|Online voting IS the future of voting!|
Our Democratic Future is Online
Marc Mayrand has ruled out internet voting as a way to boost voter turnout. Is he right, that it's not secure enough, or is he living in the past?
Somewhat ironically, Elections Canada head honcho Marc Mayrand had an online discussion with Globe and Mail readers, during which he ruled out internet voting as a tool to engage more voters.
I think he’s being shortsighted. Internet voting has issues, but it’s been used successfully in American primary elections as far back as 2000 and in the world’s largest democracy, India.
Voter turnout is barely above 60% and trending downwards. This means that it takes about 30% of the vote to win a popular majority and less to form government.
The benefits of internet voting are clear. It negates many of the traditional reasons people don’t vote - long lines, working long hours and having to watch your kids. It will also engage a generation that is used to doing everything from buying music to banking online.
Rather than being timid, Canada ought to be bold. Elections Canada should be actively developing, or contracting out the development, of online elections software. Security is the biggest concern which is why starting now, and testing e-voting in smaller elections and for non-binding referenda, is crucial if Canada is going to bring about internet voting in the near future.
Ben Singer is a law student and political consultant with High Road Consulting.
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