Cambridge resident questions security of online voting

By  | October 14, 2018 | 4 Comments | Filed under: TIME FOR A NEW MAYOR AND 90% of COUNCIL IN 2018

Hespeler man says it’s too easy to commit voting fraud by way information mailed out

NewsOct 13, 2018by Bill Doucet Cambridge Times
Online voting

Online voting has become an issue with one city resident after he received voter information for himself and the rest of his family in one envelope. Knowing their personal information, the man said he theoretically could have cast a vote onlne for all of them. – Bill Doucet/Metroland

Ken Brueckner has little faith in Cambridge’s online voting system.

With five family members assumed to be under one roof, voter information for himself, his wife and three children was mailed to him in a single envelope. With his children living in Ottawa, Kitchener and Paris, respectively, none of them will be voting in the city.

The Hespeler resident contends if he were a dishonest man, he could use all five voters’ information sheets to go online and vote for his candidate of choice.

“Myself, I don’t have an issue. I know I’m not going to vote for my kids,” Brueckner said, later adding he had his children removed from the Cambridge voter list.

“But I don’t know the character of everybody in this city. Probably most of them wouldn’t, but I’m sure there are some out there that say, ‘hey, this is an opportunity for me to vote once, twice, three times for my candidate.’”

While online voting companies — Dominion Voting Systems Corp. is being used in Cambridge — have security against malware and to at least make it harder to cast duplicate votes, there is nothing that can be done against the person who opens the mail inside the home.

Online voting itself is pretty simple. Voters go to the website and register using their name and voter ID. Once registered, a PIN will be generated and sent by email. Voters do have to agree to a declaration they are in fact that person and enter their birth date. They also have to pick a unique question with the answer.

That information is common knowledge to anyone in the home, Brueckner pointed out.

City clerk Michael Di Lullo said the declaration step prior to voting shouldn’t be taken lightly.

“There is a declaration that one has to take before they get to the voting screen. So essentially, online or vote by mail or phone voting, or people that show up at the polls without ID, is the same whereby a declaration is needed prior to voting.”

To illustrate his point, Di Lullo said “it happens more than not” that people show up at physical polling stations without ID.

“A lot of people forget to bring their ID with them at the polls so we have our oaths ready to go so we can accommodate the voter and not turn them away,” he said.

Fraudulently filling out a ballot under someone else’s name after making the declaration will mean a trip to superior court, said Di Lullo. Penalties under the 2016 Municipal Election Act bring a fine of up to $25,000 and/or up to six months in jail if found guilty.

The system is concerning to Rande Keffer, who appeared as a delegation in front of Cambridge city council in the spring to speak out against online voting.

She noted she knows someone who went online and voted under someone else’s name to prove it can be done.

“If that’s just one instance, how many others could be happening?” she said.

“The purpose of an election is not only to select the winners of the election, but to convince the losers and their supporters that they’ve truly lost. By internet voting, we can’t do that. We have no way of knowing.”

Keffer said trusting the process is “essential” to the voting system and she doesn’t believe online voting offers that security.

“The important element and point is that voters cards, that have been handed out the way they have been, no one really knows if this election or the 2014 election for that matter has really been manipulated, because we can prove that it can be.”

The city, however, is relying on the penalty for fraud to be a deterrent.

“The point is any method needs the trust of the citizen regardless of what option is being deployed,” Di Lullo said.

Keffer wasn’t satisfied with the city’s approach.

“That’s a lackadaisical attitude. Obviously, to me, that tells me that my vote does not matter. That’s awful. My vote does matter. If they take that attitude, I’m sorry, we have a problem. We have a problem with the system, we have a problem with the people that are in this city that are looking at it and taking that sort of an issue with it. To me it’s very important.”

Online voting continues until the polls close on Oct. 22 at 7:59 p.m.

by Bill Doucet

Bill Doucet is the Sports and Entertainment Editor at the Cambridge Times.




4 Responses to Cambridge resident questions security of online voting

  1. Debbie Duff Vitez October 14, 2018 at 12:49 pm


    Dominion Voting Systems Corp… they are responsible for assuring us that no illegal activity takes place during our Election..

    I personally know of several families who have have received Voter registration cards for family members that moved out of Cambridge years and years ago. Some as far away as Edmonton (????)
    and yet, local residents don’t even receive a card..
    W.T.H. is going on Cambridge?

    TJT October 14, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Dominion Voting is an American Based company with an office in Canada..hmmm so that makes one wonder where their server actually is…Norway, Germany, China…no one really knows…
    It is easy to go online and vote using a Voter Registration card for family members or members that have since deceased because the access number to get a PIN number is found in the bottom right hand corner of the Voter Card…All one has to do in input that number and then just follow the hoops since only a year of birth is required in order to get the PIN number to vote.
    Oh there is a fine up to 25K and possible jail time..
    Well that’s a laugh..who is going to admit they voted using a Voter Registration Card that did not belong to them.
    And how can you prove that the Person at the computer is actually the Voter.
    Mr. Du Lillo unless you would enter the home of the Voter and actually see who is voting there is no way you can prove the person behind the computer is the person on the Voter Registration Card.

    So was the vote manipulated in 2014..Will the vote be manipulated in 2018.. We will never know because we have no secure way of knowing this..and that is why online voting is not secure and should be outlawed..

  3. Debbie Duff Vitez October 15, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Someone should contact DuLillo and ask him Dominion’s contact information.
    He won’t answer my email.. LOL

    At least now city hall knows we are going to be on top of Dominion,
    it might stop them from cheating..

    Concerned October 17, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Yes you are right – Dulillo is not answering requests in this regard.
    But we have Doninion’s info – so they have been advised of possible irregularities in this election.
    Such as people are getting voters cards for people out-of-country, Province, dead (maybe that’s why there are some candidates signs at the Preston Cemetery), therefore there could be votes for unqualified voters.
    Seems like a very poor record keeping if so many people getting extra voter cards.
    So yes, Dominion has been informed of the possible irregularities & they must be on top of all this.
    Vote – but only vote paper ballots – so a recount can be done!

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