Elections still need a paper trail

An election that can’t be recounted is an election that becomes very hard to prove wasn’t rigged

With all the talk of election rigging recently, it’s a good time to revisit why we should care about our voting process. And why we should remain wary about electronic voting.

I understand the appeal of electronic voting — who doesn’t want to be able vote without leaving their house? But, one of the greatest strengths of our elections has been the paper trail that our votes leave behind. With the paper trail, the outcome of the election can be calculated when the polls close, or a week, month or even years later. As long as we have the paper trail, we can trust in the outcome as recounts are possible.

The recent Parksville byelection used a partial electronic voting system. Each ballot was the equivalent of a ‘scantron’ sheet, fed into a computer that tabulated the results. The positive of this system is that the paper trail remains and the results can be quickly delivered. This is an electronic voting system I can (mostly) get behind. Mostly, because the privacy of your vote is not always maintained.

After marking your ballot, you take it to the computer and feed it in upside down (so the person at the computer cannot see your vote). The computer then indicates whether or not it could successfully read your ballot. If it couldn’t, you could have it counted as a non-vote (spoiled ballot) or fix it.

If you did spoil your ballot, the person at the computer (and anyone behind you) knows that this is what you did as you were asked how you wanted to proceed.

Electronic voting that can be done from home (online voting) doesn’t maintain the paper trail. An election that can’t be recounted is an election that becomes very hard to prove wasn’t rigged.

So while I can get behind what Parksville used in this election, let’s make sure that we continue to monitor our own elections, right down to the city council level positions, to ensure that we maintain their integrity.

Neesha Desai

Parksville

Just Posted

Woodyatt seeks help to pursue physics education in London

Ballenas Secondary product gets accepted to prestigious university in United Kingdom

Solar system spending, asbestos removal in SD69 plan

Green house gas emission report received at May 22 board meeting

Gr. 7s learn about digital safety, health, consent at con in Parksville

SD69 hosts first Health and Wellness Conference for students headed to high school

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

Three-for-one at Parksville studio for tour

Local artists participating in Central Island Studio Tour May 26-27

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

COLUMN: Women’s breasts really aren’t that big a deal

A follow on some Princeton, B.C., students gained considerable exposure when they dropped their bras

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Catalyst Paper to sell U.S. mills to Chinese company

Sale will allow company to focus on B.C. interests, says president Ned Dwyer

Comox Valley baseball player Thomas Green commits to Cuesta College

18-year-old shortstop following in older cousin Taylor’s footsteps

Most Read