So why no online voting?

UMSU has been looking into online voting as a way to improve turnout and cut costs for years, Chief Returing Officer Jason van Rooy says.

“As a CRO, I think that online voting would be awesome,” he said.

“Right now, the system that’s in place has slowly crept forward from paper and rulers and highlighters and pens, to having an electronic voters’ list and paper ballots. And I’m sure that someday, in the not-too-distant future, students will be able to log on in the library with their UMnet ID and cast their ballot, but we’re just not there yet.”  

He also questioned the security of online voting. “If there’s any doubt as to whether or not the vote was secure, then it calls the entire election into question,” he said.

For example, last year at the University of British Columbia, which instituted online voting in 2009, a tabulation error led the CRO to announce the president was impeached. He was not.

“Having to have the election two or three times would end up costing quite a bit of money,” van Rooy noted.