Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Austin Daily Herald calls for online voting, says ‘technology can prevent fraud’

The southern Minnesota daily says it “seem ridiculous that voting laws in Minnesota are essentially the same as they were centuries ago.”

Online voting should be in Minnesota’s future, says the Austin Daily Herald’s opinion page.

The southern Minnesota daily says that even though the state’s voter turnout percentage is among the highest in the nation, there are still about 29 percent of registered voters who don’t show up at the polls.

Inconvenience is often cited as an excuse to stay home: “For many, the effort involved in getting to and from the polls on election day, and maybe waiting in line, outweighs exercising a constitutional right.”

Online voting is the sensible answer, the paper said:

Article continues after advertisement

“If Minnesota residents were able to vote on their computers, tablets or phones, no question the turnout would increase.”

A recent study, sponsored by the McAfee computer security company says that “many of the technologies that are already being used for online financial transactions could also be applied to e-voting and online voting to increase its popularity in the future,” according to a story at Biometric Update.

The Austin paper urges the Legislature and Congress to start moving towards online voting.

The paper notes that voter fraud is a risk with online voting, as it is in traditional voting, but says available technology can counter that.

A  commenter on the site, though, reminds the editors of the Affordable Care Act computer problems, as well as computer system hacks at Target and other retailers.