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Should We Cast The Ballot Electronically?

1751 words - 7 pages

Should We Cast the Ballot Electronically?

With the advancement of technology in the United States today, many are drawn to the idea of making elections available electronically. Although the technology is available, it is important to consider if it is safe and reliable. Electronic voting could have many negative implications on our society if it isn’t completely safe. In this paper, I will explore why this is such an important issue, who is affected, and how and if our new technology integrated into our voting system.

This topic is extremely important to the future every citizen in the country. As Avi Rubin eloquently puts it, “These changes are approached so sensitively because a discrepancy in the election system threatens the principals that make our society free, which in turn, affects every aspect of thee way we live.” A switch to electronic voting would affect every citizen because it would be the means to which we elect public officials into office, and affects the way we have an impact on our country’s government. Aside from its success, electronic voting would affect differently those who have more access and knowledge of computers. This change in method may deter the poor or elderly from participating in unknown territory. This drop in voter turnout from certain demographics may be detrimental the idea of a representative government.
My research began with many optimist articles about how computers will simplify, correct, and accurately tally votes. In the optimistic article “How E-Voting Will Work,” Keven Bonsor advocated electronic polling place (using touch screen kiosks) by stating: “Everything is electronic, so in addition to the benefit of timeliness, there is also less concern over human error in the counting process.” Taking this a step further to Internet voting, he states that “online voting eliminates the lines at polling places, and gives us the ultimate anonymous vote.”

As I continued my research, however, I found many other scientific reports that outline dire consequences of making US elections electronic. In “A Better Ballot Box” by Rebecca Mercuri, she argues that, aside from preventing ballot box stuffing, the new electronic voting systems currently for sale “provide less accountability, poorer reliability, and greater opportunity for widespread fraud than those already in use.” She insists that “there must be a way to back track total s from actual ballots that come from (and must be independently verified by) legitimate voters voting no more than once. In turn, ballots must in no way identify or be traced back to the voter after it is cast. These constraints, many experts say, cannot be mutually satisfied by any fully automated system.”

The main issues when it comes to voting seem to be accuracy and privacy. Anonymous votes are important because they prevent vote buying and extortion due to the fact that a person cannot prove (by a receipt or otherwise conventional means) that they voted...

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