Election Universe

Study confirms very high acceptability of internet voting among Toronto voters

Study confirms very high acceptability of internet voting among Toronto voters
August 30 2016, 12:50

A recent survey of Toronto voters showed an extremely high support for internet voting, with as much as 98% of respondents saying that they are likely to again vote online in future municipal elections.

The study, which polled voters who participated in the 2014 Toronto municipal election, was conducted by Dr Nicole Goodman of The Centre for e-Democracy & The University of Toronto Heather Pyman, Carleton University. The same survey has also found out that 95% have indicated that they are likely to vote online in a provincial election; and 94% said they would be likely to vote online in a federal election.

In general, 95% of respondents say they are very satisfied with internet voting.

Convenience is the main motivator of the voters with as much as 66% preferring internet voting over paper and other types of voting for the sheer convenience of it.

Yet in addition to convenience, the study also revealed that voters perceived this method of voting to be more private than voting by paper ballot in a polling station.

One key driver of this increasingly favorable view of online voting is the finding that 93% of the respondents report accessing the Internet at least every day. With 88.5% of its citizens connected  to the internet, Canada ranks as the 21st most wired country in the world, and is perfectly positioned to implement online voting on a national scale.

In contrast, paper voting had a markedly lower level of acceptability among the respondents with a mere sixty-eight percent of paper voters saying they are ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with the voting process. Some 37% of respondents have concerns about the security of paper voting.

Among candidates, 69% report being satisfied with Internet voting process; over 75 percent of candidates surveyed say they were satisfied with early voting opportunities;  73 percent of candidates were satisfied with the security of the election; and  64 percent of candidates were satisfied with posting of election results.

Nearly 80 percent of candidates express that they feel favourably about having Internet voting as an additional voting method.

Even poll administrators had a highly favorable perception of internet voting, with 96% saying they were ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied with the process.

The survey discovered that education and outreach present the biggest challenges for a bigger implementation of internet voting.