Town Meeting Electronic Voting

Moderator's Task Force on Electronic Voting

Purpose: To investigate the feasibility, security, costs, and outcomes of electronic voting technology and processes.

Outcome: Electronic Voting Task Force Report: December 31, 2021

Timeline: The task force was appointed in mid-March 2021, starting work by the end of March, with a report due by the end of 2021. See final report above.

Video from Town Moderator Rebecca Townsend explaining the role of Town Meeting, how to participate and Electronic Voting.

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What is Electronic Voting?

Electronic voting is the use of hand-held electronic devices for the purpose of recording a vote in a large gathering. 70 towns use electronic voting in their town meetings, with half using this particular system. Some use it to speed up the counts for those votes that require a hand count. Some use it to move from public to private voting. With the increase in voters' preference for using ballot voting on tough issues in recent years, electronic voting addresses the voters' concerns directly, with a ballot vote result within seconds for every motion. 


Background:  The task force was appointed in mid-March 2021. The group started work by the end of March, and a report was submitted at the end of 2021.

The task force was chaired by the Rules Committee Chair and included the Town Clerk, one other member of the Rules Committee that has studied this issue until now. The Town Manager and Town Moderator attended most meetings. Over 30 board and committee members were invited to a test run of the system that the Task Force recommended and gave a unanimous approval for moving forward with the use of the system at town meetings.

The Town Moderator invited residents who were interested in serving on this task force to submit their letter of interest that includes qualifications and any possible conflicts of interest to her via email at rtownsend@longmeadow.org by March 13, 2021. Qualifications may include a background in software development or large group facilitation, with a curiosity about understanding both social and technological aspects of electronic voting.

Demonstration:

We will conduct another demonstration May 3 at the Adult Center at 6:00 PM.

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