Monday, October 25, 2004

Remote Voting

Despite me living on the underside of the world, I felt it was my civic duty to vote in the upcoming elections in the US. So I got my absentee ballot and was preparing to send it off in the post when a card arrived stating that I needed to vote by the 7th of October or up to 15 days thereafter. Since it was the 20th at the time, I had no choice but to fax my ballot which forfeited my right to give my vote in secret. Although I did get to vote, I disliked the tricks associated with remote voting.

Apparently absentee voting is widely practiced even when people don't have a "legitimate" reason (i.e. they are on the other side of the world). In an editorial in USA Today, the editor talks about the pitfalls of such voting practices, things which I hadn't considered until now...

Given the stories about registration rigging, voter disqualification, and the mass of lawyers being employed to ensure that neither side cheats, it is clear that democracry is an idea that makes a good storefront, but it is rarely used in practice.

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