Have you ever driven to a polling place on a cold November day, only to be so discouraged by the long lines that you left without even voting? How would you feel, instead, about receiving your ballot in the mail, completing it, and sending it back – so your voice can be heard with minimal disruption to your day? Voting by mail can be convenient and even encourage more citizens to vote. But it could also provide opportunities for voter fraud.
Similarly, technological advances could transform voting at polling locations but may also provide opportunities for voter fraud. Electronic voting technology includes punched cards, optical scan voting systems, and specialized voting kiosks. And, in the future, electronic voting could involve transmitting ballots and votes by telephone, private computer networks, or the Internet. At some point you may even be able to receive a postcard in the mail and use your phone to scan the ballot code and cast your vote. Hybrid options are more and more common – this is just one application.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of voting by mail compared to traditional voting at the polls and other means of voting – including digital options? How would you prefer to cast your vote?
We would especially like to hear from elected officials about the pros and cons of voting by mail.
Project Title: Election Mail
Start Date: February 9, 2015
Estimated Report Release Date: August 2015