E-voting is a generic term that can cover any form of electronic voting. This includes casting votes with any kind of computer rather than a piece of paper. These machines have been used for the past several election cycles. This year, though, some districts will use a different kind of e-voting that could make it even easier for citizens to vote.
How Might E-Voting Affect the Election
There are pros and cons to using electronic voting machines. In 2008, more than 1/3 of voters used electronic devices. This was the first time that many of these voters had encountered such machines. Although some organizations and individuals worried that hackers would alter voting results, exit polls showed that the electronic devices were 98 percent accurate. Some problems occurred, but they were rather limited.
Still, many people have complained that e-voting has too many vulnerabilities. Voter fraud occurs on some level regardless of what method is used. Whether its hanging chads or incorrect programming, there is always some level of concern.
Critics complain that e-voting machines are especially troublesome because they don’t leave a paper trail. At least with the infamous hanging chads, someone could point to the evidence. With electronic votes, someone could change votes permanently, potentially without leaving any tracks.
A New Type of E-Voting for the Upcoming Election
Tropical storm Sandy has made it incredibly difficult for some areas to prepare for the election. Instead of forcing citizens to cast their votes at predetermined sites, some districts are letting voters send in their decisions electronically.
Some voters in New Jersey will get to submit their votes via email or fax. This is a rather new approach to voting that the state almost certainly wouldn’t choose under typical conditions. It could, however, pave the way for more voting alternatives in the future. Instead of punching a card or pushing a button, future voters could have the opportunity to cast their ballots remotely.
This election’s success, however, will either hasten or hinder that kind of technological progress.