Internet Voting What Is Your Initial Point-Of-View  Essay

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Internet Voting

What is your initial point-of-view?

My initial point-of-view on the subject of a system where people could vote online in local, state, and national elections is very positive, with some reservations. For example, while it makes sense to encourage voting in any way possible -- the turnout for national elections has been inconsistent and sketchy in the past few years, sometimes less than 50% of eligible voters come out -- the potential for abuse is always a consideration when dealing with online issues. Still, initially I think that enfranchising more voters in any reasonably safe way -- and giving honest, concerned voters an easier way to share in democracy -- is a good idea.

TWO: How can you define your point-of-view more clearly?

The advantages of voting online are many, and according to a scholarly research article in the Canadian Parliamentary Review (DeBardeleben, et al., 2010, p. 1), the positive aspects of allowing online voting relate to technology, social issues and election administration. I can see these viewpoints very clearly and I back them up one hundred percent. In the first place, the most obvious advantage of online voting is it would make the process much simpler and more accessible for voters. A person that is disabled, for example, would not have to go to the trouble of getting a ride and using wheelchair access at the polling place. The disabled person would not even have to fill out an absentee ballot and place a stamp on it and mail it. It would just be a matter of logging on by using a secure password and voting from the living room or wherever that person has his or her computer located.

Moreover, using a computer to vote will "…substantially lower the cost of voting for many electors by creating more access points from which they are able to vote" (DeBardeleben, p. 1). Besides lowering the cost, voting online will also lower the amount of carbon gasses being released into the atmosphere. That may seem like a token advantage, but imagine if on election day a million fewer cars were used to drive to the polling places -- some quite a distance away from voters' homes -- that is a huge reduction in greenhouse gases, at a time when scientists are saying that climate change is real, and people need to do all they can to reduce their carbon footprints.

THREE: What is an example of your point-of-view?

An American soldier serving in Afghanistan, for another example, would simply log on, vote, and not have to go through the absentee ballot process. That soldier would not have to count on the fact that someone back in the states would properly handle his or her ballot. In the contentious 2000 presidential election, there were huge issues regarding absentee ballots sent from overseas. Bryant Jordan writes in www.military.com that Democrats during that highly controversial post-election period wanted some of the military ballots "…excluded since they arrive too late and were not properly postmarked." After all, there were strict guidelines regarding the receipt and proper postmarking of absentee ballots for the military personnel stationed outside the United States. Republicans charged that Democrats were just trying to "suppress military votes because most would likely favor Bush," Jordan explained.

And in 2009, Jordan continues, it was reported, "…about 25% of overseas service members who asked for absentee ballots did not get them counted in the prior year's elections." And in New York for the 2010 elections, Jordan asserts that about 50,000 absentee votes did not get out "before the deadline." This is outrageous and egregious. Our military personnel are out there putting their lives on the line for America, and we must make sure that they can vote for the elected officials whose political decisions sent them overseas in the first place.

FOUR: What is the origin of your point-of-view?

On the subject of things that are egregious and simply wrong in a democratic society, the disastrous and allegedly corrupt presidential election results in Florida for the 2000 presidential election offers an ideal backdrop for the need to launch online voting. Those notorious "hanging chads," the "butterfly ballots" that clearly showed voters…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

DeBardeleben, Joan, Goodman, Nicole, and Pammett, Jon H. "Internet Voting: The Canadian

Municipal Experience." Canadian Parliamentary Review, 33.3 (2010): 1-11.

Jordan, Bryant. "Official Pushes for Web-Mailed Military Ballots." Military.com. Retrieved September 30, 2011, from http://www.military.com. (2011).

U.S. Census Bureau. "Census Bureau Reports Hispanic Voter Turnout Reaches Record High for Congressional Election." Retrieved September 30, 2011, from http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/voting/cb11-164.html. (2011)

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