In the past, I have taken a very dim view of many election “reforms.” The fundamental idea — that we need to make it easier to vote because people are not taking the time to cast their ballots — seems flawed. People will take the time to do what is a priority for them. For many, voting ranks somewhere below getting the car washed.
To me, that’s wrong, and I do not think policies should be designed around devaluing the vote.
But there’s a point the article makes that makes me think Interent voting may be something whose time has come. Why? It’s cheaper.
Honolulu did not shift to Internet-only voting out of a sense of reformism or do-gooderism, but because they needed to save money:
[T]he Honolulu City Council cut the Neighborhood Commission’s election budget from $220,000 to $180,000. That prompted the agency to shift to all-digital voting for this year’s races. Preliminary calculations show Web voting may cost only $80,000, [a community relations specialist with the city Neighborhood Commission] said.
That’s a significant savings.