A New Participatory Policy Model: The Edmonton Citizens’ Jury on Internet Voting

Article 5 / 12 , Vol 36 No 2 (Summer)

A New Participatory Policy Model: The Edmonton Citizens’ Jury on Internet Voting

The weekend of November 23 to 25, 2012, seventeen Edmonton citizens took part in a Citizens’ Jury, which deliberated on whether to introduce Internet voting as an alternative voting method in future municipal elections. This unique public engagement process was modeled by the University of Alberta’s Centre for Public Involvement and is the first of its kind in Canada. The Jury heard testimony from expert witnesses, evaluated the evidence presented and, after extensive deliberation, delivered a verdict in favour of Internet voting. This article summarizes the Jury process, analyzes its outcomes, and discusses lessons learned from this approach to participatory policy development and decision-making.