Why Can't We Vote Online?
With the outbreak of COVID-19 there is a major concern that we may not be able to vote in person this coming November. That means we may have to vote by mail. The other option is to vote online but there is plenty of objections to this being possible.
The main argument people of authority give for not being able to vote online is the possibility of fraud. This argument is ridiculous when you consider all of the agencies that handle your private, medical and financial information today.
Almost everyone is doing banking online using their cell phones so obviously they trust their banks to handle their financial transactions online. You have government agencies that handle your information securely as well such as the DMV, VA, SSA, and most recently the IRS in sending out stimulus checks.
Each one of these agencies allows you to sign in securely to their websites with your unique ID and password to access your personal information. They can track when and how often you login to your account. Almost anything you do while on the site is recorded. Therefore, any discrepancies or unusual activity can be traced if you see something suspicious.
The Horse Racing Industry
Another concern or excuse they use is they may not be able to handle the volume of people that would vote online. Let's compare this to the horse racing industry. The horse racing industry has several sites where you can bet online. These sites handle several tracks per day including tracks from other countries. Some of these sites take bets 24 hours a day. That's a lot of worldwide volume.
You can make a wager on a race up to the very minute the race goes off, just as you would if you were at the track. These sites are handling millions of dollars per minute with absolute accuracy.
Right now tracks are opening with no people in the stands mainly because they can accept betting online. You have an account and you can deposit or withdraw funds within minutes. When you place a bet it is deducted from your account and if you win, the winnings are added to your account almost immediately.
Registering With The Board of Elections
So what do we need to do to be able to vote online? The Board of Elections needs to be revamped to include online voting. The only reason they don't want you voting online is because more people will vote. From the few examples that I have given, all it takes is to register and establish your account. The Board of Elections then verifies your eligibility and you are now ready to vote on election day.
Only one vote can be cast in your identity and if you login and can't vote, you know you have been hacked. The Board of Elections should establish a way to verify who you voted for, meaning you can check your vote later to make sure it went through for the right person or issue. They can also detect or trace any acts or attempts at voter fraud.
What If I Don't Have Internet Access?
Almost all of us have access to the internet or we know someone who has a smart phone that can access the internet. Your elderly relatives may need your assistance in this area. You may have to help your relatives with this. You can access the internet from your phone using your data or a hot spot. That's why registering early is necessary. Once you are registered, when it is time to vote you can access the internet from anywhere.
Even now, we have elderly people who can't get to the polls who need to vote. This brings the polls to them. If they are hospitalized or in a nursing home, those facilities usually have internet access so you could take a laptop from room to room if necessary. Churches for example, can have days when people who don't have internet can vote after service is over or any other designated day.
Let's Get it Done
One of the biggest differences I found when I moved from Cleveland to Atlanta was the attitude of the people when faced with a problem. In Cleveland I was surrounded by people who complained about a problem and would just shut down if they couldn't find a solution. When I moved to Atlanta, a problem became a challenge that needed a solution right now. No need to worry about why it happened, we need to get it fixed and keep moving.
This is the problem we are facing now. We may not be able to get to the polls in November so we can't just shut down and not have an election. We need to find a solution right now and keep it moving. Trump doesn't want you to vote by mail, in fact he doesn't want you to vote at all.
Voting online is in addition to voting by mail. Another concern was military personnel who may be in a country where internet is not available. This is why we have to keep absentee mail voting in place, but online voting would cut down the amount of absentee ballots that would be cast.
The key is to be registered at least a month before the election and then you could use that whole month to vote online up until the polls close on election day. As always, this plan can be adjusted to make it work for any situation.
These are not all the answers but it is a start. Our current voting system is so complex and outdated that only a small fraction of people vote as it is. Most people don't vote because it is too time consuming, they don't like standing in long lines or they just can't get to the polls.
This would also cut down on the temporary personnel that is needed to man the polls during election years. There will be no need for polling places. There will not be people in polling places telling you that you can't vote. If the internet is the future then voting has to keep up with the times. Quit making excuses and let's get this working now!