A post Election and Accessibility Report has provided Hanover Council with a lot to consider.
2018 was the first time Hanover ever participated in an online and telephone voting system.
Besides the obvious technical issues that riddled the recent municipal election, CAO Brian Tocheri says there is much to be learnt from the post election data.
Hanover led the County in voter turnout at 49%, however this is still lower than the 56% voter turnout Hanover boasted in the 2014 election. (also led the voter turnout in 2014)
Prior to the 2018 election, Hanover used a Vote By Mail method.
It was believed that the new online option would not only increase overall voter participation but also increase votes casts by the younger generation.
This proved untrue.
Tocheri says voter turnout was markedly lower among those aged 35 or younger than those aged 55 or older.
Turnout was highest among those aged 60 and over, consistently bettering 60% for both men and women.
Turnout was lowest among those under the age of 35.
Also of note, only 6 percent of voters used the telephone method, with the vast majority casting their ballots online.
Tocheri says he believes internet voting is the way to go and unless the phone method can be significantly improved he would not recommend using the phone method next election.
Some of the issues with the phone method included: the occassional dropped call, the length of time telephone voting took and long pauses that caused some confusion for some voters who were trying to cast their ballots.
As for the cost of the election, it came in well under budget.
The election cost just under 18 thousand dollars compared to 30 thousand dollars spent on the 2014 election.
The final 18 thousand dollar figure includes a 20 percent discount that Hanover negotiated with Dominion Voting Systems as compensation for the technical bandwidth problems the municipality endured election night which caused the Clerk to declare an emergency resulting in an extended 24 hour voting period.
(actual election cost $19,734 with a further savings of $1,786 from the 20% discount.)
Tocheri presented the report to Hanover Council, it will be up to Council to determine what voting method Hanover will choose in the 2022 municipal election.