Canada: Supporting municipal elections in British Columbia and Ontario

Services for scanning hand-marked paper ballots in 12 municipalities in BC and five in Ontario

Canada is a big country – 10 provinces and three territories – with 22 million voters. Like most democracies, local elections are the bedrock on which successful governance is built. It’s at this local level that Smartmatic made its name known in Canada, supporting municipal elections in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia (BC).

Smartmatic supported nearly 225,000 voters in 12 municipalities in BC and five municipalities in Ontario, delivering optical scan tabulators and extensive support services that included everything from ballot printing to technician training.

Elections in Canada

Canadian officials are adding technology to validate their traditional hand count and provide supplemental digital audit trails to deliver peace of mind to voters. Ontario was the first province to adopt tabulators (also called optical ballot scanners) and these devices are now a well-established tool in provincial and municipal elections. Online voting is allowed by law in a large number of municipalities, but not in federal elections.

Technology & Services

Smartmatic provided and deployed 150 devices, which included its latest optical scan tabulator, the A4-800, and the SAES-1800Plus, to 17 Canadian municipal customers. Additionally, several municipalities utilized Smartmatic’s Election Management System (e-360) for reporting election night results.

Smartmatic experts provided the project management and deployment strategy, ensuring that each municipality received personalized service. The team oversaw all of the configuration and integration across each of the 17 sites. Smartmatic worked with the municipalities’ local print vendors to design, print and deliver over 140,000 paper ballots. The company hired, trained and deployed 16 field technicians, who were deployed during early voting and on Election Day to ensure smooth operations.


One of the biggest benefits to the municipalities was hands-on service. The BC municipalities that Smartmatic supported varied in size from as few as 2,700 up to 32,000 registered voters. Some of these locations employ only one or two election officials. Having comprehensive support throughout the whole election process was significant for them.


The robust audit trail produced by Smartmatic’s technology provided stakeholders with the evidence to corroborate the accuracy and legitimacy of results.


The system is designed to protect the voter privacy and the cast ballots. Smartmatic’s security model guarantees the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information at every stage.


The tabulators scan quickly and consistently, reducing queues, improving voter satisfaction and ensuring accurate results.