The benefits (?) of e-voting

politics, society

Nowadays, I see with increasing frequency stories about e-voting — voting for regional or national elections via the Internet. The worries about fraud are stated clearly, emphatically, and meaningfully.

But where are the corresponding benefits?

Quicker tabulation? Perhaps. And I guess that’s considered important with today’s MTV’d-attention-span folks.

Cost savings? After all the anti-hacking, equipment procurement and maintenance, and verification costs are added in? I don’t see it.

Smaller margin of error? Nothing that couldn’t be accomplished by more user-friendly paper ballots, IMHO.

Convenience? Those who are mobile-impaired (the handicapped or elderly, for instance) can already request absentee ballots and vote from the comfort of their own home. Heck, nearly ALL of us (at least in California) can actually do so; I’ve voted absentee for the last two years, saving the hassle of fighting the crowds and limited hours at my local polling place.

So am I missing something, or is e-voting actually a “solution” in search of a problem?

2 comments… add one
  • CrazyKate Jul 27, 2003

    Even though it would be quite a large cost up front, in the long run it’ll be cheaper & more accurate and quicker (and all that stuff) if they had touch screen type interfaces for voting. That way it could be automatically saved into a computer to determine the outcome.

    I went to a Dance Fever event at a mall the other day (originally went to see friends to a west coast swing demo, but missed it ‘cause the stupid people rearranged the day, grr) & they had standalone touch screen surveys at the information table.  They got your email address and different things you like about Dance Fever.

    I dunno, just seemed cool to me & that it could be used in a lot more places to be more useful.

  • Bohemian Grove Jun 29, 2008

    I think that a combination of touch screen interfaces with secured robotic counting units will be the most efficient way to vote. You can put an unlimited amount of sensors inside the robot which monitor individually that the machine works perfectly. It’s gonna be a lot harder to change the way a physical machine works than to change a software, so I think that if it’s done correctly it will be more secure and cheaper.
    ??? ????????

What do you think?