I'm just bringing your attention to an article in my local paper and then I'm going to slip into a rant that you have heard before.
The article is about three scientists that hacked into an electronic voting machine. I'm not surprised. I wouldn't be surprised if two 14 year olds did it.
"Based on our understanding of security and computer technology, it looks like paper-based elections are the way to go," said University of California San Diego Prof. Hovav Shacham, who led the project.
"Probably the best approach would be optical scanners reading paper ballots."
I don't even like the optical scanner route. Once a voting record is made electronic it can be hacked. There is nothing wrong with the current system of paper ballots and human hand counting. Even if everyone voted we could still hand count and deliver the results in less than two weeks. We don't need instant results on something as important as elections. Now coffee and TimbitsTM - that needs to arrive post haste ... but I digress.
Elections Canada ..... is on track to try online voting in a 2013 byelection.
Online voting is being considered as a way to appeal to younger voters.
Now this is where the rant starts. Voter turnout is a real and troubling issue. I don't believe it is only a younger persons issue. Going to electronic voting is not going to solve the voter turnout problem. People just need to get off their ass and go out and vote. No excuses, just do your job. That's right I said job, your duty, take care of your responsibility, exercise your franchise.
And ... and ... more than just schlepping to the voting booth and making a mark, you have to inform yourself of the issues and the candidate / party positions. Yeah, it involves some time and effort on your part. Suck it up, buttercup. Considerable effort was expended to get you the right to vote.
I happened across another article while looking around. This is from the Vancouver Sun, Daphne Bramham, from May of '09' regarding voter turnout in the BC provincial election.
Reasons why people don't vote :
They weren't interested, didn't like the candidates or parties, didn't think their votes would count, didn't like the political system or didn't care about the issues.
Another thought is that people have given up because political leaders don't talk about controversial plans during the campaign, but slam them through when they're elected. The carbon tax, public-private partnerships and the aboriginal reconciliation bill are among the examples provincially.
Electronic voting isn't going to change any of that. All electronic voting will do is add another way to game the system. History tells us that any possible method to game the system has been and will be exploited.
From the same article :
using symbols for the parties or photos of the candidates since Statistics Canada data show that four in 10 British Columbians are functionally illiterate.
Now that makes sense. It's sad that it's necessary in a country as "advanced" as Canada, but so be it.
Thank you for reading this far into an old flatlander's rant.
As a reward I will relay a joke attributed to Walter Cronkite ( A pretty good talking head if you want my opinion ).
Two Irish guys walk out of bar.
Heyyy, it could happen !!!