Monday, July 6, 2009

Electronic Voting

The subject of electronic voting, with its promise and hazards, is an interesting one. As we move an ever-expanding amount of our personal logistics like shopping and paying bills online it is inevitable that as a society we will start examining the mechanics of exercising our franchise virtually. (As opposed to virtually exercising the franchise, which may describe a lot of voting behaviour already!)

Kirk Schmidt, making a guest appearance on the Enlightened Savage's Blog on 30 June, posted an excellent summary of the practical issues with taking voting online. I found it well worth the read - interesting, thorough, and thought-provoking. Recommended!

1 comment:

  1. Alex, thanks for the reminder of Kirk's post!

    For some time I've been hoping that we could at least try online voting at the municipal level in Alberta but it doesn't look like that will happen in time for the October 2010 election.

    I'm aware that there are concerns about security, anonymity, ect, ect. For those reasons I'm not advocating that it's ready for prime time at the Fed or Provincial levels. But, I think it could work very well at the municipal level.

    The fact is that other provinces (ON & NS) have allowed municipalities to utilize internet voting in their local elections. The only reason this hasn't happened in Alberta is that the provincial legislation doesn't allow for it - if it did, I think you might have seen Grande Prairie using it in 2010.

    I don't believe that voting online should replace the ability to vote in person. I do think that if the goal is to encourage participation in our democracy then there's no harm in at least testing what could be a helpful addition.

    I've posted some info about Internet Voting on my blog, the first article is from '07 and has info on the experience Markham, ON had with internet voting in their 2006 election.

    Check it out: