Canada/Online minute voting to poll city residents

Published on 18/06/2024 | La rédaction


The Town of Amherstburg, Ontario, launches FlashVote, a technology that enables residents to be quickly polled on municipal issues. Ontario municipalities that have already adopted this technology can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

According to its creators, FlashVote is a survey system designed to help local governments understand the population's priorities in order to make decisions on their behalf.

The tool allows residents to answer yes or no, or simply click on A, B or C to give their point of view on issues of interest to their municipality. The Town of Amhertsburg calls it a "minute survey", which can be completed in 60 seconds.

We'd probably be lucky enough to have 1,000 people giving their opinion on a subject every day," explains Michael Prue, Mayor of Amherstburg. That's pretty impressive for a municipality," adds the elected official of the town of some 25,000 inhabitants.

Amherstburg becomes the 4th Ontario town to adopt this tool after Saugeen Shores, Ingersoll and Meaford, according to Kevin Lyons, co-founder and CEO of FlashVote.

A reliable and inexpensive application, according to its creators

According to FlashVote's CEO, user security is their main concern.

We encrypt incoming and outgoing information. We encrypt security information and provide only survey data so that all information provided is anonymous," explains Lyons.

According to Lyons, his team's new tool is less expensive.

Traditional scientific surveys cost between $20,000 and $50,000 each, whereas FlashVote is generally available at a lower cost all year round, he says.

In most cases, FlashVote costs less than $20,000," says Lyons.

The Town of Amherstburg is ready to adopt this new application, says Mayor Prue.

It's just another tool to reach people and let them feel involved. And I think, whatever the cost, it will be worth it," says Mayor Prue.

According to him, the administration is working to finalize the costs of this application, which will go live this summer.

It's less expensive. We're looking at thousands of dollars, not tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars," he reassures us.

Residents won over and qualified

Mark Hurst has lived in Amherstburg for almost 40 years. He's not often connected to the Internet, but thinks that if the application is easy to use, nothing will stop him from downloading it.

I think it's great. I'd definitely do it," he says. He, for his part, is optimistic.

With the help of the Internet, it's getting a little easier to get everyone out and understand what's really going on. It will probably work out in the end, he believes.

For his part, Peter Wiesner, a resident for some ten years, seems reticent about the effectiveness of the new approach to polling residents.

I think it's a good idea to have more opportunities to give your opinion on municipal life," explains Peter Wiesner, a resident for some ten years.

On the other hand, he suggests using existing tools, such as Facebook or social network X, which he says cost less.

There are very inexpensive tools available," he explains.

So we need to know what it costs and why we're spending more money when we've already implemented these tools, such as Facebook," he says.


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