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I cannot pronounce it, but Penetanguishene is a town in Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada. It is one of many which has decided to go with Internet voting at the municipally level in 2018. The Town Council voted in favor of Internet and telephone voting exclusively for the 2018 Municipal Election. In 2014, the town had used both paper and digital balloting methods. The town staff reported 62 percent of those who voted used either telephone or the Internet. In 2018, citizens will also have a choice to use electronic voting stations set up at various locations on the day of the election.

There are about 3,700 municipal governments in Canada. Some are opting for the status quo — paper ballots only. Others are offering paper ballots or Internet or telephone voting. Some are offering only Internet and telephone voting. The good thing is Canadian municipalities are having the debates. In Election Attitude – How Internet Voting Leads to a Stronger Democracy, I argued it will be a grass roots movement which will lead us to Internet voting. Unfortunately, I do not hear the debate in the United States. The anti-Internet voting activists have scared political leaders and election officials about security. Many of us know the security and privacy issues can be resolved if we decide to do so.

The tragic truth is 100 million people in 2012 and 2016 could have voted, but did not. The reasons were many, but the number one reason was inability to get to the polling place. There were many reasons: sick, disabled, overseas, last minute business trips out of town, employers who did not give time off, need to care for children or parents, and general inconvenience. Voting from a smartphone, with the secure and private support of blockchain technology, could enable a convenient and verifiable election. We can do this.

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