Would You Prefer To Vote In A Voting Booth Or Online?

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As you can’t possibly fail to be aware, the election cycle is well upon us. As things near the end and grow closer to the inevitable climax, many people are questioning whether they really want to drive all the way to their nearest voting booth. In fact, many people are openly wondering why the 21st century Internet revolution has so far failed to give us the option to vote for our favorite candidates, such as Mike Crapo among many others, using this very technology. Why do we have to leave our homes and physically show up at the poll when we could just log on, click a few tabs, and vote?

Voting In Real Time Isn’t Quite As Easy As It May Seem

However, whether you vote for Mike or any other Congressional candidate, one fact is sadly still the case: Voting from your computer isn’t quite as feasible as it may seem. In fact, even the mere supposition of such a process is enough to give many industry experts a severe case of the heebie jeebies. There are many dangers that are associated with voting online that many of us aren’t aware of. For example, suppose the entire process was put online, but then hacked into and completely hijacked by a criminal mastermind working on behalf of a hostile foreign power?

Physical Ballots Count as Physical Evidence When Something Is Amiss

There are many other considerations to take into account as well. As outdated as the process of counting up and tallying physical ballots may be, the fact that these ballots are just that – physical – means that there is always evidence to be held and examined. This means that, if a batch of thousands of ballots “disappear” and are suddenly found again, we then know that something shifty might just have occurred. Even if a few thousand ballots disappear and are never heard from or seen again, the fact that we know they existed counts for something that we can use as a definite argument in court.

What Would It Take To Make Online Voting A Practical Reality?

Perhaps it’s time to consider the many things that would have to happen in order for online voting to become a fully safe, secure, and practical reality. A system of fully secured and anonymous voting would have to involve a hacker-proof log in, as well as a set of encryptions that even a computer wizard would have trouble solving. In other words, we would need a system that was not only as strong and secure as any of our Department of Defense programs, but also one that was tailored to the personal needs of over 300 million people currently residing in the United States of America.

Don’t Hold Your Breath for Online Voting To Happen Anytime Soon

This is not to suggest that online voting will never become a reality. The technology that would need to be in place before such a massive overhaul would be practical is slowly but surely being created. However, it’s not a good idea to hold your breath for this technology to appear before November. When it does appear, it will be hailed as one of the most significant events of the 21st century.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, always revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance producer for USA Today, and a contributor at Technorati. She lives in Utah with her 2 kids and husband. Melissa Thompson can be reached via LinkedIn or Twitter @melthompson88. Please follow and friend her on either site.