HomeNewsDegan Hosts Drop-In for Electronic Voting

Degan Hosts Drop-In for Electronic Voting

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Today, Hopkinton Town Clerk Connor Degan hosted a drop-in training session at the Hopkinton Senior Center for residents to learn more about the town’s electronic voting initiative. On October 23, Degan announced to the Select Board that his office had contracted with Meridia Interactive Services to supply electronic voting for the Special Town Meeting scheduled for November 13.

A Meridia voting fob

Meridia provides electronic voting for the US House of Representatives, New Hampshire House of Representatives and several towns in the Commonwealth that use it for their Town Meetings, including Grafton, Leicester, Sterling, and Stow.

Today’s attendees had questions about vote security and how the voting fobs work. Degan confirmed that all votes cast are anonymous and that the device that receives and records votes will only function on the premises of Hopkinton Middle School. It is not connected to the Internet, making it tamper-proof.

Degan cites two reasons for this initiative. The first is out of respect for people’s time. “One of the biggest complaints we hear is that Town Meeting is a time sink,” he said. “People don’t have the time to spend multiple nights debating an issue and then standing around for 20 minutes while we record the vote. Electronic voting eliminates the standing vote counts, so we can move quickly through the agenda.”

More importantly, electronic voting ensures secrecy. “Some people will not feel comfortable speaking in public about how they feel about certain issues, and we want to make sure they are heard. I don’t want someone’s fear of being judged to be what keeps them from voting their conscience on an issue,” said Degan.

>> RELATED: Continuing coverage of Special Town Meeting 2023

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  1. I believe this is a great initiative and thanks to Connor for getting out in front of this from a technology perspective. We will all enjoy the time savings that this provides at town meeting!

  2. Given the history of security incidents around Meridia voting systems ( google for it), what steps will be taken to guarantee voting integrity ( will there be an audit conducted, trained personal present , patched and up to date software and hardware provided? )
    Also why it was decided to have anonymous voting? ( inspite of that the system has a Visual Vote feature which allows people to see that their voices were counted correctly)

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