EDITORIAL: Voting process must evolve

We put a man on the moon nearly half a century ago, we’ve cured diseases and we can watch TV on our phones

We put a man on the moon nearly half a century ago, we’ve cured diseases and we can watch TV on our phones.

Yet, despite all these advances, we’re still voting with pencils and little slips of paper.

Across the country, voters at advance polls waited not-so-patiently in lines that exceeded one hour, sometimes two.

Officials across the country apologized to voters for the excessive wait times, saying the delays were largely a result of voter turnout being far greater than expected.

This of course, can be a good thing. Voter turnout is almost always lower than it should be, and any sign of it on the uptick should be applauded.

But regardless of the reason, we can do better.

The idea of online voting has been bandied about for years, and has especially gained steam among younger voters, many of whom are more comfortable casting a digital ballot from their smartphones or computers than they are standing in lines at the gym of their local high school.

There are those, of course, who worry about computer hacking and other technological glitches compromising the legitimacy of something as important as an election.

But every day, millions of Canadians bank and run businesses online, buy and sell goods and send all manner of sensitive information over the Internet. If that can be done securely, voting can be too, one assumes.

If nothing else, digitalizing the in-person experience would speed up the process – perhaps having election officials search for voter names online, rather than having them sift through binders for names.

For better or worse, we are an increasingly impatient society, and anything that can improve the voting process should be considered.

 

 

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