2014.