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America Needs Online Voting Essay

2307 words - 10 pages

     On Election Night November 7, 2000, I viewed first hand the election process over the various news broadcasts. To my surprise, events unfolded like none other in recent history. Elections were called prematurely by competing news stations, concessions were given and then revoked, celebration bottles were chilled on the left and right, but corks never flew. These events caused us to question the reliability of our current system of paper ballot voting. Realizing our current system is outdated and vulnerable to multiple problems we should assume futuristic issues of online voting as a responsible and logical innovation.

 

In correlation to most Americans, we remained ...view middle of the document...

You may vote for only one candidate" (250),

 

assuring us the idea of using computers to ballot is a long awaited and logical progression of election methods. Due to this proposed innovation, we will realize increase voter turnout, create timely and decisive outcomes along with limited fraud and increased security measures unlike any other ballot system provided for in our past history.

 

In particular, the number of registered voters compared to those that actually made their way to the poll-site, in the 2000 election, is lower than expectations of the past. To summarize the article Voter Turnout Up Modestly From 1996 written by Will Dunham of Voter.Com, indicates that the current race for presidency increased little since the 1996 low that previously met the lowest of all marks in 1924. In view of the depression of the twenties, brought on the feelings of inadequacies that one person could not affect the greater outcome of the presidency, it's not a leap of judgment to relate the consequences of that election in regards to voter turnout. Dunham quotes Curtis Gans, of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, as saying, "50.7 percent of the 205.8 million voting age Americans cast ballots on Thursday pitting Republican George W. Bush against Democrat Al Gore." He proceeds with accounting that,

 

Voter turnout in the quadrennial presidential elections has been falling steadily since 1960, when 62.8 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the race between Democrat John Kennedy and Republican Richard Nixon. U.S. voter participation also lags significantly behind other democracies around the world. In conclusion Dunham goes into possible reasons why some states do better than others in the voter's participation arena. Two of these states are Washington and Oregon, both of which have extensive mail-in ballot programs. Oregon is an exclusively mail in ballot state and continually tops others in voter turnout with their easy voting method. Implicating by example, the need for greater accessibility to voters.

 

For obvious reasons our procedures for counting the ballots and certifying results comes under scrutiny for increased accountability and efficiency. From dangling chads to military ballots without postmarks, along with the obvious differences in counting procedures of individual canvassing board's, has demanded the importance for immediate improvements. As we know, the last state to certify their election results, 19 days after the election and with much controversy, was Florida. Realizing the unusual circumstances surrounding the hand-counts, we have to recognize the initial reasons for the circumstances stemming from the quirky ballot system on the start. Mainly, the paper ballots themselves are identified as the culprits. Not only were they confusing to some, the tabulation machines themselves misread tens of thousands of ballots nation wide.

 

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