Elections Canada has a good argument for allowing Canadians to vote electronically, and MPs should give it serious consideration when they reconvene in the fall. Allowing online voting could well be an effective way to engage young Canadians in the political system.
In a report released a couple of weeks ago, Elections Canada said it will call for legislative changes that would let it implement online registration of voters. According to a story by the Canadian Press, it specifically wants to conduct an electronic voting test-run in a byelection by 2013. In pitching the idea, Elections Canada says that only 58.8 per cent of registered voters cast ballots in the last election in October — the worst voter turnout in Canadian history. Among other things, the story said, a survey completed for Elections Canada found that 57 per cent of those who didn’t vote said they were too busy with “everyday situations,” such as family obligations or work.
If that’s the case, online voting could accommodate more people and encourage more people to exercise their right to vote.
Should this really be necessary? Probably not. Voting is a right that should be cherished and exercised with care. After all, it’s the process by which we choose who we want to run our affairs, and by exercising this right, we remind not only ourselves but the candidates that they’re accountable to the voters.
But in spite of this, turnout at the polls appears to be declining, particularly among young people. There are many theories about why this is so, including the lack of interest in and cynicism toward the political process. But whatever those reasons are, it makes sense to simply make it easier to vote. . . .
From the Waterloo RecordTags: Elections Canada