EDITORIAL: Let’s pencil in some new technology

Online voting – or at least more technology at the polls – would streamline the election process.

It is 2015, and still we are doing things the hard way.

We put a man on the moon nearly half a century ago, we’ve cured diseases, we can watch television on our phones in the middle of the desert and 3D technology has come and gone… then come and gone again.

Yet, despite all these advances, we’re still voting with pencils and little slips of perforated paper.

What an age we live in.

Across the Lower Mainland last weekend – and the rest of the country, too – voters at advance polls lined up in droves, waiting not-so-patiently in lines that exceeded one hour, sometimes two.

It’s not just voters who are frustrated, either. In the riding of Vancouver Centre, a federal elections information officer angrily quit, storming out of the advance-polling station after becoming increasingly frustrated with ever-growing wait times and what he said was a lack of help from Elections Canada.

Earlier this week, officials across the country apologized to voters for the excessive wait times, saying the delays were largely a result of voter turnout being far greater than expected.

This, of course, can be a good thing. Voter turnout is almost always lower than it should be, and any sign of it on the uptick should be applauded.

But regardless of the reason, one thing is clear: We can do better.

The idea of online voting has been bandied about for years, and has especially gained steam among younger voters, many of whom are more comfortable casting a digital ballot from their smartphones or computers than they are standing in lines at the gym of their local high school.

There are those, of course, who worry – perhaps rightfully – about computer hacking and other technological glitches compromising the accuracy and legitimacy of something as important as an election.

But every day, millions of Canadians bank and run businesses online, buy and sell goods and send all manner of sensitive information over the Internet. If that can be done securely, voting can be too, one assumes.

If nothing else, digitalizing the in-person experience would speed up the process – perhaps having election officials search for voter names in an online database, rather than having them sift through binder after binder, searching for last names and addresses.

For better or worse, we are an increasingly impatient society, and anything that can improve the voting process should be considered.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey boy, 11, hopes to raise $3,000 for Sources – and be Prime Minister

White Rock Coldest Night of the Year event to take place Feb. 22

Recharged Sharks aim for playoffs after ‘well-earned’ break

Bayside rugby club mixes youth with returning veterans in quest for men’s Div. 1 title

Looking back at ‘17 heady days’ in 2010

Effects of Vancouver-Whistler Games still being felt across the Lower Mainland

Guilty plea for one of two youth charged in August attack on White Rock senior

Trial dates for co-accused to be set Feb. 19; trial for linked stabbing death to begin January 2021

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Most Read

l -->