Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

October 6, 2003

by J

Dean Wrong on Internet Voting

No, the man doesn't walk on water. Lest I be accused of supporting all of Dean's policies unthinkingly, I figured I'd point out that I think he's very, very wrong on the issue of Internet voting. The Mercury News reports that 8 of the 10 Democratic candidates have signed a letter supporing a challenge of Michigan's Internet voting plan.
Only Howard Dean, former Vermont governor, and Wesley Clark, the retired general who just joined the race, did not sign on to back the protest.

Some Democrats claim the challenge to Internet voting is targeted at Dean, who has raised millions over the Internet and has effectively used it to organize his supporters. Campaign aides for Dean and Clark were not available Thursday afternoon to comment.
Dean should come out squarely against Internet voting. Not only because of any digital divide or class issues that it raises, although those are important, but because Internet voting would be harmful to our democracy. Voting over the Internet allows potential coercion, vote selling, and privacy invasions. It's also a technological disaster in the making (we can't even make electronic voting secure, much less Internet voting), but I think the greatest harm is when we move voting away from monitored polling places with private booths and into the living room or library. It's a bad idea from a security perspective, from a privacy perspective, and from a democracy perspective. It's true that absentee and voting-by-mail suffer from some of the same drawbacks, but as with many things, the Internet will only exacerbate all of these concerns.

The Dean campaign is doing great things with the Internet. Hey, I love the Internet. But the Internet won't solve everything and it has no place in our voting infrastructure and probably never should.
Posted by J at October 6, 2003 08:06 PM

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