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Voting Online: Technology at Its Best Potential

Mortimer62I don’t really see how technology is helping our democracy. We seem stuck in prehistoric times while businesses reap all the benefits. Technology is a force that can add much to our country, but until now all we have are really smart phones and personal computers that haven’t changed their function since the early 90s. It is time to start thinking how technology can improve our country and the first place is Voting Online.

We talk about computers and enhanced communication, but if you stop to think about it, how has technology really altered our way of life? Perhaps in the ways cars perform or news arrives faster, but a person born in the 1930s and one born in 1990s can exist just the same. When it comes to our outdated voting system, both age groups only know the lever pulls. It is time for technology finally to help our democracy by making a voting system that is easily accessible, efficient, and safe.

We have a social security number. We have a license if we need it. We have access to computers in every part of the country. Yet according to the article above, security is the reason we are a half a step above punching chads (remember the 2000 Presidential election). If Bill Gates and Microsoft want to improve the quality of life for all Americans, let them develop a system of voting that all Americans, regardless of age, disability, economics, and race can share in making their voice heard.

Neon TommyWe like to save our technology for the military or the highly profitable and prestigious medical field. Most of us do not see the advances that technology can have on our daily lives. The reason we do not have voting online is the fear that 90% of the people would vote. The people who do not vote are often poor, working, or move so often they have no idea where to go to vote. With a system on a secure network (who could create a more secure network that #1 military in the world), we would ensure a true democratic election leading to a more representative government able to respond to the majority of American’s needs. Technology would help us improve our nation and our lives.

Voting last week hit some new lows as some districts reported lower than 10% turnout. We need to allow technology to make it easier to vote.  Our democracy depends on the people’s voice. The protests and anger towards government is primarily the peope’s reaction to lack of control. We can give the control back with a click of the mouse. It is time to use technology to improve our lives by Online Voting.  

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Reader Comments (2)

Great piece! Very valid points all around. I truly believe that technology, at least as it's used on a daily basis by the average citizen, is almost entirely useless.

I find it very interesting that after Steve Jobs' death he was applauded as a genius comparable to Einstein, Newton, Copernicus and the like, yet his legacy is essentially a bunch of toys that people use primarily for frivolous purposes like games, texting, movies, etc. Even the newest advertisement for the latest iphone is all about its incredible talk to text features, which synthesizes human communication to its lowest common denominator. It's not to take away from anything Steve Jobs accomplished, and I know he was a brilliant man, but I have to assume he desired a greater use for his achievements.

However, I digress. Your point that we fear online voting because it might just cause people to actually vote is legitimate. The greatest danger to our current two party monopoly or oligarchy is a truly democratic voting process, which as you point out should be easy to accomplish. I can't help but think of the Occupy (Insert City) people and ponder if they had such a demand as this that they would be taken more seriously. I mean honestly, if nations such as Egypt and Libya can use Twitter and Facebook to start a revolution, then why can't America at least use technology to reform its voting procedures?

Your points are very legitimate, which is why I'm certain they won't be taken too seriously.

November 15, 2011 | Registered CommenterPatrick Edmonds

I agree that the next logical step for democracy in the internet age is online voting. If we can trust our banking and financial information to the internet, there's no reason it shouldn't be used for elections and referendums. But you are right to point out that the underlying resistance to digital democracy is because the masses might actually overwhelm the interests of high powered lobbyists and deeply entrenched political insiders.

On a positive note though, I think the emergence of twitter, youtube, and other social media technologies has really had a dramatic impact on the last two elections. Look at how Obama was able to mobilize grass roots support like no other campaign before. And also look at the recent Republican primary field and all the ups and downs those candidates have experienced with the media trying to play catch up instead of picking its winner already. There's no longer much time for the media establishment to spin a candidate's position or debate comments, because twitter and the blogosphere offer their own views almost instantly. Imagine if we can move that power beyond commenting on relatively meaningless sound bites to actually hearing a people's referendum on the most important issues of the day.

November 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterNick Carraway

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