Electronic Voting Passes Town Meeting 236 Yeah to 21 Nay

And the vote was done electronically with Privacy, Speed and Accuracy

Wayland - the 1st Open Town Meeting in Massachusetts to use Electronic Voting

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Public Service Announcement on Wayland’s WayCam.tv from Moderator Dennis Berry

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Electronic Voting Means Better Decisions for All of Us.

Wayland is the first town in Massachusetts - in New England - to successfully use and incorporate wireless keypad electronic voting into its town meeting legislature.

Present and Past Wayland Moderators Dennis Berry and Peter Gossels

When wirelesselectronickeypad votingwas first proposed for Wayland's town meeting - three problems, common to many towns who practice open town meeting, were targeted.

• Votes were often inaccurate.

• Votes were typically the source of long counting procedures which occupied a significant portion of the citizen's valuable time.

• Voting was done in public with no privacy and this interfered with the free will of the voters.

The result was that many voters simply stayed away from attending or, in many case, voted against their private feelings while under duress. Secret voting on town meeting floor was always legal but without modern technology, it was not time-practical to do it. People traded off their privacy for their time.

In April 2010, Article 22 - the acceptance of electronic voting on a trial basis was passed. The Wayland moderator appointed a sub-committee called the 'Electronic Voting & Implementation Sub-Committee" (affectionately known as ELVIS) which created the procedures and logistics necessary to fit the technology to the law and ultimately to New England's 400 year old tradition. That tradition is the people's legislature. ELVIS remains an on-going sub-committee of Wayland and you can visit the offical ELVIS website by clickinghere. (The ELVIS website contains a wealth of technical and procedural documents.)

Wayland is now in its second year of using electronic voting at Wayland's open town meeting.

Speed, Accuracy and Privacy were 'The Original 3' issues we wanted to tackle but, to our surprise, something else very positive happened. Something that was not expected.

Town meeting attendees, who were now unemcumbered from the slow,inaccurate and non-private types of voting of the past, exhibited calmness and began to use their time for what town meeting was intended for. They used it for respectful debate, problem solving and legislating.

The voting systems of the past created a palpable tension with a stadium-like atmosphere always present in the hall. Under the previous system, people became more tired by the end of the night.What we all came to realizewas that the voting systems of the past were big energy drainers.

When people are not fatigued and when people are calm, they naturally make better decisions. They make decisions which were true to their own logic and true to their own hearts.

Town meeting decisions affect everybody in town - attendee or not. If people are free to make better decisions at town meeting then those better decisions carry their beneftis to everybody in town.

A synergy occurs in a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Electronic voting has provided Wayland's town meeting with a synergy that was completely unexpected. But a synergy which was welcomed by all.

Please spend some time on the rest of this website. By doing that, you will learn the details of how and why electronic voting is the synergy for New England town meeting and how this technology remains the single biggest improvement to our people's legislature in the past 400 years!


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