Online Voting: Feasible? Or NAHT?
Updated: Jan 8
Here we are in 2020. AKA the worst year in history. Undoubtedly in my lifetime. There is no way 2021 can be worse… unless the world comes to an end.
Moving on… 2020 sucks, noted. There have been many things about 2020 that suck. One of those many things was the election. Party affiliation aside, much stress was and has been devoted to the voting situation.
This begs the question: Online Voting. Is it feasible?
1- Convenience. I’d bet there is a chance voting percentages shoot way up if the process was made as easy as voting from your couch. America is lazy! What if you’re incredibly stoned, fat, or suffer from a health problem that is debilitating? Online voting can only help your slim motivation and up your percentage chance of voting. I mean… we shop and do our banking online. Why shouldn’t we vote online?
2- If issues with online voting arise, couldn’t you just revert back to the old staple of physical, hand-written voting slips? Schedule the online segment three days before physical Election Day. By doing so, you grant yourself three days of security to iron out the kinks.
3- Estonia. Can’t say this country rings a bell for me. However, they appear to be leaders in the online voting community. The country has been voting online since 2005. Most of their governmental transactions take place online. Their citizens trust the system. Experts say that all interference that has ever occurred during these online elections have been swiftly detected and swept away. Two articles beneath contain information on Estonia and their online voting. Check them out.
4- 32 States, including the District of Columbia…offer some sort of fax, email or online voting in special circumstances. One could presume that this number will rise in the coming years as states will increasingly adopt similar policies. One could say that this points to a future of online voting at some point down the line. We are testing the waters.
1- Internet connection. I’m sure you all still know one or two old geezers who straight up have an eversion to technology. They hate it. They refuse to learn it. To them, the gold old days were synonymous with little to no technology. Point being: how are we to assure that every citizen has access to legit technology that has reliable enough Internet connection to cast your vote? Answer: we don’t. Not yet, at least.
2- Security. We were worried that foreign countries may have meddled with past elections. Imagine if elections were online? The protection against hacking with online elections seems to still be lacking. If it weren’t, wouldn’t 2020 have been the perfect year to implement voting online?
3- America does not trust their online activities nearly as much as Estonia. Estonia does nearly everything online. Want to apply for a permit to drive? Do it online. Pay all of your bills? Online. America is still largely a country where we file things on pen and paper. The result of this? People are hesitant to change. People simply don’t trust electronics all that much to handle sensitive personal information. In Estonia, it’s par for the course. They’ve been doing this shit since 2005. Moral of the story: Even when and IF it begins, online voting may take a while to fully win over the trust of the American people.
I truly believe that online voting will become a staple in America within the next decade or so. Albeit, we have a long way to get there. “Voting over the Internet creates a number of challenges that we don’t actually know how to solve yet,” Dan Wallach, computer science professor at Rice University, told “Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio. Let me refer back to one of my earlier articles focusing on Amazon One. Amazon One is Amazon’s vision/ploy to make everything recognizable by fingerprint. Forget lines at stores. Simply check out by fingerprint. But there are major security risks at this point. Striking similarities are reflected in online voting. Here is my article on Amazon One if you’d like to take a gander:
But our world is becoming an increasingly (and somewhat scarily) technological planet. Online voting seems to be another easy progression. If we can trust self-driving automobiles, we can trust online voting… right?
Here are three informative articles that I pulled from… Highly encouraged reading: