This is a repeat post of something I wrote elsewhere in early 2011, but it deserves mentioning again:
There is the following clause in the Canada Elections Act:
163. The vote is secret.
I won’t get into the history behind the secret vote, but it allows free expression of political preference at the ballot box. It also enables the “silent majority” to participate in the election process; otherwise only the hyper-partisan would ever vote, to the detriment of everybody else. A secret vote has a moderating influence on political discourse.
One of the advantages of the way we currently vote is that the vote casting is decentralized in multiple polls per electoral district (about 400 people per poll) that obscures the way that individual people vote, hence keeping the vote secret.
From my past experience dealing with computer systems, there is absolutely no way with a centralized online voting system that you can do BOTH of the following:
a) maintain the secrecy of the vote; AND
b) preserving the integrity of the vote count.
You can have one, but not the other.
I am very strongly against online voting, at least in the context of voting for a candidate in a federal, provincial or municipal election. I would make an exception for referendums.