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Staff says city’s first electronic voting election was a success

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Troy Shantz

The results of Sarnia’s first election using electronic voting were delayed more than 90 minutes on Oct. 22 because the votes had to be decrypted, the city clerk says.

The final ballot was cast at 8:20 p.m. at City Hall but it was almost 10 p.m. before the results were made public.

Dianne Gould-Brown said the process of exporting, validating and displaying the results was time consuming.

“It was our first time with this voting method,” she said. “We really didn’t know what to expect.”

Some 48.9% of eligible voters cast ballots, up from 37.1% in 2014 and only slightly less than the 1994 voter turnout of 50.78%, Gould-Brown said.

“The whole system itself worked wonderfully.”

After the polls closed a third-party auditor entered their credentials in the system, triggering a 20-minute process of decrypting and sorting more than 20,000 votes in the database, scrubbing time stamps and the voter ID associated with them.

From there, the results were inserted and displayed on a Powerpoint presentation.

Gould-Brown said staff ran through the scenario the week prior and expected some delay from the process.

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