Apr 112004
 
Authors: Colleen Buhrer

An ensuing possible election controversy here at CSU exemplifies

a bigger issue that voters should start paying attention to:

technologically advanced elections.

According to a story in today’s Collegian, there is talk that

the Associated Students of CSU election may be recalled because

there may have been a problem with the electronic voting. There is

also some talk of possible voter fraud.

The thing is that something like this is almost impossible to

prove with electronic voting. The only thing that can be tracked is

when votes came in and whom they were for.

This lack of a paper trail is an inherent problem with

electronic voting. Candidates in any election have this extra

option of election fraud because of the technological advance to

electronic voting.

Obviously, the paper system has flaws as well (can we say

Florida?), and elections always pose the possibility of fraud, but

pure electronic voting is not necessarily the answer to the

dangling-chads problem of elections past.

A common ground needs to be formed. Possibly letting voters use

electronic voting machines to make and print out paper voting cards

to vote with, or something like that.

Right now, we may not have the right answer, but a combination

of paper and electronic voting is needed, not one extreme or the

other.

Another interesting technological advance to watch is how

candidates are using technology in their campaigns. Before long,

using Web sites and text messaging as campaign tactics may take the

place of the political machine of candidates going door to door and

city to city in person to recruit votes.

It has been reported that in campaigning for the elections

scheduled this year in India, politicians are campaigning through

text messaging. They are sending their campaign slogans and

platforms straight to voters’ cell phones.

Now, I think that would be incredibly annoying and it probably

wouldn’t go over very well here in the United States, but it is a

new technological wave in campaigning.

It is also possible to look up any politician on the Internet.

They all have their own Web sites to present to you their platform,

why you should vote for them and an easy way to contribute to their

campaign.

For better or worse, technology is infiltrating elections here

and throughout the world. Be ready.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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