In a world where everything can be connected and done through the internet, why is something as simple, yet as important as voting still done offline i.e. on paper? Different online electronic voting systems are widely and successfully used by various organizations, homeowners associations, schools, churches, clubs, and similar all over the world for at least a decade. However, although electronic voting offers obvious benefits over the traditional voting systems, there is still no indication that this system will be used to vote for elections in the future. Learn why we are concerned about making the switch and whether or not online voting should be the new and only way to cast a ballot on Election Day.
What is Electronic Voting?
When you mention online voting or e-voting, many people envision it as using their phones or computer to connect to the internet and cast a vote with just a few clicks. This is adequately classified as electronic voting. However, under the same category can be included some other arrangements. Primarily, when one mentions electronic voting, he or she refer to any form of voting that uses modern technology cast or count votes. This means that polling locations in the US are already using electronic voting systems for counting ballots, but not for casting votes.
If you are wondering how to vote online, that is very easy. Just as you may guess, all you need to do is to choose an e-voting system, register online and cast a ballot using your preferred electronic device that has access to internet connection. It’s that easy!
The Advantages of Electronic Voting
The main advantage of online voting is the speed and accuracy at which results can be calculated and reported. With traditional voting methods, in order to be tallied, ballots from various polling locations must be collected and transferred to a central location where a team of individuals will go through them manually to determine their validity. This process is very time-consuming, and it regularly leads to a delay in the announcement of results. However, if we used e-voting, we would never had to stay up all night trying to determine who will win. With reliable online electronic voting systems, we could find out the results as soon as the online polls close.
Another major benefit of electronic voting is the potential for increased voter turnout. Unfortunately, due to different reasons, people cannot vote on a specific day due to personal obligations. Many people, especially young adults simply don’t care about voting. However, if we used modern technology that is more familiar and appealing to them, they will most likely take a few minutes of their time to cast a ballot. We live in an era where most things we need are instantly accessible to us through the internet. If we still need to go to a polling location in order to vote, our voter turnout will continue to decrease.
Apart from being more accessible to people who are busy with family and job obligations, e-voting also provides greater accessibility to people who are somehow physically challenged or suffer from a severe medical condition or major social anxiety. Lastly, it is also important to mention the cost-effectiveness of online voting systems. Although we live in a technologically advanced era, we also live in tough economic times where every dollar counts. As you know, conducting an election is a very costly project, mostly because of labor costs. However, since electronic voting machines count the ballot themselves, there is no need to hire additional workforce. By being able to vote online, we would also eliminate the use of polling location employees.