I’m so surprised that in 2010 when it comes to voting in the election that the political parties haven’t caught up with the modern times and made voting easier and more efficient. Why oh why do we still have to trundle to the polling station situated in the local school, library or town hall to collect our ballot papers, go into a secret booth, mark the papers with a cross and drop them into a metal box for sending off for counting?
With all the so called “social media” campaigns that the political parties are trying to run, and the online marketing campaigns … where is the iphone voting app? Well the iphone app is probably taking things a bit too far but I was sure that this year would see the introduction of online voting. I mean how many transactions are carried out online these days including online banking, grocery shopping, buying clothes, booking holidays, even down to paying your TV licence and car tax. So why can’t we just vote online? It would certainly get more people to vote as it would be so much easier to do during the day while at work during lunch, or in the evening in the comfort of your own home.
I checked out the different ways to vote tonight to make sure I wasn’t going crazy and had missed something. According to About my Vote, you can vote at a polling station in person, vote by post or vote by proxy (someone votes on your behalf). So the least hassle would be voting by post I suppose but when I looked into that it got very complicated, with having to fill out an application form and sign it to then register to vote by post, and then when it came to sending off your ballot papers it sounded like you needed an armed guard to make sure they got in the mail box safely. Anyway who’s to say all the employees of the post office are totally trustworthy and won’t tamper with the ballot papers, if they are so worried about votes being interfered with?
So the perfect solution would be to vote online. I know that they are really worried about security and the thought the election could be rigged by some hackers, but there are ways to protect themselves and the voter by a series of verification emails, systems and passwords. Similar to online banking when you first get started, you have to register for an account, set up a few things, get sent a unique ID number that verifies who you are and then you are in. You could get sent your registration document with a PIN number or special unique code in a similar way to when you receive the PIN number with a bank card. There are numerous ways to go about the security, and with it being a one off vote, when the vote is cast the login is defunct. Like a once use voucher code. Counting the votes would be so much easier too and we wouldn’t have to wait up all night to see who has won.
Wouldn’t it be so much easier though to view the ballot paper online so that you have a chance to study the candidates, rather than being stood in a stuffy village hall behind a shabby looking curtain, looking at a list of names that you don’t have a clue who half of them are. You could do it in your own time, without having to queue up in the rain to get into the polling station. If you’re not feeling too great on the Election Day, it wouldn’t matter, you could vote while watching daytime TV in your pyjamas. If voting was available online I reckon that 100’s of thousands more people, especially younger people, would cast their vote and take an interest in the policies that are being discussed rather than just voting for the leader they think is the least annoying, or based on what they have read in the tabloids.
Anyway just my thought for the next election some time in 2014 perhaps!