Smartmatic’s online voting expert Mike Summers was showcased in CNBC’s recently aired feature story about online voting in America.
“Why the US Doesn’t Vote Online” examined reasons why the US does not currently use online voting for most voters. Currently, 32 states and the District of Columbia already use some form of voting that utilizes the internet, such as fax, e-mail or web portal systems. This is typically limited to UOCAVA voters who are in the military or reside abroad.
The story showed some arguments that online voting can’t be secured, or that online voting might disenfranchise voters with lower incomes as they might not have access to technology or only to older technology.
These arguments, which haven’t changed much in a decade (despite changes in technology), discount the evidence in the real world and often rely on hypotheticals or erroneous assumptions. They ignore the successful and secure online voting that is already taking place, such as Estonia and Smartmatic’s work in Norway. Or they assume that online voting would become the only voting channel, rather than an additional channel added to the existing means for casting ballots.
“The pandemic has put a lot of focus on remote voting. Online voting is far superior to vote-by-mail as a remote channel because there aren’t any opportunities to physically misplace or lose a ballot, it’s more convenient for the voter – they don’t have to be at home to receive the ballot – and it’s far less expensive for the jurisdiction to conduct the election,” explained Summers.