Votes now to be tracked electronically at Winnipeg City Hall

Municipal elections in Manitoba are taking place this fall, but there are not a lot of candidates outside the city. The Canadian Press

For the first time, votes at Winnipeg’s city hall will now be tracked electronically.

Votes cast at Monday’s executive policy committee meeting will be cast on the city’s new electronic Vote Information System.

“Today’s launch of electronic tracking of votes marks a significant step forward for transparency and accountability at City Hall,” said Mayor Brian Bowman.

“The foundation of accountability for all elected officials is an accessible record of what we stand for and with today’s meeting, the City of Winnipeg is launching a new level of accountability that I look forward to seeing rolled out to Council and all Standing Policy Committees in the coming months.”

For now, the system is in a testing phase that will see it being used only at EPC meetings.

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In the past, critics said it was difficult to discover how local councillors and the mayor voted in any given meeting, having to rely on media reports or scouring through meeting minutes.

The new system will eventually allow citizens to see at a glance what their councillor voted for at any given meeting.

People can search by meeting or by councillor.

When a vote is called at a meeting, councillors will enter their decisions on their computer screens, and results are tabulated, sent to the meeting chair and registered in the database.

Once the meeting minutes have been finalized and published, the vote record data will be available on the city’s Open Data portal.

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