Consultation and Evaluation Practices in the Implementation of Internet Voting in Canada and Europe
Appendix 1: Interview Questions for Experts Interviewed for This Paper
Were there consultations with either stakeholder groups or the general public?
- At what stage(s) of the process did consultations take place? Various stages may include: idea stage; development stage; implementation stage; evaluation stage.
- What form did the consultations take? These forms might include solicited and unsolicited submissions, in-person and virtual meetings, calls for genuine input, or attempts to sell or refine a policy already decided.
- Are alternative electronic methods of voting considered, or is one focused on? This will be related to the stage of the process mentioned above.
- How are the consultations publicized and reported?
- Are specific stakeholder groups explicitly included; for example, those representing people with disabilities?
- Are current officeholders and prospective candidates included, to consult about the potential effects on their campaigns?
- How is the subject of security concerns dealt with? Is it the major subject? Are IT groups with expertise invited? How technical are these discussions?
- How is the subject of costs dealt with?
- Is the question of open source or proprietary software, and contracting out or "in-house" operation, part of the discussion? Are service-provider firms part of the consultation process?
- Are there written reports of consultations, compilations of briefs? If not, why not?
- Are there ongoing consultations with the same groups or persons, to provide continuity?
Were formal evaluations performed, and if so, are there written reports available?
In more detail:
- What were the criteria of evaluation, and were they established at the outset for goals to be achieved in the areas of increased accessibility, turnout increase, public approval, extent of utilization and other possible criteria?
- What methods were used in evaluation? What are the indicators?
- To what extent are simple "sign off" judgments by officials or approvals by legislatures used as evaluations?
- Were public opinion surveys done to determine reaction, and if so, what were the results?
- How are questions of cost factored in to evaluations?
- Have adjustments to voting methodology been made as a result of evaluations?
- Have stakeholder groups been approached for input during evaluation?
Appendix 2: Information Regarding the Centre for Public Involvement (CPI) Online Survey of Edmonton Citizens on Internet Voting
Prepared by Kalina Kamenova, CPI Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Director
Centre for Public Involvement
Online Survey on Internet Voting
The online survey consisted of 35 questions, including a final open-ended question for comments and feedback. Multiple-choice and ranking scale types of questions were utilized to determine general attitudes toward Internet voting; voting behaviour; participation in municipal, provincial, and federal elections; interest in politics; trust in government and political efficacy; computer and Internet usage; and knowledge of the City of Edmonton's public involvement process. A set of demographic questions (questions 19 to 24) was included to cross-tabulate demographic characteristics (age, gender, education, income, marital status, and geographical location) with attitudinal data.
Links to the survey were posted on the City of Edmonton and CPI website. The online survey was open from September 1 to December 9, 2012. Participants were asked to provide consent to participate in a post-survey measuring learning and opinion change in the wake of the Jellybean Election and CPI public involvement campaign on Internet voting. A link to the online follow-up questionnaire would be e-mailed to all respondents who consented to participate on December 10, 2012, and responses would be collected until December 17, 2012.
Summary of Results
The online survey was completed by 400 citizens. The results reported below are preliminary and limited to a small number of attitudinal questions that could be of particular interest to policy-makers. Survey data were to be analyzed in January 2013, and the final results will be presented in a peer-reviewed academic publication.
Public Acceptance of Internet Voting
The survey data show strong public support for the introduction of an Internet voting option in the 2013 Edmonton election. The opening survey question was, "Do you agree that Internet voting should be introduced as an option for eligible electors* in the 2013 Edmonton election? (*Electors will be allowed to use the Internet to cast their vote if they are unable to vote on Election day due to physical incapacity, absence from the local jurisdiction, being a candidate, official agent or scrutineer, or working for the election)." In response to this question, 54.0 percent of the respondents strongly agreed, 22.5 percent agreed, 5.0 percent were undecided, 5.3 percent disagreed, and 13.3 percent strongly disagreed (based on 400 responses).
A subsequent question, "Do you agree that Internet voting should be available to all citizens who are eligible to vote in Edmonton municipal elections?," asked about extending the availability of an Internet voting option to all electors. The following responses were provided: 56.5 percent of respondents strongly agreed, 19.8 percent agreed, 5.8 percent were undecided, 3.5 percent disagreed, and 14.3 percent strongly disagreed (based on 398 responses).
Likelihood of Using Internet Voting in Future Municipal Election
Over two thirds of respondents indicated they would use the Internet to vote in municipal elections, if this option were available. The following question was asked: "If available to everyone, how likely is it that you would use the Internet to vote in future municipal elections?" Respondents were asked to use a rating scale of 1 to 7, where 1 was very unlikely and 7 was very likely. Some 66.2 percent of the respondents stated it was very likely (54.4 percent) or likely (11.8 percent) they would vote online, while 20.0 percent indicated it was unlikely (5.5 percent) or very unlikely (14.5 percent) that they would use this voting option (based on 399 responses).
Similar ratings were provided on the questions asking about the likelihood of using Internet voting in provincial and federal elections, should such an option became available.
Moreover, 66.5 percent or 266 out of the 400 respondents indicated that they would be more inclined to vote in the 2013 municipal elections if Internet voting were available to everyone.
Reasons for Using Paper Ballots
Respondents who opposed Internet voting (there were 84 of them) were asked to indicate the reasons why they would consider voting in person. The survey found that security concerns are paramount, with 94 percent of the respondents selecting this reason. Out of these 84 respondents, 42.9 percent also pointed to familiarity with traditional paper ballots, 61.9 percent refused to share their voting preference and personal information online, 22.6 percent indicated that they like going to the polls or being with other people when voting, 2.4 percent did not have Internet, 2.4 percent did not have access to a computer, and 1.2 percent did not use a computer. Some respondents cited other reasons (e.g. showing commitment or respect to the democratic process, ballot secrecy, inequality in access to technology, and avoiding coercion).
Reasons for Using Internet Voting
This question was answered by 355 respondents. Convenience is the major reason why people would consider voting online, with 83.9 percent selecting this option. Some 64.5 percent said that Internet voting is more accessible, 51.0 percent liked using online technology, 21.4 percent wanted to try something new, 17.2 percent will be out of the city at election time and 14.4 percent indicated they do not like in-person voting. Some 12.4 percent of participants listed other reasons (e.g. inability to vote in person due to health reasons, faster election results, higher voter turnout, ability to enable more layers of security and redundancy and eliminate electoral fraud).
Some 128 participants provided additional comments, including a range of specific concerns regarding the security of Internet voting systems, feedback on the Jellybean Election and information resources on the city website, support for the introduction of online voting, and evaluation of the survey questions.