[kwlug-disc] Lower voter turnout?

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at gmail.com
Fri Apr 8 11:38:10 EDT 2011

On Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 11:17 AM, Adam Glauser <adamglauser at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 4/7/2011 11:24 PM, Chris Frey wrote:
>> On Tue, Apr 05, 2011 at 07:21:39AM -0400, Russell McOrmond wrote:
>>>   What do KWLug folks think about online voting?  It was included in
>>> the Liberal platform as a "solution" to low voter turnout.
>> I'm not at all sure that low voter turnout is a convenience issue.
>> You might get a few more voters, but I'm guessing probably
>> not enough to justify the system.
> It's possible that online voting could help a lot with accessibility. I'm
> not sure whether this is (or could be) addressed in other ways, such as
> having polling places in care facilities or making Braille ballots
> available.

  One proposal that has been made is machines that generates a filled
in paper ballot.   This is even more important in countries where
there are more ballot questions and more complex options (IE: a ranked
ballot allowing you to sort the names on a touch screen, putting into
trashcan names you don't want ranked).

  Even if the ballot is electronically generated and electronically
counted (with multiple vendors used for counting and/or recounts), the
problems with voting machines are solved by having a voter verifiable
ballot involved in process.   And until we all walk around with
trustworthy personal digital assistants, paper is the right voter
verifiable medium.

> We already have that, it's called "Facebook groups". Seriously though, I
> think that it is a really intriguing idea that MPs could poll their
> constituents on specific issues, especially if the system was somewhat
> standardized.

  Just getting them on Twitter is hard enough in some cases.   I worry
that if they don't understand the medium that they would give it
incorrect weight.   It is also too easy to game a system where you
understand it better than the politician/etc.

  Can you tell the difference between Balanced Copyright Canada,
Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright, and Fair Copyright for
Canada?  Likely, but do you think a politician can?

Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
Please help us tell the Canadian Parliament to protect our property
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