Iowa Democrats are mulling a slate of ways to boost participation in their next presidential caucuses, including permitting Internet voting, a controversial method that would mark the first time in history the web is utilized to cast an official ballot preference for president.It shouldn't be so controversial. Indeed, the entire financial sector operates online, and if banks and brokerages and services like PayPal can safeguard your money—the juiciest, most tempting target for nefarious hackers—then we could hold elections online.
The problem with voting online has nothing to do with the technology, and everything to do with, well, that part about "boosting participation". In short, if everyone votes, Democrats win. So naturally, Republicans are already agitating against the mere idea.
“I think it’s a very bad idea,” says the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, who thinks computer-based voting will never happen, or at least not in the “foreseeable future.” [...]If von Spakovsky's name sounds familiar, it's because he was George W. Bush's point man at the Justice Department for voter suppression efforts. His career focus has always been on making sure the least number of people turn out to vote, so you can imagine how terrifying the idea of internet voting must be. Why, think of all those young people voting! It would be chaos!
“Computer experts basically say the Internet has such fundamental security vulnerabilities,” von Spakovsky said. “It’s not something you can fix in the hardware or software. It’s in the architecture of the Internet. I just think it’s stupid to go there.”
But even he should cringe when reading back this quote: "it’s not something you can fix in the hardware or software." Luddites are inherently conservative, I suppose.
Internet voting will eventually happen. It'll begin with a few brave tests (a 2010 test in DC failed), and someone will figure it out. And then a (Blue) state will adopt it. I nominate California. And then more (Blue) states will adopt it. And it will be glorious. And if demographic trends haven't already done the GOP in, true universal voting will.
That is, unless we finally get that long-promised "rebranding" past their current incarnation.