Bob Jonkman's thoughts on politics

Archive for January, 2013

E-voting Considered Harmful

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 28th January 2013

Finger pressing on electronic voting screen

Voting Screen

The Waterloo Chronicle reports:

The City of Waterloo is going to investigate the possibility of using Internet and telephone voting in time for the 2014 municipal election.

There is already some concern about e-voting. Waterloo Regional Councillor Jane Mitchell writes My problem with on-line voting is the end of the secret ballot.

One of the principles of our electoral systems is anonymity. Another principle is “One person, one ballot”, or singular voting. Both objectives are reasonably easy to do with paper ballots – hand out one ballot to a voter, then cross that voter’s name off the list. The vote cast is both anonymous and singular.

But when people are allowed to vote anonymously on their home computer there’s no way to determine if they’re voting more than once. So to prevent multiple votes you’d have to track voters with a unique ID; but that can then be correlated with the vote cast, destroying anonymity.

Fundamentally, anonymous and singular voting is not achievable through computerized at-home voting. In a report “Technology and the Voting Process” [1] the conclusion of Elections Canada was that the integrity of electoral process is a cornerstone of our democracy, and a decision to move to electronic voting should not be made lightly, without much more study. “Much more study” has not been done by our municipal government.

And don’t get me started on the number of home computers that are infected with viruses, the number of people that are defrauded through identity theft, and the number of times government loses data from their laptops and thumb drives…


Footnote [1]: pp. 58-60, “Technology and the Voting Process”, KPMG and Sussex
Circle for Elections Canada, 1998.

Voting Screen by DonkeyHotey is used under a CC BYCreative Commons — Attribution 2.0 Generic — CC BY 2.0 license.

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Cooperate for Canada Benefit Concert, 27 January 2013 at 8 PM

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 12th January 2013

James Gordon with a guitar

James Gordon

Anita Nickerson writes on the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region mailing list:

Hello Fair Vote Canada KW supporters! I am writing to invite each of you to an evening of wonderful music and great company in support the our local Cooperate for Canada campaign (this is not a Fair Vote Canada event). We are so lucky to have the fabulous singer/songer writer and activist James Gordon who has offered to donate 100% of the ticket sales to Citizens for Cross Party Cooperation KW.


As you probably know, one of the main goals of Cooperate for Canada is to achieve proportional representation. James is a big supporter of PR, and was at the recent founding of the Fair Vote Canada team in Guelph.


Please, purchase a ticket (you can pay now via the paypal button on the web page or at the door), share this invitation with a friend, post the webpage…


Concert details and to buy tickets now:


Citizens for Cross-Party Cooperation


I hope to see you on the 27th.



When: January 27, 2013, 8 PM

Where: The Button Factory, 25 Regina St. S, Waterloo (map)

Tickets: $18 regular, $12 student/unwaged

You can buy tickets at the door or buy your seat with PayPal at the Citizens for Cross-Party Cooperation web site.

For more information, or to reserve tickets, contact Anita Nickerson at anitann88@gmail.com or (519)-568-7655

Anita Nickerson is the Action Coordinator on the National Council of Fair Vote Canada, and the former Co-Chair of the Fair Vote Waterloo Region Chapter

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KWFLA Electoral Reform Debate, 27 January 2013

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 12th January 2013

What should be the Liberal promise to Canadians for democratic voting reform?

Sunday, January 27th, 2-4pm
Greek-Cypriot Hall, 57 Lodge Street, Waterloo (map)

The KWFLA is proud to present this important debate

Stéphane Dion – MP for Saint-Laurent–Cartierville, former Liberal Party of Canada Leader and Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs – Presenting his model of electoral reform, P3 – proportional-preferential-personalized voting system

John Deverell – Policy Director for Scarborough-East Pickering FLA & former journalist for the Toronto Star – supporting proportional representation

Doug Jackson – President of Cambridge Federal Liberal Association – supporting Alternative Vote

Event is free, everyone is welcome. Register at the Liberal Party of Canada web site.

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Fair Vote Waterloo presents “Robocalls: The Story So Far”, 16 January 2013

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 9th January 2013

Robocall protestor


The Waterloo Region Chapter of Fair Vote Canada is presenting “Robocalls: The Story So Far“.

From the announcement on the mailing list:

FVC-Waterloo Region would like to invite you to a great evening planned for Wednesday, January 16th to take an in depth look at the robocall scandal with Jim Harris & Simon Rowland.


Many of you may know Jim Harris, he is the former leader of the Green Party of Canada and a popular Huffington Post blogger. Jim has been writing about the robocall scandal for the Huffington Post since the beginning and he will be joined by Simon Rowland who is the President and CEO of Direct Leap Technologies, a direct marketing firm that does robocalling. Jim & Simon will address the political and technical aspects of the robocall scandal. I have heard them give this talk and it is an excellent analysis of the robocall scandal and its significance for Canadian democracy.


Mark your calendar for January 16, 7-9 pm in the Solarium at the Duke of Wellington Pub, 33 Erb Street East in Waterloo, Waterloo (map). The event is free as always so bring a friend! A poster is attached & it would be terrific if you could put it up anywhere in your neighbourhood that has a community bulletin board. We would like to get as many people as possible out to hear Jim & Simon particularly as they are coming from Toronto to speak with us.


Many thanks & hope to see you on the 16th!


Best wishes for 2013,



Add this event to your calendar

Sharon Sommerville is Co-Chair of the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter.

The quote from the mailing list announcement has been updated with the new location information.

Robocall Protestor by JMacPherson is used under a CC-BY-2.0 license.

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