Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A supremely bad idea

I generally like Joe Pantalone. However, one of the policies he's proposing for his mayoral campaign deserves to be rejected out of hand:
Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone says that, if elected to the top job, he’ll let people vote from their BlackBerry or home computer in 2014, and push the province to allow some non-citizens to help choose the mayor.
From the Star. I understand that he wants to increase voter turnout, but doesn't he remember all the controversy over electronic voting in American elections? And don't forget, part of the reason many people don't vote is that they don't think their vote matters. Such people aren't likely to feel any better about the usefulness of their vote if they figure that the election could be easily rigged, are they?

Additionally (though this is secondary to the main concern) these sorts of things always have teething problems. Centre Wellington experimented with voting by phone in the 2000 election, and the result was a huge fiasco; the lines were overloaded and many people were disenfranchised as a result. It's telling that the township's website no longer seems to have any reference to telephone voting; I guess they've learned their lesson, and Toronto should as well.

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