Online voting for last weekend’s NSW election was far more popular than expected. But embracing the convenient joys of this new technology introduces new risks to this core process of democracy.
As iTnews reported, the NSW Electoral Commission expected around 10,000 people to use their new iVote system. The actual number was more than 47,000, with more than 90 per cent of them being voters who were outside the state. Now without a doubt online voting makes it easier for travellers to vote.
It improves the lot of the disabled too, who can vote for themselves rather than rely on the assistance of others. And it’s a boon for the lazy who selfishly imagine that having to queue at a polling place once every three or four years is more of a burden than an undemocratic government.
But the success of an election shouldn’t been measured by its convenience, but by its ability to solve a conundrum: how to combine the complete transparency of process needed to eliminate fraud with the secrecy of individuals’ votes.The secret ballot was an Australian invention, even called “the Australian vote” for a time. Today it’s so common even in contexts outside national and state elections, and it so obviously removes the risk of voter intimidation, that we take it as a given. We’d be fools to give that away.
Full Article: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45784.html