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The patchwork of Internet voting in Canada
Nicole J. Goodman and Jon H. Pammett
Internet voting developments in Canada are growing quickly, with activity focused in local elections, political party leadership votes and unions. In some instances, the federal structure of the Canadian state facilitates Internet voting use, while in others it inhibits it. The result of this system of divided jurisdiction is that Internet voting use in Canada resembles a patchwork, showing strong concentration in some areas and no penetration in other places. In addition to scattered geographic use, a variety of approaches to implementation are employed. In some cases online ballots are complementary to paper, while in others elections are now fully electronic. I-voting can be a two-step process requiring registration or a more direct one-step voting procedure. Likewise, Internet voting is offered in the advance portion of certain elections, whereas in others it is available for the full voting period. Finally, given that private companies administer the Internet voting portion of elections there is also a mixture of technology.
Keywords—Internet voting; Canada; federalism; elections