The company responsible for the online voting system during the last municipal election in Bradford West Gwillimbury, which crashed and led to a 24-hour voting extension, is giving the town a $5,700 refund.
The town paid Dominion Voting Systems $28,550.40 to operate its Internet and phone voting, which marked the first time the town had held an election without paper ballots, according to BWG Deputy Clerk Tara Reynolds.
A working group made up of a few members representing all 51 municipalities affected by Dominion’s slow down negotiated a 20 per cent reimbursement, which comes to $5710.08, she said.
With the revision, this means the town paid the company $22,840.32.
“I believe that the discount offered by Dominion is both fair and reasonable,” said BWG Clerk Rebecca Murphy. “Dominion has been very professional and responsive to municipalities in addressing this issue.”
The town is currently working on completing an accessibility report, which outlines how it ensured barrier-free access to voting options and any feedback it received.
Murphy said the information that will be in the report has essentially already been presented to council and is largely positive.
“The voting system was our most accessible to date and overall the election went very well,” she said. “Other than the few hours where voters had access issues, the electronic voting system did not experience any other issues and was well received by voters.”
In BWG, the voter turnout in the 2018 municipal election was 33.5 per cent, with 8,219 votes cast.
For comparison, about 8,800 people cast their ballots in BWG’s previous municipal election, according to statistics provided by the town.
Whether the Town of BWG will use Dominion Voting Systems to run its next election remains to be seen, Murphy said.
“With respect to the 2022 election, the method of voting has yet to be determined. The provider will be determined by an open procurement process.”