Canadian MPs vote through a smartphone app

Canadian MPs vote through a smartphone app

Canadian MPs are voting for the first time this week using an app on their phone or tablet. The new system has security that certifies the identity of the voter, and there are solutions in case of technical difficulties.

After the app has been tested, members of the House of Commons who are not in the room vote with their smartphones or tablets on Monday. A notification about the upcoming voting appears on the screen - with the name of a bill or motion, the parliamentarian must log in in a multi-stage verification process. He then indicates how he votes - for, against or abstains, and then has to take a photo of himself, which is then verified by a system that recognizes the identity of the voter. There are ten minutes to vote using the app, MPs voting through the app see the timer.

There are also additional fallback solutions: if the identity of the voter cannot be certified, the system indicates that an explanation is required. If a parliamentarian has problems, he can indicate on the Zoom that a problem arises and then casts his vote, just like in previous months, being visible on the screen.

As reported by the Canadian media, those responsible for the technical side of the new voting system ensured that there are many layers of security that are to prevent the breaking of the voting process or forgery by unauthorized persons. Parliamentary specialists worked on the security features together with Canadian intelligence experts.

Interested voters can watch the new voting process during the broadcast of parliamentary deliberations on CPAC TV, as well as on the CPAC website and the House of Commons website.

From May last year the Canadian parliament operated in a hybrid form: some MPs, those close to Ottawa, were present in the room, some participated in the deliberations virtually. However, when voting, this system created problems and voting stretched for almost an hour - Canadian MPs say "yea" or "nay" when casting a vote. In voting with the use of the application, as it turned out in two Monday voting, the total time for voting by people present in the House of Commons and voting remotely, is reduced to 12-15 minutes.

All parties in parliament agreed to the new application, but when last year the idea of ​​developing this form of voting emerged, the head of the Conservative parliamentary club Blake Richards compared the voting application to a dating application, he also raised objections to voting "in pajamas". However, Zoom's personal voting gave observers a lot of laughter. During the first such vote in September last year, some parliamentarians forgot to turn off the microphones, so there were people other than voters on the screen, you could hear the babbling of a baby in a crib standing at the desk of one of the parliamentarians, one of the parliamentarians was waving a dog in her lap, there were also a lot of technical problems.

From Toronto Anna Lach (PAP)