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Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada – Following the Pilot Project on the Use of an Assistive Voting Device in the November 29, 2010, By-election Held in Winnipeg North

1. Objective of the Pilot Project

The objective of the pilot project was to determine how well a particular AVD could be integrated into the federal electoral process and whether it met the needs of users. The pilot was a first step in evaluating the AVD. If the results of the pilot project were positive, Elections Canada's next step would be to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the feasibility of large-scale implementation in a future general election. The analysis would take into account the implementation experience of other jurisdictions. Stakeholders in the electoral process would be consulted to assess the impact of this technology on Elections Canada's accessibility objectives and to compare the impact with that of other initiatives, such as Internet voting.

Elections Canada established success criteria to evaluate the pilot (see Table 1).

Table 1 – Success Criteria for the Assistive Voting Device Pilot Project

  • To what extent were electors aware of the AVD pilot?
  • To what extent were users of the AVD satisfied with their independent voting experience?
  • Of electors requiring assistance, how many used the AVD?
  • What was the average time spent by an elector in using the AVD to vote?
  • In the use of the AVD, were any incidents observed that could have jeopardized the integrity or secrecy of the voting process?
  • Were there any problems with the deployment (logistics) of the AVDs?
  • Did the election calendar allow for the AVDs to be programmed and verified before they were deployed?
  • How much did use of the AVDs cost (all costs itemized, including training, outreach, etc.)?