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Could E-Voting Cure Voter Apathy?

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the sure-can't-make-it-worth dept.

News 646

Bendebecker notes that The Register is saying that "A major trial is about to kick off in the UK that could help decide whether e-voting is merely a gimmick or whether it can genuinely help cure voter apathy." Voter Apathy or Flash Poll Elections? What is the lesser of 2 evils?

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In a word, no! (5, Insightful)

jonathonc (267596) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801484)

The mechanism for voting will have little impact on current apathy. A significant proportion of the country doesn't vote because they have little or no faith in politicians and their constant lies, double standards, corruption and inability to keep promises. Sure, clicking a button will make it easier to vote but you're stilling voting for the same distrustful candidates.

Re:In a word, no! (2, Interesting)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801494)

You hit the nail right on the head. I vote, but it gets harder with every election to make myself vote for idiots.

We truly need a revolution.

Re:In a word, no! (1)

El Pollo Loco (562236) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801529)

AHA! Then what we need is a button to click to make the choices better! A +1 Not an idiot bonus perhaps.

Re:In a word, no! (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801599)

pushing a button won't make the choices better.


Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801525)

More people will vote which will, unfortunately, lead to even dumber leaders!

Re:WRONG (0, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801613)

Nah, this is a good thing. After all, all of us geeks will be able to hack into the system and "vote early, vote often". Finally, a way to beat the system.

Re:WRONG (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801671)

I think you should have to write out the candidates full name, and it has to be spelled correctly, and penmanship counts. That way all the moron votes get thrown out.

I mean look at the mess in florida. They couldnt figure out how to use the friggin ballot. I say if you cant figure out a ballot, your vote doesnt count.

I dont want to hear about no pregnant chads next election.

Re:In a word, no! (1, Redundant)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801549)

i am personally too lazy to figure out where i have to go, and generally don't like standing in long lines to fill out archaic forms.

online voting would indeed get this non-voter to the polls.

save all the 'you should vote' comments. i'm too lazy to even read them.

Re:In a word, no! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801728)

This will just help all those lazy idiots like you. You are probably too lazy to read the voter's pamphlet too. I would rather you did not start voting. Then it will just be a race to the bottom, kind of like network television.

In many cases (3, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801559)

It's not worth driving down to the voting booth, waiting in line, but if this process were easy though, it could help clear things up.

I think this would have an age-gap stopper though, since you're mostly going to see the younger people getting into the "e-voting is cool" phase (and many older generation can't even use a PC), at least at first.

What we really need though, is a system to be able to vote on issues that are important to us. If we combined a system that took the parliamentary vote, along with combined citizen votes (net-votes, etc) - at least we'd have more say in things.

Re:In many cases (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801672)

older people in the US tend to be the ones actualy voting, so here this would not happen.

Re:In many cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801696)

It sounds like you want a democracy. The US isn't a democracy, I'm betting the UK isn't either.

Re:In a word, no! (5, Interesting)

mz001b (122709) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801563)

A significant proportion of the country doesn't vote because they have little or no faith in politicians and their constant lies, double standards, corruption and inability to keep promises. Sure, clicking a button will make it easier to vote but you're stilling voting for the same distrustful candidates.

That is why we need a "None of the above" choice on the ballot too. California tried this via referendum, but it didn't go through.

Re:In a word, no! (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801623)

What happens if "none of the above" gets the majority vote? That particular seat sits empty?

It already exists. When you watch the results and hear "33% for A, 25% for B, and 1 spoiled ballot" - that's me, I blow my nose with mine.

Re:In a word, no! (1)

Elvisisdead (450946) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801573)

Don't throw around such valid statistics as "a significant proportion". It's pure conjecture on your part. You can't comment on what a significant proportion of the country thinks. Well, that is, unless you polled them yourself and found a statistically significant finding.

Right on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801581)

I don't vote because both the Democrat and the Republican parties are statist; neither have any respect for individual rights. The Republicans are in the hands of corporations and Christians, and the Democrats are nothing but thinly-veiled socialists.

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Re:Right on! (3, Interesting)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801654)

So go out and vote for every Libritarian and Constitution party candidate running and leave the races where there isn't one blank.

You lose none of what you "gain" by abstaining, but you can help out parties that actually reflect your views.

Hell, if enough people do that a few might even get elected. Wouldn't that piss off just the right people ;-)


Re:In a word, no! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801589)

Sure there are bad politicians, but I don't believe that this is the cause of voter apathy. Politics has always been America's favorite contact sport.

The cause of voter apathy is the centralization of power away from town councils and county seats to Washington DC.

Debating the city councilman who is also ones neighbor and with whom one knows they may have an impact on issues that affect ones day to day life is meaningful and engaging.

The ultimate in voter impotence is complete and total micromanagment of day to day issues from an all-powerful central government. It dilutes the importance of ones vote to the point where there no longer is any benefit to playing the game. Individual voter impact is zero.

That's where we are today and why no one votes.

Re:In a word, no! (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801639)

you actualy think that? people whoare clued in enough to be "disenfranchised" tend not to be so stupid as to think that by not voting they are making the situation better.

no, most people in this contry that do not vote are just stupid people that don't even know who the vice president is.

Make it a sweepstakes (1)

zach_smith (159760) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801666)

If they really want a high turnout, they could make it so every voter automatically has a chance of winning a free Mini Cooper or some other hot item.

Re:In a word, no! (1)

WatertonMan (550706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801684)

Actually I think a lot of voter apathy is because
1) one politician is ahead far enough in the polls such that the election is pretty well decided 2) both politicians are acceptable and they don't favor one above the other 3) they are simply lazy and don't follow current events enough to care

I unfortunately think (3) is all too common. It is partially why turnout for Presidential elections in the US is so much higher than for local elections. However to be honest I think the other two are true as well. Often people only vote politicians out of office when they really piss them off. Other than that, they are fine so long as the politician doesn't screw them over too much.

Whether that is a *bad* thing, I don't know. Personally I think that in the US the difference between the parties isn't as pronounced as many think. Further I think that "fear of screwing up" ensures that no politician does anything that bad that often. There is a strong consensus building with lots of checks and balances to make it hard to do anything too radical.

Apathy is a self-imposed weighting scheme (4, Insightful)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801722)

I think apathy actually works as a weighting mechanism in our current form of voting. People who care little about politics get a smaller vote because they didn't take the opportunity they were given. People who care greatly about politics, or at least a specific issue, are willing to wait in lines and do whatever is necessary. They tend to get weighted a bit more heavily in our society. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. The public gets to decide on the weighting based on their own actions. If the government were selecting a weighting, then we'd really have a problem. But I don't see exactly why we need to go to great lengths to solve the voter apathy "problem".


Who cares (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801488)


eVoting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801489)

I vote to remove the current Slashdot editors from Slashdot. Their whole anti-troll measures have ruined this site.

Re:eVoting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801500)

You are stupid.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801490)

No it will just make elections easier to steal.

Can't wait until the elections get h4xx0r3d (3, Interesting)

unborracho (108756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801498)

Just wait until the l33t kiddy h4xx0rs find a way to get into the election "virtual voting booth". This could open the elections up to teenagers under the age of 18 if someone found a way around the system. Can you say multiple votes?

Of course there are ways to ensure this dosen't happen.. but nothing's impossible.

Re:Can't wait until the elections get h4xx0r3d (1)

br0ck (237309) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801558)

Let these systems roll out and then those that can manipulate the technology can put someone worthwhile in office. Taco for President!

Re:Can't wait until the elections get h4xx0r3d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801701)

Worse still, clueless voting because "my friend said so"... Wonder how those funny flash anims or joke mp3's spread so fast? This is bad because there is no research put into deciding who would be the better leader.

About Time! (1)

El Pollo Loco (562236) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801499)

All the elections at my school take place online. However, in order to prevent identity theft, I would surmise that personal information is going to be stored on some governement controlled central server. I don't have a problem with the government having that info(they GIVE me my SSN#!), but I would be curious as to how they would secure it, and if there was some law saying it couldn't even be givin to another dept of the government, this would be bloody awesome! Although it's sad that in our democracy I'm still too damn lazy to vote!

Re:About Time! (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801528)

The problem though is our current system of voting in person allows you to vote without worry of someone knowing who you voted for. That will be impossible with online voting.

Re:About Time! (3, Insightful)

st0rmcold (614019) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801652)

Sure you can, as long as the system dissassociates who you are with who you voted for, basically authenticate you a valid voter, and only allow you one vote, but stick your vote in a pile in the DB instead of associating with the person who voted, so they can keep track of who voted, but not who they voted for, and still have a set of results.

Re:About Time! (0)

Chef Ramen Noodle (651943) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801644)

electronic voting is a dangerous thing in this country (USA). it leaves NO paper trail and is just waiting to be tampered with

lesser of 3 evils, you mean (3, Funny)

I'm A Librarian (666791) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801504)

  • Voter Apathy
  • Flash Poll Elections
  • CowboyNeal

Yes, but only briefly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801505)

At first, lots of people will want to do it because it's new, but after a couple elections, people will go back to their old patterns.

I'm a Republican! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801509)

Oh, I'm a Republican
I got a small schling
I like to bomb niggahs
and make a lot o' bling

I got a bunch o' friends
in high up places
They helps me get dem
government graces.

You think I'm smart
I just know who's who
I couldn't run a fruit stand
without the red white & blue

I'll drop some crap
about Jesus the Christ
You'll buy it all
and vote for me twice

'Fact, Jesus is comin'!
Real soon, now!
So we gotta prop up Israel
That ol' sacred cow

Don't need no history
Don't need no schoolin'
I got my ideology
To keep me a shootin'

Liberals! Faggots!
Commies and queers!
Socialist hippies
Full o' pussy tears

Propaganda's m'friend
But I calls it "fact"
Even though I don't read
'Cept for Chick tracts

Facts? No! Don't need em here!
We're conservatives! We work on FEAR!
Don't like what we say?
Well FUCK YOU, bud!
We'll shove it down yer throat
and tell ya it's good!

Re:I'm a Republican! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801539)

Stolen from here [] ?

Let's vote on each others' boners. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801514)

Really, get them out and let's all have a look and cast our ballots.

One Man One Vote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801515)

One IP Address one vote?

Re:One Man One Vote? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801566)

you are either very dumb, or a poor troller

Right! (1)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801576)

We don't need votes from those behind gateways anyway.

Get a real IP, ya filthy commies!

Voter Apathy (4, Insightful)

bmongar (230600) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801520)

Voter apathy isn't because people don't want to get out to vote, or because voting is too hard. It is because no matter who you vote for there is a feeling that the corporations own them anyway and it doesn't matter. It is like on futurama where the two people running against eachother were clones of the same person.

Re:Voter Apathy (2, Interesting)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801726)

Actually I don't vote because the options always suck. I don't like choosing the better of two evils. I don't particularly think many people feel like they are fighting corporations when they decide to vote or not.

Re:Voter Apathy (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801731)

I tend to agree to a point, but remember, a Corporation is nothing but one group of workers getting together to provide for a need that another group of individuals has -- whether it is a service (consulting), a product (manufacturing), or a combination (retail sales). Corporations are not bad, but individuals can be. The only time a corporation can be truly bad is if it is a monopoly, and monopolies can ONLY get their power if the state subsidizes them, or restrains fair competition.

You're sounding like the wacko Nader when you think Corporations are truly evil -- they aren't. The truly evil ones are the politicians who restrain free trade and "consumer choice" by enacting embargoes, taxes, tariffs, subsidies, regulations, and other restrictions that keep real competition out of a given market (see the steel industry).

Free brownies (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801521)

For the first hacker to stuff a million votes into the e-voting box.

Yes. (2, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801524)

The same way that fast food drive through windows have cured hunger.


It wont help my non Voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801530)

I dont "not vote" due to apathy.

I dont vote because by registering to vote my Name and Address gets posted publicly on the states website. Prior to this someone had to go to the statehouse and request the records.. Now it's a few clicks away.

No Thanks.

I'll Pass.

Re:It wont help my non Voting (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801578)

That's rather illegal, isn't it?

Too easy! (0, Funny)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801533)

Could E-Voting Cure Voter Apathy?

Eh... maybe?

Re:Too easy! (1)

unicron (20286) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801703)

Meh, who cares.

No, but... (1)

kinnell (607819) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801535) might make the politicians realise that voter apathy is not merely a result of people being too lazy to walk to the polls, but because people are completely dissillusioned with British politics. But then again, maybe it won't.

Re:No, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801638)

Its worth noting that turnout is not low at general elections.

Few people vote at local elections because it makes no difference who wins. Tax & spending is fixed by Westiminster, the councils have no autonomy.

(I seem to recall that studies by the electoral commission showed an improvement in voter turnout when all postal ballots were offered. 'E-voting' had a negligable effect on turnout.)

By the looks of things... (4, Funny)

Kedanoth (591243) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801538)

if they make an American Idol: President Edition, they might get more people to vote...
...unless the candidate tries to sing "Endless Love". He's not getting jack from me.

Re:By the looks of things... (1)

imadork (226897) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801596)

How about American Idol, Iraqi edition [] ?

(My company blocks the Onion because of the naughty words, so I can't link to the exact story, sorry...)

Re:By the looks of things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801710)

hahaha! that's the funniest thing I've seen in a while!

Re:By the looks of things... (1)

Spunk (83964) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801700)

Actually, they're planning to do exactly that. I can't find a link at the moment. Can anyone help?

Richard Nixon's Head (-1, Funny)

ketamineX (253353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801540)

Morbo: "Morbo will now introduce tonights candidates. Puny human
number one, puny human number two and Morbo's good friend
Richard Nixon."
Nixon: "Hello Morbo. How's the family?"
Morbo: "Belligerent and numerous."
Nixon: "Good man, Nixon's pro-war and pro-family."

Morbo: "Morbo demands an answer to the following question. If you saw
a delicious candy in the hands of a small child. Would you
seize and consume it?"
John Jackson: "Unthinkable."
Jack Johnson: "I wouldn't think of it."
Morbo: "What about you Mr. Nixon? I remind you. You are under of a
Nixon: "Question is vague. You don't say what kind of candy and
whether anyone is watching. In anyway I certainly wouldn't
harm the child."

Human female: "The sheer drama of this election has driven voter turnout to
it's highest level in centuries, six percent."
Morbo: "Exit poll show evil underdog Richard Nixon trailing with
estimated zero votes."
Human female: "The time is 7:59 and the robot polls are now opening. And
robot votes are now in. Nixon has won."
Morbo: "Morbo congratulates our gargantuan cyborg president. May death
come quickly to his enemies."

It's a gimmick (2, Insightful)

buzzdecafe (583889) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801551)

The cause of voter apathy is people's (correct) realization that they have no real say in elections. So why bother? Whoever raises the most money wins, or at best, you have a situation where people are presented with "the evil of two lessers" (Michael Moore's phrase) -- such as W. and Gore.

The cure is more democracy. Abolish the electoral college. Make elections publicly funded, and ban private funding. Implement proportional representation to break the "two-party" system.

. . . and as long as I'm in fantasyland, let's build a time-travel device, and create a perpetual motion machine.

Re:It's a gimmick (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801715)

All of that is good, but proportional represenation is bad. Countries like Israel and New Zealand have proportional representation. This means that if 5% of the people are nazis, then 5% of the government is nazi. It works in theory, however because they are so many parties in government nothing gets done. Instead of two sides to every issue there are 20, and compromise takes a long long time. The problem is that new people are voted in more often than stuff gets done. I agree we need more democracy, and a more than two party system, and no corporate involvment. But proportional representation is mostly bad.

Re:It's a gimmick (2, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801716)

Abolish the electoral college

...and no candidate for US Presidency will ever set foot in Montana again, which, barring any new initiative from the Green Party, is not likely to happen soon.

Up the Republic! (-1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801552)

Sounds Great! Anything that makes it easier for that top societal percentage of young, wealthy, white people to choose our nation's leaders... Hey, I'm on board with it! All you elderly and un-connected peeps? We OWNZED j00, 3uXX0R!!


I bet it would... (1)

Ratphace (667701) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801553)

We live in a day and age when people are lazy as hell and if you were to create something easier more people would participate, however, I wouldn't say that this would 'cure' anything.

The basis of how effective a cure would be can only be measured by how drastic the measure taken against said ailment.

No way (4, Insightful)

corebreech (469871) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801554)

Not until we can devise a foolproof way of ensuring against voter fraud that the layperson can understand.

Schneier makes an attempt at this but it's pretty convoluted, I'm not even sure I understand it all and I at least know a little about this kind of stuff.

We may have to consider publishing who a person votes for. I know it goes against the grain of a longstanding tradition, but to make the protocol simple enough for the average person to understand while keeping it free of fraud may require nothing less.

Re:No way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801725)

With all due respect to him, just because Schneier wrote a book on cryptographic protocols does not make him the end-all on the subject. His book is popular mostly because it is understandable by the lay. The book leaves much to be desired when you try to implement any but the simplest of algorithms. Good (secure) protocols don't have to be, and very probably won't be, easy enough for the lay to understand. Most lay don't even understand basic geometry or algebra, and you want to try to explain a secure anonymous voting system.

Would actual candidates (1)

MrChuck (14227) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801561)

Would actual candidates who differed from each other and offered something of interest reduce apathy?

Would a belief that the candidates are not chosen (through funding) by corporations and lobbies perhaps increase voting?

Would a non-binding "none of the above" give people a way to come out and make a statement, rather than stay home and not vote at all?

Would a "check off all acceptable candidates" (not 1-4, just yeah/nay) make a difference and broaden the number of parties from the republicrat monopoly?

Or is the answer closed source voting software controlled by questionably influenced companies?

E voting (1)

Musashi Miyamoto (662091) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801562)

E-voting would go far to curing voter apathy, but would almost guarantee problems.

1) This would be the biggest shiniest target for hackers around the world. What a convienent way to subvert the American democracy... From your desk in China! And much cheaper than giving huge donations to the democratic party!

2) This would be the biggest target for hackers in the US. All those crazy Libertarian high-tech industry workers would finally get a Libertarian president. Who cares if the exit polls dont even remotely match the outcome of the election? They don't now. Which brings me to...

3) This would be just as bad as the electronic voting systems that are being released now... The source would be owned by a private company and proprietary. All changes would be controlled by them. Its frightening how little accountability there is in the current system. It would be just as bad online. Worse yet, the founder and former CEO of the largest electronic voting systems vendor is a Republican Senator. Which might explain why exit polls in states where electronic voting systems are used no longer match the actual outcome of the election any longer.

You still have to register (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801567)

And your only reward for registering to vote is being called for jury duty. Which isnt fun.

It might sound neat, like a Law and Order episode, but basically you have to sit there for 3 days during selection, and if you make the jury, you get to sit for another week to hear how Clevon McDingleshit sold a bag of crack to some cop.

Boo to voting!

Now, there should be a massively multiplayer version of Postal 2, and they can base policies on who the players are taking out their frustrations on. (Sorry but I just got that game and it's friggin hilarious)

Could E-Voting Cure Voter Apathy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801568)

Could E-Voting Cure Voter Apathy?

Who cares.

Cowboyneal (2, Funny)

thenextpresident (559469) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801577)

Do we get a Cowboyneal option?

a little too easy? (1)

bbh (210459) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801583)

You mean I don't even have to get off my butt to go vote anymore? I can just vote between rounds of Counterstrike? I wonder, do I need to know who the people are I'm voting for? Maybe someone will paypal me to vote for one of the people?


E-elections would be great (but they aren't) (2, Insightful)

hexxx (546462) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801584)

There is one huge problem. No-one can verify that you really have cast the vote and not your Hitler-loving-neighbour-with-huge-shotgun. Buying votes or forcing people to vote would become a huge issue. (Of course this seems to happen in someplaces today, but surely not everywhere)

skewed samples (2, Insightful)

Frostalicious (657235) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801587)

This is good for slashdotters. Currently, you have to haul your lazy ass down to the voting station, and lots don't want to do this. Voting results are thus skewed towards the will of the politically active. The politicians surely know this, and pander to them.

Online voting will allow the lazy of ass to participate, and thus skew the results more towards the technologically aware individuals. Again, the politicians will be aware of this, and would start taking technological issues more seriously, to pander to us!

Re:skewed samples (1)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801676)

I've been voting from home ever since Arizona started allowing it. They send you the paper ballot in the mail, you mark it up, then mail it back. No waiting in lines.

Really? (3, Insightful)

Shockmaster (659961) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801598)

I disagree. I think that many people do not vote because it is simply time-consuming and does not fit into their schedule. While it will not be as simple as voting in Slashdot poll (for example), the process will be considerably simpler that going to a B&M voting booth. Compare e-filing of taxes and standard paper filing. I think that more people are now able to take a process that they previously found so difficult they had others do it for them, and now can get it done in their own home in an hour or two.

If voting were simpler, those people disillusioned with the two bipartisan condidates might be more willing to cast their vote for a third-party candidate.

Also, eVoting would perhaps lessen the value of the poor voter. While lazy upper/middle-class voters with home computers and Internet connections could easily vote, those without them are still unlikely to vote.

Should help (3, Insightful)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801608)

ATM machines, online banking and credit mechanisms, and online traders made it easier for people to invest and work the stock market. Now many, many more people perform the above.

Voter participation should likewise increase through the use of varied voting methods, including one that can be easily done from home.

ATM machines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801679)

I agree with your post, but how does an ATM machine help a person invest and trade easier?

Voter apathy is not a problem. (4, Insightful)

praksys (246544) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801609)

(1) Anyone who is too lazy to go to a polling station should not be voting anyway. If they do not care enough to make that much effort, then it is highly unlikely that they would care enought to get informed, and make a good choice.

(2) If people are apathetic because they do not like any of the choices available then making it easier to vote will have no effect (let's see - would you like to eat broken glass or dog-food? Would delivery to your door-step make the choice easier?).

(3) If people are apathetic because they would be equally happy with either party then again making it easier to vote will not make a difference.

it will look like voter apathy is cured (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801611)

but what will actualy be going on is that people will knock on the doors of apathetic voters and will ask for their voter ID number. once that is gotten the person who now has the number can vote how ever they like for that person.

I like real world voting.... (1)

thumbtack (445103) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801614)

1. It gets me out of this chair that my but is glued to 18 hours a day.
2. They have cookies and juice
3. I get a nifty little sticker that says "I voted"

there are two reasons i don't vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801626)

1) hassling with going down there and voting.
e-voting would cure this

2) voting gets you on the jury duty list. e-voting
won't cure this. screw voting because screw
jury duty. your vote doesn't count if you don't
have money. anyone saying anything else is either
ignorant or an MTv exec.

"rock the vote" my ass.

/. Apathy (1)

mattsucks (541950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801628)

I thought about going to RTFA and posting something meaningful, but eh why bother....

Is it apathy? (0)

chrisseaton (573490) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801633)

Is not voting really apathy? Why is not voting a valid statement?

How many people do you know.... (1)

jhines0042 (184217) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801642)

How many people do you know that get to work, see the "I Voted Today" stickers on their co-workers, realize that its election day, then realize that they don't have time to go vote?

This way they could just take 5 minutes, log on, vote, log out, and be done with it.

Not that this will solve the real problems with politics.

When will people realize that the most effective Congressman is the one who passes no more laws than absolutely necessary?

Its like the effective System Administrator. If he does his job right, he shouldn't have to work more than 10 minutes a day, except when he's installing new systems.

Might well help (1)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801653)

The postal vote only trials showed a not unnoticable increase in voting compared to areas that did not try postal voting. I dont recall how many of these were spoiled votes, though.

I would be concerned if it lead to some people treating the election as they would a slashdot poll, selecting whatever took their fancy instead of a considered decision as to who want to [not] represent your opinion [that means fuck all to them].

I would like to see online voting used for referendums for things that would otherwise not be brought to the public vote, though.

This has some potential issues anyways... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801658)

I know how people vote when they go to a web poll and don't know who to decide upon. Polls, and elections, throughout the day, tell people who is winning, loosing, and by how much. With online voting, you will be able to tell instantly who is on top and thus you can use that to vote. Bush and Gore, if they were running again, would be neck and neck. You don't like them and you see they are so close, so rather than have your vote break the tie, you vote for somebody else. The idea of graphs and statistics would actually make voting more chaotic... although more people might turn out to vote, just to see how insane they can make the polls...

Uh, no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801660)

Making something easier doesn't mean people will suddenly and magically care about it. As for E-voting, it kind of scares me. Seems like too many people are gung-ho over the ease of use and lack of hanging chads, and aren't worried about the lack of a paper trail...

3 words (0)

Cheapoboy (634792) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801662)

"President Jeff K" .

It worked for SGA elections at my college... (1)

UWC (664779) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801664)

...but there were mass emails involved to raise awareness, with convenient hyperlinks in the emails. Unless everyone is given a government-supplied email address that they would check regularly, it's not going to be all that convenient.

I'm sure it would help the problem quite a bit, but not like it did at my school. And as many said, there are bound to be problems with hackers and such. I suppose requiring Social Security numbers when votingm might help, but I'm sure there are ways around that, too.

A Vote against Empowering the Irresponsible. (1)

Opinari (603868) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801665)

In free, democratic, representative societies, it is the responsibility of the governed to have oversight of those who govern them. The keyword here is responsibility. Responsible people, be they liberal or conservative, will seek such information, and base their voting decisions upon said information.

The misinformed, which would include most of the apathetic crowd, would be prone to vote online for downright asinine reasons (cute candidate, promise of government largesse, etc.) As a participant in the American constitutional republican system, I would be frightened to place such responsibility in the hands of such people. The privilege of voting should not be made easier, just for the sake of "one voter, one vote".

Why cure it? (2, Insightful)

sevensharpnine (231974) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801668)

If people are too lazy to vote, let them sit home on election day. The rest of us will happily do our part to decide their future.

A Republic, never a Democracy (3, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801677)

This is great for a democracy like the UK, but for a Republic like the US, this isn't the best idea.

Although long forgotten, our Constitution is the law of the land in only one way: it restricts government from infringing on the rights of the sovereign people and the States. This means we are NOT a democracy. As the famous quote goes, a democracy is like two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

E-Voting is a great idea, but it has immense limitations. Our Republic was designed to protect the minority (as small as one person) from a crazy majority. It is only because we have forgotten about the Republic that such unconstitutional programs such as Social Security, Federal Education subsidies and control, and the Welfare State have come into existance (wholly socialist schemes that truly have no place in a free culture). I capitalized them because they should really be trademarked ;)

I like the idea of E-Voting so long as the Supreme Court actually does the job intended, to protect the rights of the people by making sure ALL laws abide by the Constitutional restraints on government. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court is handled by Socialists and Fascists, not Constitutionalists, so we would be at great risk of losing the country to both the Socialist left and the Fascist right, both of which feed each other's desires by giving in to bad schemes.

what worked in the netherlands.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5801683)

was having a large man penetrate the buttocks with his penis.

Im torn. (1)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801688)

BEtween making it easy for everyone to vote, and thinking if your too fucking lazy to walk 2 blocks once a year then we dont want you running the country. Or if youre too stupid to figure out the system. Can the online one include a little I.Q. test? PLease?!?! That teh Candidates have to pass too.

Two Web Sites (there are many others) (1)

jpetts (208163) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801694)

Before anybody applauds the idea of electronic voting, it would be wise to take a look at the following two web sites, and the links therein:

Notable Software []

Black Box Voting []

Then feel free to start talking about the merits of a rush to e-voting...

A interesting possibility. (1)

eidechse (472174) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801697)

If voting was made electronic how about relaxing the restrictions on candidates getting on the ballot. The would be no logistical reason to prevent anyone who wanted run from doing so. Granted, the various state laws that govern who gets on the ballot may not have been enacted for purely logistic reasons, but proposing this could force a discussion of the issue. That might actually have a theoretical chance of restoring faith the process.

What does voter apathy mean to you? (3, Interesting)

mdfst13 (664665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801698)

Is voter apathy not voting? Even ignoring the potential increase in votes by dead people, this proposal would make it easier to vote and thus increase the percentage of people voting. I'm not sure that this is a good thing.

Many of the people who vote now do so without taking the time to understand the issues and the candidates' stands on the issues. Decreasing the barriers to voting will only increase the amount of stupid voting. I would rather have fewer voters who take more time to study the likely effects of their votes.

I encourage everyone to exhibit that kind of apathy. If you don't know what's going on, don't vote. I've done this selectively. If I am voting and have no real clue why one choice might be better than the other, I skip it and move on. Otoh, if you do want to vote, take the time to understand what's happening, look at the candidates and determine why they pick their positions.

Support democracy; vote with intelligence.

You do not 'cure' apathy (0)

The Apostrophe Guy (644728) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801705)

Apathy is not a 'problem' to be cured. At least, it's not a problem on the voters' part. It just means that voters are equally happy (or unhappy) with all the parties standing for election.

I know my friend's SSN.... (1)

godemon (599146) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801708)

I'd be sure and put in his vote first. :)

What's wrong with apathy? (1)

Microsift (223381) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801721)

You know what they say, if you're not apathetic, you're pathetic!

How to cure voter apathy (3, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 11 years ago | (#5801724)

Give the people candidates who are actually worth voting for.
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