We could know election results a lot faster on Thursday night as Elections Ontario uses voting tabulators and E-Poll books for the first time in an Ontario general election.
It was tested back in the Whitby-Oshawa by-election of 2011 and for the most part it was a huge success, however in Elections Ontario’s Post-Event Report several locations experienced significant problems with connectivity on Election Day.
Tabulators Mean Faster Results on Election Night
The report recommended improving this area as six of 42 locations experienced outages that lasted for most of the day. Elections Ontario says tabulators will significantly speed up the process of vote counting and reporting, so Ontario will hear results quicker on election night.
Voting tabulators count [electronically] every paper ballot cast. This saves on time and eliminates any doubts or inaccuracies. E-poll books essentially eliminate the need to sift through papers – they provide a digital database of voter information.
“prepared voters waited less than one minute for their ballot.”
The new E-poll books are encrypted, password protected, and tabulators are not connected to a network, meaning they cannot be hacked or altered. In that report, Chief Electoral Officer Greg Essensa said the technology-enabled staffing model reduced the polling day staff required for a General Election by 41 percent.
Essensa said, “by implementing the technology enabled staffing model, Elections Ontario saves nearly $16 million in cumulative staffing costs by 2026.”