Sep 072011




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Sent: September 3, 2011 9:47 PM

RE: electronic voting

Dear Chief Electoral Officer Mayrand,

1.  Will you please tell me what is the current status of the project to conduct an electronic voting test-run in a byelection by 2013, as reported in 2009?

I should have told you in 2009 that I am seriously troubled by the project.  I apologize that it has taken me this long to do some digging to see whether my concerns are founded.  You will already have spent a lot of time and money on the electronic voting project and will therefore be heavily “invested” in it.

Elections Canada asked political candidates’ opinion on e-voting.  I participated in that opinion poll, as much as I hated to (opinion polls are not the best vehicle for a serious matter).  I appreciate that you have sought other input.

2.   My second request:  in your reply, whatever you do, please do not offer me reassurances.  I have the expectation of informed dialogue.  My repeated experience is that agencies of Government offer reassurances that fly in the face of common sense.    They do not actually deal with the  issues presented.   I am not saying that you fall into this category.  I am just pointing out that I have a particular and warranted sensitivity.

3.  One of the issues, not the most serious one,  but one that is a deal-breaker nonetheless:  the level of corruption in the government-corporate-university sphere today dictates against “having faith”.  They are not trustworthy (even if the idea of e-voting was sound from a technological point-of-view.)    In the time since I studied business there has been a steady deterioration in ethics and accounting standards that extends into public institutions.   The Wall Street fiasco in 2008 was a high-point, but not the end.  Perhaps you have seen the 2010 documentary film, “Inside Job” narrated by Matt Damon?   If not, you may want to;  it is a great informer.

Canada is not immune to the machinations of the corporations working with the public sector (government and “influential” people in Universities who are called upon to rationalize on behalf of the money interests.   The public is becoming less and less naive.  There is anger and simultaneous willingness to do more than just bleat about the abandonment of the public interest.)

I am sorry I am not more tactful in my communications;  I think it is to your benefit that I be frank.

We have adopted decision-making models in the public sphere that are utilitarian.   You can make a utilitarian argument for the adoption of electronic voting.  It is a highly-flawed basis upon which to make the decision.

I have collected some material regarding e-voting on my blog.   You will find it in the sub-category “Democracy requirements, deficits, solutions” under “Corporatocracy or democracy?”.  (

Returning to the motivation for writing to you:  I will appreciate information regarding the current status of the project on the test run for e-voting.

May you serve the public interest well.

Many thanks, and best wishes,

Sandra Finley



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