Apr 262024
You will find “Electronic Voting” on the righthand sidebar – –
    • under category Corporatocracy or Democracy or Administrative State or WHAT?
    • under sub-category Robocalls & Vote moving, Election Fraud
    • sub-sub-category  Electronic voting.
This is a very important issue.   A list of postings on this topic can be generated by clicking on Electronic voting.

When systems of governance become corrupted,  and the corruption runs free,  it becomes increasingly difficult to draft legislation that can plug the influence of those who want power by whatever means.

May Alberta PLEASE get it right!   It will take innovation in the drafting of the legislation.   Active participation by honest citizen scrutineers is essential, IMHO.   I disagree with those who think things will improve, all on their own.   We all have experience, common sense.   Let them be known, in a positive way.   Take advantage of the OPPORTUNITIES that emerge.

If you want something good,  you have to work on it.

These are treacherous times.  “Utility” (the easy way out – – let the machines do it)  comes with costs.  Electronic systems are generally opaque and easily manipulated.   A significant cost that isn’t quantified:  when you abandon one system for another, the experience and know-how for how the system is designed to work, is soon lost to the society, especially if it isn’t an oft-repeated event.   And now . . .

Updated: Alberta government brings forward bill to ban electronic voting, introduce municipal parties. Western Standard, by Jonathan Bradley
Ric McIver introduced a bill to ensure Albertans can have transparent, free, and fair elections and municipal politicians have stronger accountability measures.
Ric McIver introduced a bill to ensure Albertans can have transparent, free, and fair elections and municipal politicians have stronger accountability measures. Courtesy Jonathan Bradley/Western Standard

The Alberta government has introduced legislation to what they claim will ensure Albertans can rely on transparent, free and fair elections and municipal politicians have clearer accountability measures.

The UCP says the Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act (MASAA) proposes amendments to the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA) and the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to add greater transparency to local election processes and ensure these councils and elected officials continue to remain accountable to the people who elected them.

“Our government is committed to strengthening Albertans’ trust in their local governments and the democratic process that elects local leaders,” said Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver in a Thursday press release.

“The changes we are making increase transparency for Alberta voters and provide surety their votes will be counted accurately.”

McIver said the government knows “how important local democracy is to Albertans, and we will work with local authorities to protect and enhance the integrity of local elections.”

The Alberta government said Albertans expect free, fair elections and that is why it is important it strengthens the rules governing local elections. To strengthen public trust in local elections, it said it will eliminate the use of electronic tabulators and other automated voting machines.

Since Albertans should be able to trust the methods and results of local elections, all ballots will be required to be counted by hand, said the government. By clarifying rules and streamlining processes for scrutineers, it will provide voters greater assurance in the integrity of the results, it claims.

The Alberta government went on to say all eligible Albertans should be able to vote in local elections without impediments. In response, it said it will eliminate the barriers for eligible voters to cast a ballot by expanding the use of special ballots.

At the moment, special ballots can only be requested for particular reasons, including physical disability, absence from the municipality or for municipal election workers. By expanding the use of special ballots, it is encouraging greater voter participation.

The UCP said amendments in the MASAA would increase transparency in local elections by enabling political parties at the local level. Political parties would be enabled in a pilot project for Calgary and Edmonton.

It will not require candidates to join a political party to run for a municipal office, but it will create the opportunity to do so.

Proposed changes to the LAEA would allow municipalities the option to require criminal record checks for local candidates.

The Alberta government continued by saying the role of an elected official is one with tremendous responsibility and expectations. Changes proposed to the MGA will strengthen the accountability of municipal politicians and councils.

These changes include requiring mandatory orientation training for councillors, allowing elected officials to recuse themselves for real or perceived conflicts of interest without third party reviews and requiring a councillor’s seat to become vacant upon disqualification.

Alberta Municipal Affairs will engage municipalities and other partners over the coming months to hear perspectives and gather feedback to develop regulations.

McIver followed up by saying some people do not trust the results from electronic tabulators.

“And again, having people trust the results is the prime, prime, prime priority,” he said.

“Things only work if the majority of the population obeys the rules put in place by their governments whether it’s their municipal, provincial, or federal government.”

He pointed out one element causing people to not abide by a government’s laws is they do not believe politicians were the ones elected. He predicted the MASAA “will raise the confidence level to the highest that we can do it.”

Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi responded to the move by saying the majority of Edmontonians and Albertans disagree with municipal political parties because local issues are non-partisan.

“I think it’s unfortunate that this provincial government is focused on issues that are not really top priorities of Edmontonians,” said Sohi.

“Edmontonians don’t want parties at a local level.”

If parties are introduced at the local level, Sohi alleged politics will become more divisive. He said it will turn toxic.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said in February electronic voting machines could become a relic of the past soon.

READ MORE: Electronic voting tabulators on the way out if Smith has her way

In the last election, Smith said Alberta’s experiment with electronic voting did not go as planned and caused more delays and headaches than it was supposed to solve.

“The problem with the tabulators is I think that they were supposed to speed up counting, make it more efficient, give people more confidence that they could get the results faster,” said Smith.

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