At the time of writing, we are fresh off a Canadian federal election which saw a young charismatic candidate be elected into office. We are also just less than a year away from an American federal election in which we will see a new president.
This got me thinking about voting. Like many students living far away from home, one can find the voting process difficult. Getting motivated to go through the process of finding a voting station, getting to a voting station and registering yourself is a slight hassle. I’m sure there are many people (not just students) who agree with me. Instantly the topic of online voting came to mind, why haven’t more governments put that into practice?
An article from SecurityIntelligence.com gives valuable insight into complications of online voting. Security intelligence is a website that provides Analysis and Insight for Information Security Professionals and is powered by IBM. In the article written by Douglas Bonderud he highlights both sides of the argument around the topic of online voting. He cites a CNN article which states that personal computers and devices would act as points of compromise and undermine the entire effort [of voting]. I understand the point made however I do not agree with it in the slightest. I do not see how computers could “compromise or undermine” the voting process. Citizens will have increased access to voting. This technology would eliminate many barriers preventing citizens to cast a vote. The percentage of citizen’s votes would certainly increase dramatically because of the ease of access.
Bonderud highlights how many American states have voting methods that are becoming out-dated. The article goes on to demonstrate how there are many states that know they need new equipment but do not know where they will get the money to purchase it (Bonderud, 2015). Smartmatic Board Chairman Lord Mark Malloch-Brown says that running an election on modern technology is much cheaper than relying on out-dated machines and failing technology (as cited in Bonderud, 2015).
So why not have online accessibility to elections? We just aren’t there yet. Eventually within the next decade, it is very likely that we will see online elections in North America. Part of the hesitation is security. A few questions come to mind. How can the government guarantee the safety of the ballots? Who will oversee the ballot casting process? Finally, will the ease of access encourage people to treat voting as some kind of game? My final thought on this issue is one that must be lobbied to governments who do not have online voting. If there exists a feasible method of increasing voter turnout should it not be considered?
Bonderud, D. (2015, November 16). Old Voting Tech Puts 2016 Election at Risk – Time for a veto?