Voting Starts in Cobourg

I voted today and my experience was positive although some problems voting by phone have already been reported (more under Links).  I’m reporting my experience in detail below so people know what to expect. Like any voting process, it has faults in the registering of who is eligible – the list is not perfect and to some extent relies on people not abusing the system by reporting errors or simply not voting twice when they receive two notices!  The basic list is generated by MPAC “principally based on property assessment data and the results of previous enumeration efforts”.  It seems that this is the principal source of errors and would apply to any technology used for voting.  One concern is that there might not be a provision to decline to vote but that has been addressed (see details below).

Municipal ElectionBefore you vote, you need to find out something about the Candidates.

There are various sources available – here is a list:

There is very little information available online about School Trustee Candidates.  All I can suggest is to look at the online info that the Trustees have posted.  For their links go here.

Online Voting process

The process below was what I saw.  When written down it seems complex but I found it straightforward and easy to do.  The longest, trickiest part was the follow-up optional survey.

  1. In a browser enter:
  2. Click continue
  3. Enter PIN (no spaces) – you should have received one in the mail some time ago.
    Hint.  To confirm you have entered the correct number, click the eye icon at the right of the PIN box.
  4. Enter Date of Birth
  5. Check “I am not a robot” – if the computer at Google thinks you might be a robot, you’ll be asked to choose some images.
  6. Click Login
  7. You will then get a page listing ballots available to you.  Don’t bother clicking Mayor (since he’s acclaimed) but one by one, do click the others.  On my page I also saw Deputy Mayor, Councillors, Trustee, School Board.  Click one to proceed
  8. You will then see choices of the candidates running as well as the option to “Spoil this ballot” and “Decline to vote this ballot”.  You will only be permitted to vote for 5 candidates for Council and for 2 Public School Trustees.
  9. Click Continue
  10. On a screen showing your choices, click Confirm
  11. Go back to the other ballots.
  12. When the entry screen shows that you have voted for all ballots, exit
  13. You will then be asked to complete an optional survey – it says it takes 5 minutes – I took 7 minutes and I was fairly quick making choices.

If you have a problem I suggest you go to a  Voter Help Location: 

  • Victoria Hall – 10 am to 4:30 pm  on Oct 15 to 19 and 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on Oct 22
  • Cobourg Public Library – same dates/times as Vic Hall

Or call Brent Larmer, Municipal Clerk. He is the person in the Town responsible for the election.  Reach him at: 905 372-4301 ext. 4207 or


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22 October 2018 12:12 pm

Who should you contact if you have trouble logging in?

Old Sailor
22 October 2018 11:13 am

I voted online the 2nd day of voting and found it challenging. Fortunately I must have answered the “crosswalk” X’s and 0’s questions correctly on my sixth attempt. Then I was not sure if my vote was actually registered and logged out without prompting. My good wife tried voting online today, the last day of voting and the software could not handle the traffic. There must have been two people voting at once!!!!! No doubt the voting software used was awarded to the lowest bidder, not to a bidder who had beta tested their software.

Hopefully more effort is put into software for the next election. Maybe without the crosswalk anti robot questions.

Reply to  Old Sailor
22 October 2018 11:55 am

Hopefully, Old Sailor we can work the bumps out of this crappy online system and go back to paper and reassure voters that the system is safe secure and verifiable.

Of course the question: do you want online voting? is not on the questionnaire. Would be interesting to see the result of that one!

A Voter
16 October 2018 8:41 pm

I went to Town Hall to vote this morning, thinking I cld avoid on line but alas, not so…. There are folks there to help and the screen is nice and big and already connected so no need to go through links.. The worst part was the “I’m not a Robot” test… “Mark with the squares with a cross walk…” Wldn’t you know, the cross walk extended diagonally across the page hitting at least 8 squares… some, just wee corners… do I mark that one or not? I skipped one which was teeny weeny and that seemed to be OK… I did pass!! but do they have to make the Robot check so complex??!! Staff were helpful but I certainly
did not venture into the Survey…

16 October 2018 2:57 pm

I note below, many if not all, successfully voted on-line. I thought I’d try something very novel for myself – vote by phone. I do not recommend it. I’ve sent my complaints/observations to Brent. Suffice it to say that the process did not go well for me and I was unable to cast votes for Councilors of choice. My wife, seeing my experience, voted online and yep easy-peasy, no problems.

manfred s
Reply to  gerinator
16 October 2018 8:15 pm

maybe won’t work with the ‘rotary dialing model’ phones, gerinator. lol

Reply to  manfred s
18 October 2018 8:36 am

Too funny. Thanks for the giggle

manfred s
Reply to  gerinator
18 October 2018 11:03 am

😁 even the ‘thumbs down’ s are funny! Gotta wonder what they’re seeing besides a friendly jibe, eh …bunch of tightas#*&. lol

16 October 2018 2:30 pm

I voted today. Took me all of five minutes, while I waited for the kettle to boil. Easy! I had my choices already made and just “clicked”. Good Luck to all the candidates and Thank you.

manfred s
Reply to  Elaine
16 October 2018 8:13 pm

even the ones you didn’t vote for, Elaine? That makes little sense, doesn’t it? But then what would good luck be in an election, eh.

Jason Beatty
16 October 2018 10:45 am

I voted around 10:45 yesterday morning with only one slight glitch. At first it would not accept my pin number. I double checked to see of any errors with my input but it was correct. On a whim, I hit enter again and it worked…

I was then able to vote and complete the survey with no issues.

I enjoyed the convenience of online voting and it was nice for my daughter who is away for University to be able to vote too.

16 October 2018 9:46 am

Easy Peasy.
Looking forward to seeing NEW faces on council.

manfred s
Reply to  Frenchy
16 October 2018 8:09 pm

Why, Frenchy?

Reply to  manfred s
16 October 2018 9:59 pm

Someone/something fresh I hope. Maybe some of Wally’s “creative” thoughts instead of tired old politicians who just keep doing what was done before them.

manfred s
Reply to  Frenchy
17 October 2018 11:09 am

Frenchy, isn’t that exactly what you get when you choose someone offering “experience” as their primary qualification for being elected. “Experience” is only useful in the sense that it means you get better at “doing the same things over and over” so offering it as your strong point just suggests that you keep doing the same things over and over to build yet more experience. Good luck in any expectation of ‘change’ from that candidate. btw, our Mayor offered up his experience as his strength in the last 3 elections and I think that’s exactly what he delivered, the status quo, only more refined each time. Change, no room for change in the bag of ‘experience’. So, let’s be warry of the offer of “experience”.

Reply to  manfred s
17 October 2018 11:33 am

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

manfred s
Reply to  Frenchy
17 October 2018 2:52 pm

mais oui

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Frenchy
17 October 2018 12:54 pm

Au contraire!
I have found that a large number of Cobourg citizens – some on this blog – don’t like anything ‘new’ or ‘fresh’, especially if it has anything to do with computers.
Their credo?
‘If this is such a good idea, we would have done it long ago. But since we did not do it long ago. it can’t be a good idea.’

Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
17 October 2018 1:34 pm

Examples Walter?
And… change does not necessarily mean progress.

16 October 2018 9:37 am

When I first tried to get in to the website early in the day it was obviously overloaded and wouldn’t come up. Tried again around supper time and it was fine.
I entered my PIN with spaces, no problem. Couldn’t get into the survey so would be interested to know what the questions were.

Richard Looye
16 October 2018 9:34 am

Simple and straight forward: mission accomplished!
The questionaire is also a good idea albeit I wondered about the reasoning behind some information sought.

Walter L. Luedtke
16 October 2018 9:15 am

Talk about open and transparent voting.
What about the time when you had to be a male property owner – kept out the riffraff.
And the voters got up on a platform and declared their vote in a loud voice.
Those were the days!
comment image

manfred s
Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
16 October 2018 8:08 pm

Perhaps the original root of what we now call an ‘exit poll’ Walter. 😉
I still don’t get why some folks want to thwart the idea of ‘secret ballot’ and blab their mistakes for all to laugh at.

16 October 2018 8:34 am

Why do I get only one vote while my neighbour gets two. Is this democracy? Get rid of this on-line and telephone voting. Paper and pencil is slow and cumbersome but it puts value on the system.

Small Town lover
Reply to  CiW
16 October 2018 2:19 pm

Why did your neighbour get two?

16 October 2018 8:32 am

I tried to vote electronically after 10:00 a.m. yesterday but could not get connected to the evote website. The system must have been overloaded. I tried later and no problem. It was fairly easy to navigate, although with no cue, you were uncertain exactly if you had ended the voting process. Great way to vote. Should hopefully attract more young people to engage. Good of you John to run down the online process for readers.

Reply to  dragonfly
16 October 2018 8:38 am

On-line voting is a sham if a residence gets more PIN’s than there are residents. This has happened in my neighbours house in this election and in the past election.

16 October 2018 7:37 am

I just voted electronically. I resent having to do so.
Would have preferred to vote with a paper ballot at a polling station. Don’t recall if the Town ever asked its citizens to
vote in the current manner.