Posted: August 14th, 2013
The internet, as well as digital technologies, has dramatically changed how people communicate, interaction between government agencies, and how business transactions are carried out (California Internet Voting Task Force, 2009). Hence, it is not much of a surprise why this technology has been applied in vote casting and counting and is indeed a groundbreaking idea, even if controversial. Currently, many organizations, civic, community, and corporate, are using various forms of technologies used to elect members of the board, binding votes delivery on budgets or policies, and its contribution to the decision making process. The votes may be cast through either physical connection or a particular physical location. Nevertheless, how nations apply this technology in political matters is challenging and has been exposed to numerous risks that call for sophisticated management.
It is a good thing when nations such as the United States use more accountable, resilient, and evidence based systems of voting. The current advancement in the internet and digital technologies has prompted the emergence of intelligent hackers with an intention of hacking and snatching secret government files or big businesses. Hence, as this technology is applied in various fields, the issue of security has become unavoidable leading to significant measures being taken. The other main concern, in terms of vote security, comes through cases of malfunction and human error. Take for instance a 2006 scenario a Florida election where electronic gadgets failed to congressional race record votes in over 18,000 ballots (Chaum, 2010). Even before authorities begin to worry about hacking, there are insecurities of malfunctioning and human error.
The security measures put in place to cater for these anomalies involve using strong passwords. Hackers are good at programming voting devices with weak or predictable passwords, such as the voting devices from vendor Diebold were all operated with a similar code. The other method involves using a firewall that gives alerts and prevents the inflow or outflow of network traffic into the gadget’s system (Chaum, 2010). Additionally, it also requires authorization to reveal files from the user. These are the main measures taken to ensure that the voting system is not hacked. Furthermore, the systems use fingerprint recognition to ensure that the voter is qualified and permitted to cast his or her vote (2010).
When the aspect of voting comes to mind, I feel that DRE machines are better suited for the voting exercise compared to internet voting. Comparing it to internet voting reveals that gadgets in e voting are more reliable. This is because they have code encryptions for security purposes, and are subjected to expert testing prior to an election. These endeavors ensure the elections are conducted securely and effectively. Additionally, DRE machines are better than internet voting because internet resource may not be available in certain areas, thus hindering the process. However, I do indeed think that online voting will become the norm since it is more accurate and reliable, in addition to society’s increased access to computers and the internet. The aspect of internet access is a major determiner for the functions of internet voting. To make this form of voting possible, I think it would be advisable to locate areas with limited internet access and establish centers with computers and internet facilities or cyber cafes. This move would then give people access to this technology. According to Alvarez and Hall (2010), the world is going through continued development; heading to a period with little or no problems of internet access. These advancements include fast speed internet such as the fiber optic cable and an influx of cell phones with internet connection capability.
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