The Corner

Re: E-Voting

Andrew – I’ve got to disagree. Yes, there are all sorts of technical problems with E-voting. But the “core” problem has nothing to do with the technical problems or the lack of confidence they generate. Rather, it’s just the opposite. The core problems with e-voting are that those technical problems might actually be solved (and, come on, eventually they will be solved). Once that happens, the argument against online voting, i.e. “cyber democracy” will be even harder to make. Going to a polling place at a specific time and place cultivates certain civic virtues. The peril of e-voting is that voting will be something we can do in the bathroom, on the couch, during a commercial break, whenever. In other words, voting will become even less deliberative and the less deliberating will have fewer impediments to voting. By focusing on the technical aspects we concede the more important argument because implicitly we agree that if it did work we would be for it. Well, I wouldn’t. I’m okay with moving elections to weekends, if we must as a political sop who say voting is too hard. But in reality, I think voting should be more difficult, not less. I’ve written about this a bunch of places. But I wrote about it here first.

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