Elections Markham & IBM Canada launch virtual assistant to answer all your municipal election questions

Smartphone with virtual assistant featured

As Canada’s high-tech capital, Markham continues to lead the way in digital democracy, while contributing to the development of online voting standards, industry benchmarks and guidelines.

With the 2022 Markham Municipal Election just around the corner, the City of Markham has worked with IBM Canada to launch the Elections Markham Virtual Assistant, powered by IBM Watson Assistant. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), this virtual assistant is designed to make it easier than ever for voters to get reliable and accurate information about the upcoming municipal election.

This is the latest addition in a series of customer service enhancements introduced by Elections Markham. The virtual assistant offers 24-hour support for voters looking for credible, timely election information, and has the ability to answer your questions – anywhere, anytime.

Not sure how to vote online? Need help registering to vote? Want to find out how to donate to a candidate’s campaign? The virtual assistant is able to answer these questions and many more.

“Elections Markham is proud to launch its virtual assistant for the 2022 Markham Municipal Election and provide online customer service around the clock,” said Kimberley Kitteringham, City Clerk / Returning Officer, City of Markham. “With 250 hours to vote in the upcoming municipal election from October 14 to 24, this innovation will significantly enhance the voter experience, break down barriers and support an inclusive and accessible election experience for everyone.”

Drawing on advanced natural language processing capabilities, IBM Watson Assistant will enable City of Markham to address voters’ inquiries online, creating conversational experiences. So, while voters are learning more about the election, the Elections Markham Virtual Assistant learns about your questions – improving its ability to provide reliable, accurate and timely answers when you need them.

“Our work with City of Markham is a great example of how AI-powered solutions and natural language processing can help government organizations to quickly deliver critical information and services to voters,” said Frank Attaie, General Manager – Technology, IBM Canada. “With IBM Watson Assistant, an industry leader in conversational AI, we are enabling the City of Markham to build robust conversational solutions and help create exceptional customer experience.”

The City of Markham was the first local municipality in Canada to offer online voting back in 2003 and continues to offer the longest running online voting program from coast-to-coast-to-coast today. Leveraging IBM’s Watson Assistant will allow the City of Markham to enhance the voter experience by continuing to break down barriers and empowering all voters to exercise their democratic right to vote.

Visit electionsmarkham.ca and to experience the virtual assistant for yourself!

The Elections Markham website is your official source for the latest and most credible information related to the 2022 Markham Municipal Election.

Kimberley Kitteringham headshot

Kimberley Kitteringham (She/Her)
Returning Officer / City Clerk
Elections Markham

Frank Attaie Headshot

Frank Attaie (He/Him)
General Manager – Technology
IBM Canada

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