More than 10,000 early ballots cast in Nova Scotia, as discussions turn to online voting
HALIFAX, N.S. -- Thousands have already cast their vote in the upcoming Nova Scotia election, as some leaders consider online voting in the future.
According to Elections Nova Scotia, as of Wednesday, a total of 10,040 early votes have been cast.
At the same point in the 2017 provincial general election, a total of 3,378 early votes had been cast.
"We are seeing an increase in early voting from the 2017 election and also an increase in applications for the write-in ballots," said Naomi Shelton, director of policy and communications for Elections Nova Scotia.
"We've been promoting our write-in ballot process for this election for safe voting. We've been encouraging voters to vote early and vote safely and to vote by write-in ballot if they feel comfortable to choose that option."
There have been 7,882 votes cast at the returning office continuous polls.
At the same point in the 2017 provincial general election, 3,183 votes had been cast at the returning office continuous polls.
Meanwhile, Elections Nova Scotia says they have processed 2,158 applications for write-in ballot. At the same point in 2017, 195 votes had been cast by write-in ballot.
Although there are a number of ways you can cast your ballot, online isn’t one of them.
"The legislation in Nova Scotia does not allow for internet voting,” said Shelton.
"I think by the time we're looking at the next general election, online voting is something that we should have in place,” said Liberal leader Iain Rankin.
When asked if Nova Scotia should have online voting, the PC Party Campaign said in a statement:
“Elections Nova Scotia is an independent body. It is important that they be allowed to do their work independently from the wishes of political parties. However, the challenges of electronic voting are also tied to access to reliable internet, which should be a first step before these conversations can begin.”
While the NDP Party said in a statement: “The NDP supports making it easier for people to vote. We understand that other levels of government have used online voting and would look at how those practices could be might be used at the provincial level.”
One person who does not want to see online voting is David Shipley, CEO of Beauceron Security.
"If it's not broken, don't try and fix it. We know how to vote with our paper ballots,” said Shipley.
"I am adamantly opposed to online voting for provincial and federal elections because these elections are vitally important and the ability to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the people who won genuinely won is critical. We've never seen democracy, as under threat as we have in the last several years, and one need look no further than our southern neighbours to see the chaos that can come with even just electronic voting on a ballot machine."