NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

States Launch Online Voting Experiments

December 7, 1999

Despite privacy and technological concerns, a growing number of states are testing online balloting.

  • Arizona Democrats plan to allow online voting during their presidential primary in March.
  • A California task force will reportedly recommend this month that online voting be phased in over several years.
  • Several other states -- including Florida, Iowa and Washington -- are moving toward online voting, although tests might begin with using computers at polling stations rather than gearing up for voting from home.
  • The military plans to have troops overseas cast ballots online in November 2000.

Although the process has the potential for increasing turnouts on election days, experts see a number of hurdles which must be overcome and officials are acting cautiously. Voters would be issued an electronic identification number which critics say could be used by another person to vote. There is also the potential for hacking, jamming and other technological threats, opponents warn.

Sources: Richard Wolf, "States to Test Online Voting," and "For E-Voting to Click, Wrinkles Must Be Ironed Out," both USA Today, December 7, 1999.

 

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