The Centre for Public Involvement (CPI) and the City of Edmonton (Office of the City Clerk) worked together to increase public knowledge about internet voting, assess whether Edmonton is ready for internet voting, and identify concerns about the new technology. The public-involvement plan used three methods: a Citizen Jury, roundtable meetings with stakeholders, and online engagement. The purpose of the public-involvement plan was to address the question, “Is Edmonton ready for internet voting?”
The Citizen Jury on Internet Voting was comprised of 18 randomly selected Edmonton voters who were asked to render a verdict on the question whether the City of Edmonton should adopt Internet voting as an option for future municipal elections. The Citizen Jury met over several days in the third week of November to hear evidence from witnesses, including technical experts, municipal administrators, and scholars. The Jury considered public concerns about internet voting before delivering its verdict.
The verdict of the Citizen Jury was "Yes - Edmonton should adopt Internet voting as an option for future municipal elections". The verdict was delivered to the City Clerk and will be contained in the report going to City Council on January 23, 2013.
All Edmonton residents and organizations were invited to participate in one of five roundtable (2-3 hour) meetings. The sessions were facilitated by a moderator and included a broad range of groups and individuals to ensure diverse and broad input into the viability of internet voting as an option for Edmontonians.
A website and an online survey questionnaire helped inform Edmontonians about internet voting. The website included an in-depth guide to the issues surrounding internet voting, drawing on research and practical examples from Canada and internationally. The online survey questionnaire gathered opinions from citizens about whether internet voting should be adopted in Edmonton.
Researchers contributing to the public-involvement program for internet voting in Edmonton include:
- Kalina Kamenova, Ph.D, Centre for Public Involvement and University of Alberta
- Marco Adria, Ph.D, Centre for Public Involvement and University of Alberta
- Fiona Cavanagh, M.Ed, Project Manager, Centre for Public Involvement
- Jon Pammett, Ph.D, Professor, Carleton University
- Matt Leighninger, MPA, Deliberative Democracy Consortium
- Nicole Goodman, Ph.D. candidate, Carleton University
- Edward LeSage, Ph. D, Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta