RDEK staffer named to BC online voting panel

Cranbrook resident to help investigate proposed election option

An experienced local elections officer has been chosen to take part in an important B.C.-wide review.

Lee-Ann Crane, chief administrative officer of the Regional District of East Kootenay, will sit on an independent panel to look into the possibility of online voting for B.C. elections.

In the lead-up to becoming Premier of B.C., Christy Clark pledged to modernize the province’s electoral process.

The first step is to consider internet voting, and in August the B.C. government officially requested Elections B.C. set up an independent panel to look into it.

Crane, who has been involved in local government elections since 1980, was chosen to represent local government and rural communities on that panel of five.

She joins Dr. Keith Archer, Chair of Elections B.C.; Dr. Kosta Beznosov, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia; Dr. Valerie King, Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria; and George Morfitt, former Auditor General of B.C.

“Several qualities of Lee-Ann Crane drew her to our attention,” said Dr. Archer.

“Note that the mandate of the panel is to examine the opportunities and challenges on Internet-based voting in provincial and local government elections, thus knowledge of the local government environment is important.

“Ms. Crane also serves on the Elections Sub-Committee of the Local Government Management Association. Those who have interacted with her emphasized her reputation for independence and judgement, two qualities that are very important for all members of the panel. In addition, her location in Cranbrook helps provide regional diversity to the panel.”

Crane also edits the Elections Manual for local governments, and serves as a resource to other municipalities and regional districts across the province.

“I believe it is important to have local government represented on the panel and I am very much looking forward to the opportunity,” said Crane.

The panel will examine opportunities and challenges related to the potential implementation of Internet-based voting for provincial or local government elections.

A website will be developed to inform the public about the panel’s work and provide an opportunity for input and feedback.