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If We Can Kill With Drones Online, Why Can’t I Vote Online?

I just came back from my polling location to cast my vote in the primaries at Cambridge Elementary School.

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Upon my arrival, I was informed that they were having to manually check in voters because the wireless aircard on the notebook computer Bexar County Elections (San Antonio) gave them did not work.  

Why did it not work?  

Because the voting location was build in the early 1900’s and cellular reception is poor inside the building.  I asked the polling supervisor why they did not test this before they opened and she told me that they were not allowed to.

To make matters a bit more comical, it was quite evident to me that the polliing supervisor was also instructing the other volunteers in real time.  I politely asked why they did not do training in advance, and she told me that it was almost impossible to get volunteers (or paid staff) to help out.

As I was voting I kept wondering to myself:  “why can’t I do this online?”

I file taxes online.  I pay the Federal Government for my personal and corporation’s taxes online.  My business pays the State of Texas a franchise fee online.  I pay my personal and business property taxes online.  I pay other bills online.  I transfer money to my children online.  I invoice clients in the U.S. and in Israel online and get paid through PayPal from all over the world.

If we can have remote drones killing people with computers, surely there must be a way to let me and millions of other vote – online.

Am I missing something?

 

 

2 Comments

  1. One of the biggest challenges I see to online voting is still technology. We haven’t yet gotten to a point where we can truly authenticate that the voter is actually you. Perhaps the voter is someone who walked into your office while you were getting a cup of coffee at Geekdom and swiped your mobile device.Authentication is key for many reasons. Sure, you can pay bills and taxes online. Who’s going to “maliciously” pay a bill for you. You can also invoice your customers and accept payment online. But you can only RECEIVE payment because someone else (Paypal in this instance) is willing to bear the risk for you and payment can only be made to you from other trusted parties who have been authenticated by Paypal.Until we get this issue (how to 100% authenticate someone online) resolved, we shouldn’t move to online voting. Another issue that we can’t overlook is the digital divide. There is still a cavernous divide between who has online access (and I’m not even talking about BROADBAND). We have to provide the same access to the have-nots as we do to the haves.Finally, can you imagine the amount of gerrymandering and gentrification that could occur if we moved to online voting without addressing these issues? I could envision a system that mirrors the crazy pay-for-votes of mid 20th century Chicago. It’s pretty simple for me to throw all these things out as reasons not to do something, but with the speed of technology, if we all work together we could probably get to a place where you can cast your vote from an App. But since Apple wants 30% from App store revenues, does this mean they’ll want a branch of government to themselves or just a cut of the advertising spend?

    Reply
  2. All good points, but surely there has to be a way to authenticate me. As for the digital divide, I can’t solve that problem, but I would be hard pressed that if you have a smart phone, you could do this as well. Or so I believe.

    Reply

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