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John Poulos, President and CEO, DVS Corp., Toronto. (DVS Corp.)
John Poulos, President and CEO, DVS Corp., Toronto. (DVS Corp.)

Top 40 Under 40

John Poulos, 36: makes voting accessible Add to ...

Each year, Caldwell Partners International chooses 40 Canadians who were under 40 in the past year to honour for their outstanding achievements. Click here to learn more about the program, and find more winners in the list below.

With voting - once the privilege of land-owning men - today extended to women and prisoners, John Poulos says there's one group history forgot: the disabled.

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"If you were a blind person, you would have to rely on someone else to record your ballot," he says. "It limits access to democracy."

That's partly why Mr. Poulos formed Dominion Voting Systems Corp., which deals in ballot systems.

From small beginnings in 2003 doing an election in Quinte West, Ont., Dominion is now in about 150 municipalities and was used in a couple of province-wide elections, including most polling stations in Ontario's 2010 election. Dominion also has technology in 1,000 United States counties across 35 states.

Today, Dominion's machines include a roster of accessible technology - audio readouts, large electronic screens, even a "sip and puff" system for quadriplegics.

The computer then renders the vote on to paper, shading the ballot so it does not look like a machine did it - preserving privacy in recounts.

The decision to keep paper in the process was controversial at first. Dominion was founded only three years after the infamous 2000 United States presidential election that brought in George W. Bush, when recounts in Florida revealed half-punched voter cards dubbed "dimpled chads."

But Mr. Poulos saw paper as the ultimate way to ensure security.

"The key difference is if you ever had a mistake happen at your bank or ATM, the bank can link the transaction with your name and time. We can't do that, because your vote has to remain private."

The Bush election ended up helping Dominion, as it turned out. Congress appointed $3.8-billion to assist counties and states in acquiring updated voting technology.

Although most upgraded by the time Dominion could offer them technology, New York State ended up buying a lot of machines.

That's just one market spurring Dominion's strong rise, which includes a presence on the Deloitte Fast 50, which measures fast-growing technology companies.

More winners:

  • Karen Bakker, 39
  • Keith Bilous, 39
  • Leonard Brody, 39
  • Naman Budhdeo, 38
  • Michael Burns, 39
  • Craig Campbell, 34
  • Norie Campbell, 39
  • Jody Campeau, 39
  • Cody Church, 39
  • Brian Coombes, 36
  • Matthew Corrin, 29
  • Frederick Dryden, 39
  • Dominic Giroux, 35
  • Deirdre Horgan, 38
  • Kyle Jeworski, 36
  • Nicholas Johnson, 38
  • Dr. Kirsten Johnson, 39
  • Kevin Li, 39
  • Stewart Lyons, 37
  • Muhammad Mamdani, 39
  • Andy McCreath, 35, and Christian Darbyshire, 35
  • Calvin McDonald, 39
  • Duke McKenzie, 35
  • Glori Meldrum, 37
  • Michele Mosca, 39
  • Suresh Narine, 39
  • Sean O'Reilly, 36
  • John Poulos, 36
  • Andrew Reid, 34
  • Gregory Roberts, 38
  • Angela Santiago, 39
  • Bradley Schwartz, 39
  • Leerom Segal, 31
  • Som Seif, 34
  • Natasha Sharpe, 39
  • Andrew Smith, 38
  • Steve Sousa, 39
  • Marie-Pier St-Hilaire, 33
  • David Vocadlo, 37
  • Nolan Watson, 31

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