June 26, 2018 9:29 am
Updated: June 26, 2018 2:09 pm

Electronic voting machines may be used in Olympics plebiscite: city officials

WATCH: The International Olympic Committee met with Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation on Tuesday. Doug Vaessen reports.


When Calgarians vote in a plebiscite on the Olympic bid later this fall, results could be known less than half an hour after the voting stations close.

Returning officer Laura Kennedy told members of city council on Monday she is exploring the cost of using electronic tabulators.

People will still put pen or pencil to paper to mark their choice, but the ballot box will be an electronic tabulator and count the vote and store it until polls close.

WATCH: A roadmap to Calgary hosting the 2026 Olympics

Kennedy said it’s possible the tabulators could be used in the plebiscite and also provide valuable input as to whether they could be used in the 2021 municipal election.

City council has also approved a change in voting hours for the Olympic question. Normally polls are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., but the council will open voting stations at 8 a.m.

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She says the province is currently reviewing a possible question for the plebiscite and there are talks about getting the province to pay for the cost of the vote, which is estimated at just under $2 million.

The province mandated that the city hold a plebiscite. No date has been set but it’s expected a vote will occur in November once more financial information about an Olympic bid is available to the public.

READ MORE: Calgary city council gets update from city clerk on what went wrong in 2017 municipal election

Kennedy also said the city’s audit committee will get a report next month on what went wrong during the 2017 municipal election. She said her department will also have some recommendations to improve the process.

The chair of Calgary 2026 says the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is speaking the same language as Calgary when it comes to diversity, inclusion and sustainability.

In a presentation to city council, Scott Hutcheson, chair of the Calgary bid, said IOC officials are in Calgary on Tuesday for meetings with the city administration.

READ MORE: Scott Hutcheson named chair of Calgary 2026 Olympic bid

Hutcheson said Calgary 2026 hopes to have 15 or 16 people appointed to its board of directors. Calgary 2026 is made up of city, provincial and federal representatives, as well as members of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

He said the search continues for a CEO for the Calgary 2026 bid organization.

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