View this PageEdit this PageUploads to this PageHistory of this PageHomeRecent ChangesSearchHelp Guide

The Modern Necessicity of Uniform Voting Systems

In modern times, the struggle for freedom and independence in

the world has been something that the peoples of many nations have

lived and died for. The government of the United States, though based

on principles of democracy and freedom, is a republic; it is a

government in which the citizens elect one of their constituents to

represent them, so that the person elected can accurately represent the

will of the citizens who put the person in office. More recently,

however, there has been wide dispute as to what methods should be used

to elect people to varying government offices. There have been many

methods proposed, including the utilization of electronic voting and

the continued use of paper ballots. Despite heated arguments and

debates over which system(s) may be considered the “best” for the

purpose of voting, and thus, representing the citizens of the U.S.,

there are problems still present in regards to social and political

issues.

Socially, there are many pros and cons to establishing a

single, uniform system of voting in the U.S., namely the adoption of an

electronic national system for elections. To even begin the

establishment of a single, uniform system of elections through

electronic means would constitute having to revamp every voting system

in all 50 states in America. Add to that, each individual precinct in

each state would have to install and learn to use the new technology

and learn the procedures associated with the new technology, should it

fail or simply confuse the voter in question. In the year 2000, there

was much controversy over the validity of paper ballots that were

counted incorrectly, were unable to be counted as a result of “dimpled

chads” or “hanging chads,” or in other words, ballots that were voted

on, but were unreadable or simply not marked as indicated. Electronic

voting would eliminate any discrepancies between who the voter actually

voted on and the actual vote that the computers and databases receive.

As with the most recent elections in the state of Georgia, electronic

voting was utilized throughout the entire state, in all voting

precincts. One of the significant social advantages to this was the

fact that the voting booth clearly spelled out how to use the machine,

how the machine counted your vote(s) and what the voter could do,

should there be any problems with either the machine or the process of

actually voting for the candidates for each office. This electronic

voting system resulted in much less confusion on the behalves of both

the voters and the counters of the ballots, which resulted in a more

accurate and more exact counting of the ballots collected in each

voting precinct.

Politically, the employment of an all-electronic voting system

would lead to fewer disputes over whether or not a certain precinct in

a certain state counted ballots incorrectly and would also decrease the

time for precincts to report the numbers for the number of votes for

each candidate. Presidential and state elections alike would be less

likely to have instances of voter fraud and confused ballots, as well

as represent the people in a manner that would benefit both those

electing the candidates and those being elected.

Technologically, there are still many advantages and

disadvantages that hinder the progress and implementation of electronic

voting systems. On the one hand, many critics and naysayers of the use

of purely electronic voting systems claim that these systems are

extremely susceptible to fraud, as well as more modern dangers, such as

hackers and general miscommunication between databases and the actual

voting machines. At the same time, however, there are many advantages

that outweigh the disadvantages of electronic voting. One of the most

obvious advantages would be the utilization of new technology to reach

more voters and thus increase the margin of error, should there be any

fault in either the machines or databases. Nor would there be

misrepresentation or lack thereof, as electronic and even Internet

voting would be accessible from the comfort and safety of one’s own

home. Though several of these technologies are being employed,

widespread use and acceptance of such technologies has not yet taken

hold during more recent elections on both local and national levels.

For the most part, however, paper ballots are being used to vote for

candidates, and these ballots are being hand counted by poll workers;

this use of manual labor leads to the increased risk of careless errors

and miscounted votes.

Socially, politically, and technologically, the acceptance

and implementation of electronic voting systems as a national and

uniform system for voting in the United States would drastically

improve the democratic process as a whole. However, regardless of the

method used to vote for elected officials in the U.S., one fact

remains: a uniform system for voting must be implemented in the near

future in order to reassure the nation that the democratic process

still holds and that citizens are given the best representation for an

ever-changing and ever-shifting political, social, and technological

era.