Tech talk: Time has come for online voting

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Could we all avoid those crowds with the introduction of electronic voting?
Could we all avoid those crowds with the introduction of electronic voting?

With the election fast approaching the topic of casting your vote is front of mind for many Bundaberg Region residents.

With pre-polling booths already open and record numbers taking advantage of them, it prompts the question of whether people are avoiding the bustling crowds on election day.

It also makes you wonder whether we could all avoid those crowds with the introduction of electronic voting.

Last federal election it was eight days after voting that Bill Shorten conceded and at that time five seats were still yet to be finalised due to counting.

Both Turnbull and Shorten released similar statements calling for a focus on electronic voting to avoid such issues.

A whole cycle has passed, and it feels like no progress has been made on this topic, so why?

Well we know that it is possible as they are currently allowing it for certain groups such as those with vision impairment.

We also know that NSW has successfully been using the iVote system to replace postal voting for their state.

There are, however, factors to consider when making these changes.

Benefits of online voting

The benefits include the obvious ease of voting and more control over the secure handling of ballots.

It would also be significantly easier for remote voters and as already mentioned certain peoples with a disability.

Concerns with online voting

The concerns are mainly around the security of an online system given the world of data breaches, etc.

This situation wasn’t helped by the monumental Census Fail of 2016.

There are also concerns about the anonymity and effects that these changes would have on voter behaviour.

Finally, there is the cost to implement and change such a system which would be sizable.

Voting in the next Australian Government is a big deal and people are rightly concerned to ensure the process is safe and secure.

It does however raise the question that if we are able to operate our whole lives in a digital world, why we can’t perform a task as simple as placing a vote safely and securely.

When will the day come?

  • Read more from Geoff Augutis here.

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