TED Conversations

Philip Paczynski

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What are the barriers to facilitating adoption of democratic national elections online?

Instead of physical voting centers across democratic nations during election periods, which have associated labor costs, counting inefficiencies and opportunity for the tampering of votes - what if elections could be held online?

What are the barriers for nations adopting this type of voting system? and how can we overcome these shifts and increase adoption?

For example, authentication of individuals - how can we overcome this? What are the differences In the case of less developed countries, as opposed to a developed country?

What other barriers are there?

David Bismark in his TED talk, "E-voting without fraud", goes further to suggest individuals who vote in elections have the right to transparency, that is to know that there vote has been counted. It seems logical, so why isn't it happening across the world?

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  • Apr 25 2012: As you've mentioned, I think this would open up a huge issue of fraud, hoax voting site replicas etc. It would also be a huge task to register an entire nation for online voting - it would take years to fully impliment. Having said that, I think this is definitely the future. I would be absolutely shocked if everyone wasn't voting this way in 10 years. And contrary to what Mr. Baldwin thinks, I believe a democracy could only be enriched by higher voting participation. How would a system that captures the prefernces of a nation more accurately cause chaos?
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    Apr 22 2012: Actually,What about a international organization that countries use to collect and sort the data?
    • Apr 25 2012: I think countries would prefer that kind of sensitive data to be handled by their own government.
  • Apr 21 2012: Democracies are dangerous when the people are allowed to vote their every whim, especially an uninformed and uneducated voting populous. Creating an easier way for them to vote will only lead to more chaos, which is probably what the proponants of this want.
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    Apr 21 2012: Political power is gained, or lost, by influencing the voting public. Along with an online election process it would be necessary to outlaw commercial advertising by political candidates/campaigns/entities. Otherwise nothing would really change. These two changes would create a need for factual, non-biased online information about candidates and issues. Then political power would be gained, or lost, based on informed voters expressing their personal wishes for their personal futures free from the very persuasive influence of propaganda and spin-doctors. As usual, Mr.Paczynski, the major hurdle/barrier is the status quo.