Why don’t we have a system to vote for President online? It’s 2012. Everything is online. Is it because officials want us to be uncomfortable? Because according to Wikipedia election day “celebrations” include ” visiting polling precincts?” Because filling out tiny ovals is fun? No. None of that is fun. You could probably eliminate the whole problem of people not voting if they could do it easily online, rather than waiting for hours in polling places. And some places are already trying it.
Edmonton, Alberta, for instance, is implanting an online voting system, and just finished a test according to PC Magazine:
Edmonton gave voters (residents and anyone else from around the world who chose to participate) until noon on November 2 to cast their ballots in the Jellybean Election, which is what it sounds like: the electorate voting on a favorite jellybean color (along with ice cream and movie).
The election is a test run for the city’s general election in October of next year, to allow participation for those who cannot vote in person. The city hopes to gauge how residents would feel about using the system as a viable alternative and to test the technology itself for voter privacy, security, auditability, and usability.
That sounds fantastic! I would love that!
The town of Markham, in Ontario, Canada, has had online ballots in local elections since 2003. When they began allowing people to vote online, they found that the number of people voting increased by 300%. Of course it did. You are on a computer right now. Imagine how much easier it would be to vote from here than actually having to go someplace – possibly by foot! In the cold!
Sweden, Latvia and Switzerland are also testing internet voting. And Estonia has had its whole population able to vote online since 2007!
And want to hear something really interesting? We were doing, it, too. Were. We’re not anymore.