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Some thoughts on the article in The Coast abut online voting. It noted many people are pushing online voting as a way to deal with voter apathy and get more people out to vote.

If that's our approach to getting more people out to vote, then I think we've missed the mark. I think it's a red herring to say if we just implement online voting then voter participation will go up. Studies in the UK have also shown this (quoted in The Coast article).

Rather I think we should be looking more deeply about what voter apathy is saying about our democratic system. Something is not right. Faith in the system is eroding. Now, you might say how can that be when we have one of the best, most secure systems around. We protect people's privacy in how they vote, we try to make it easy to vote while being fair, and there's something very tangible about marking an X or check in that little circle for who you want. So, what's wrong?

I think it's the political system that needs review and updating - not the voting system. If you do not feel your vote really matters because of the nature of the system, why would you vote? That's the question I think we should be asking. Not how to make it easier to vote. If people felt their vote was truly meaningful and could result in some real improvements in their lives or the lives of others, then nothing would keep them away from that polling box.

By Laurie Cook


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Vol 24, No 21
October 20, 2016

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