As we well know technology moves at a pace determined by those that push the envelope and stive to make changes to better humanity. With technology moving at such a rapid pace today what would be a realistic time frame to start to see changes in the way we vote? This article takes a look at some of the reasons why we are not currently utilizing online voting here in the United States and what we may be able to do to fix it. As long as we continue to push boundaries in technology and government we are sure to see positive movement toward our envisioned digital democracy.
When you go to the polling station on 7 May, take a moment to step back, look at your surroundings – the wooden floors of a village hall, the rusty hinges of the partition installed to stop anyone seeing your ballot paper, the very fact you queued for your entire lunch hour to drop a piece of paper into a box – and ask yourself why you can’t vote online.
We can bank, shop, communicate, and order a new passport or driving license online, so why can’t we use the internet to vote? The UK has run trials in the past. Liverpool and Sheffield city councils are among five to have run pilot online voting schemes in 2002, 2003 and 2007. Online turnout ranged from 11% to over 26% and afterwards the Electoral Commission said the online system “proved popular in improving access to voting” and that the technology had “worked well”.
The Labour Party will trial online voting for the 2020 election if Ed Miliband is given the keys to Number 10, while Commons Speaker John Bercow recently said people should have the option to vote online by the same year.
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