February 09, 2004


Worldchanging discusses about the pro and cons about electronic voting and the importance of homogeneous ballot paper designs. While some people argue that a paper audit trail is impossible for electronic voting machines, The Scientific American outlines this concept for a future machine:

"Electronic ballot boxes would be equipped with a glass screen and a printer. Each vote would be printed out on paper and the result dropped behind the glass screen for the voter to review before choosing to cast or void it. Such a system, [Mercuri] says, would reduce voter error and provide for a recount, if needed. Meanwhile the electronics could tabulate votes quickly, as our impatient society demands."

This might be possible for affluent countries but how the poor countries will embrace new expensive technologies only time will tell. As far as I know every country has developed their own ballot paper designs according to their convenience and wealth. For exampleBangladeshihi ballot papers have big symbols and the South African one (of 1994) includes pictures of the candidate. These matters ofcourse as Bangladeshi people are moracquainteded with the voting symbols and South African people with the Picture of candidates (I recall that many uneducated tribal people came to the polling booth and was crying Mandela with the seal in their hand).

So would homogeneous electronic voting system be effective and viable in all countries?


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