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Internet Voting – What Can Canada Learn?

Carleton University and Canada Europe Transatlantic Dialogue logos

The Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue
(Strategic Knowledge Cluster)

Internet Voting – What Can Canada Learn?

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This workshop brings together practitioners and scholars to explore issues involved in the development of Internet voting. Speakers include experts from various jurisdictions where Internet voting has been used, and prominent researchers who have studied models of Internet voting. Speakers will detail the development of Internet voting in Canada at the municipal level by examining the cases of Markham, Peterborough and Halifax, and in Europe nationally and sub-nationally by exploring the experiences of Estonia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The workshop will consider rationales for the implementation of Internet voting, various features and models of its application, advantages and disadvantages, public acceptance, effects on accessibility and voter turnout, and security issues. Experts will share advice regarding technical considerations such as cost, legal requirements, software and security.

A central purpose of the workshop will be to examine existing experience and research to derive lessons for the possible wider use of Internet voting in Canada. The workshop will be divided into five sections. The first will offer a general overview of Internet voting issues. Following this, Canadian municipal trials will be examined, European cases will be presented, a panel will look at technical considerations, and there will be a final round table discussion, in which lessons for Canada will be reviewed.

This workshop is organized by the Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue (CETD), in co-operation with Elections Canada. Among the key objectives of the Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue are: 1) to bring research findings about Europe more effectively to Canadian partner institutions, scholars and society; and 2) to improve the level of public discourse and policy deliberation in Canada by encouraging informed examination of alternative responses to policy problems. The seven-year project (2008–2015), funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), is housed at Carleton University's Centre for European Studies. In partnership with five other universities (University of British Columbia, McGill University, University of Montreal, University of Toronto and University of Victoria), it involves over 60 Canadian scholars.

For more information, including registration details, visit

Workshop Program

Internet Voting: What Can Canada Learn?
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Room 608 (Senate Room), Robertson Hall, Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Registration and coffee

9:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m.
Opening Remarks:
Joan DeBardeleben, Director, Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue (Carleton University)
Rennie Molnar, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Electoral Events, Elections Canada

9:15 a.m.–9:45 a.m.
Overview of Internet voting:
Michael Alvarez, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

9:45 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
Canadian Experiences with Internet Voting

Nicole Goodman, Carleton University

Markham's experience with Internet voting:
Kimberley Kitteringham, Town Clerk and Andrew Brouwer, Deputy Town Clerk, Town of Markham

Halifax's experience with Internet voting:
Cathy Mellett, Acting Clerk/Manager, Halifax Regional Municipality

Peterborough's experience with Internet voting:
John McKinstry, Sales Manager, Dominion Voting Systems

10:45 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Coffee break

11:00 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
European Experiences with Internet Voting

Jon Pammett, Carleton University

Overview of Internet voting in Europe:
Alexander Trechsel, European University Institute, Florence

Estonia's experience with Internet voting:
Tarvi Martens, Development Director, Certification Centre, Estonia

Switzerland's experience with Internet voting:
Urs Gasser, Harvard University

The UK's experience with Internet voting
Tom Hawthorn, The Electoral Commission

12:45 p.m.–1:45 p.m.

2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Technical Considerations in Implementing Internet Voting

Peter Wolf, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), Stockholm

The importance of a marketing campaign (Markham):
Adam Froman, President, Delvinia Interactive

The Intelivote approach to delivering Internet voting (Halifax):
Dean Smith, President, Intelivote Systems Inc.

Proprietary and open-source software choices:
Jason Gallagher, Open Source Software Developer

Trust and Transparency Challenges of E-Voting
Peter Wolf, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), Stockholm

3:00 p.m.–3:15 p.m.
Coffee break

3:15 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Lessons for Canada from a Comparative Perspective (round table discussion)

Moderator: Joan DeBardeleben


Michael Alvarez
Urs Gasser
Tom Hawthorn
Tarvi Martens
Jon Pammett
Alexander Trechsel