Provo online voting: Will it ever happen?
I’ve been reading a lot of online comments about how Provo needs to have online voting. Many sound furious that it’s 2017 and online voting isn’t a thing. I don’t think it’s a matter of “can the city build it?” but rather a matter of “can the city keep it secure?” The short answer to that last question is NO.
Security for online elections is nearly impossible because there will ALWAYS be someone smarter than the person who secured the system. While local elections are a much smaller target than national elections, they would also be much easier to hack and skew the data due to much lower security budgets. I’d rather than additional money go towards improving the current mail-in process and better marketing to millennials that can break down how simple (and important) it is to vote.
The other question is to ask is would online voting result in more left-leaning politicians being elected in the future? I don’t know if voting demographics are available for local elections, but I would imagine that most voters in Provo are 35+ years old and lean conservative. Statistically speaking, majority of millennials lean left. Even those who identify as Republican lean more left than an older Republican. So you would likely see a huge increase in moderate/liberal voting when opening it online. I’m not suggesting that is a bad or good thing, just an interesting difference.
The potentially BAD thing about opening voting to online is you open it up to a lot more uneducated votes. Again, my assumption is that (most) people headed to the polls in local elections have taken time to do their research and are confident in their candidate. With easy online voting, you open the doors to a lot of lazy voters who know virtually nothing about the candidates, have done no research other than read a few headlines from their favorite media sources. On the flip side, you will have a lot more serious voters (like the original poster) casting their vote. Will the lazy voters outweigh the educated but very busy voters? I guess we wouldn’t really know. What do you guys think?