Did you trudge it down to the voting center on Nov. 6th, 2012?
Hey, that’s jumping the gun. First, let me tell you a story.
They say that every adversity can be converted into an opportunity. So, when Hurricane Sandy hit us below our belts and devastated us, we were in a fix. New Jersey residents had to elect a man who would run the government for the next four years and they could not do it because the hurricane had blitzed through the area.
So, the New Jersey’s Division of Elections hit upon a novel idea: fax or email your vote. New Jersey residents embraced the plan. In fact, they hugged and kissed it.
There were a few conditions they had to comply with though:
- They had to submit their interest by 5 P.M. on 6 November, 2012.
- Then, they had to sign a waiver of secrecy (read it here: http://nj.gov/state/elections/2012-results/directive-email-voting.pdf ) and send it back along with their ballot by 8 PM. on 6 November, 2012.
- They also had to fulfill a couple of other formalities, which you can read about here: http://nj.gov/state/elections/2012-results/directive-volume-and-extension.pdf
Once they had complied with all the conditions and sent in their ballot, they were deemed to have casted a valid vote.
The point here is that this faxing or emailing the vote helped these New Jersey people save time and energy, which they used for continuing their rehabilitation and recuperation work.
This has happened today. One day, not too far into the future, not just New Jersey, but the whole of America will be emailing or fax-to-emailing their vote or casting it online. They won’t be faxing it though – that’s because not so far away in the future, there will be no fax device.
Now, let’s get back to our main theme. The one about every adversity being an opportunity in disguise.
Hurricane Sandy and its devastation was the adversity, voting in the election was the need, and faxing or emailing your vote was the opportunity.
Strange but true, a hurricane made us shift more towards technology.
What then, will it take us to switch to an email-your-vote or fax-to-email-your-vote system for the whole of America?
Maybe the rising cost of holding elections, the trees cut down to make ballot paper, the massive administration, the expensive infrastructure, etc., will make us wiser and more technologically-oriented. We also will need stronger online encryption, identification and security systems to make e-voting a reality.
As President Obama would say, a day will come when men of all religions, no matter their color, no matter their occupation, no matter their economic status, no matter their political inclination, will sit down in their homes and cast their vote online or email it across. Amen to that.
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Christian St. James is a voting blogger who looks forward to the day when citizens can cast their votes using internet fax. http://www.maxemail.com