Weigh the pros and cons, and then you decide if voting should be online.
1. Accessibility- Vote from home, schools, libraries. No excuses why you couldn’t vote because of the weather, time of day, or other reasons.
2. Secure- Americans bank, re-new vehicle registration, fill out Federal and local tax forms, apply for student loans, and shop online. There is online stock trading, and social networking. Today’s encryption software is more secure than voting machines.
3. No interference with any candidate influences or tampering with votes around the polling centers.
4. Voters’ participation- Voting would increase dramatically because of convenience.
5. Large savings for communities- Staffing voting booths, supplying expensive machines, and using security around polling booths can be another drain on a local economy.
6. Eliminate using schools, and firehouses as polling locations. This can be disrupting to their schedules.
7. Eliminate waiting- Long lines, during Presidential elections, turn some voters away.
8. Consistent voting- Local and state elections will have good turnouts, where previously the non-presidential election turnouts were low.
9. Votes would be tallied in “real time”. We would not have to wait hours for the votes to come in from various states.
10. Americans could vote from anywhere in the world via computer. No more paper absentee ballots.
11. No more absentee ballots from senior citizens who are unable to travel to polling booths. They could vote from home, or use a relative’s laptop in a hospital or nursing home.
12. Voting methods are not standardized across the nation, and this creates distrust for the voting process, so many people just don’t vote. Remember the 2000 election?
13. Many Americans are apathetic about voting because they think that their vote doesn’t matter. Younger Americans were weaned on computers, so voting online would seem natural for them and they are more likely to vote.
14. Americans have become more trusting using computers for their daily tasks, as are companies and entrepreneurs who do business online.
15. Internet voting systems have gained popularity and have been used for government elections and referendums in the United Kingdom, Austria, Estonia, France, Japan and Switzerland as well as municipal elections in Canada. Voters are given a user ID and password.
1. Voting online would upset the local polling booth committees, and voting machine companies.
2. Americans, who don’t use computers, will need technical support and access to local libraries’ computers and distrust putting personal information on a computer.
There are more positives than negatives. Doesn’t it make sense to vote online? If we trust our computers for banking, register our vehicles and purchase online, complete our taxes with personal information, complete student loan applications, then we should be able to trust a program allowing us to vote online. We are free to pursue our unalienable rights assigned to us by our Constitution. Should we contact our local and State Representatives and Senators to bring this issue to Congress for future referendum on the ballot? Should we vote online or not?
Get out and vote in our next election, and support our candidates in the voting method we have. Someday, we may be able to vote online. To keep America a democracy, we must vote… regardless of the means.