I am writing to ask for more information on the direct democracy initiative
in California. My main question is, how will electronic voting work? Will
it be over the Internet? And how do you prevent people from voting more
than once if it is over the Internet? I am taking a State and Local
Government course in college, and I am very interested in this topic.
Stephen M. Crone
Reply from the DDC
Thank you for your interest in direct democracy. I will be happy to assist you with your course on government in any way I can. Because of the costs, it will probably be some time before we are able to get the direct democracy initiative on the ballot in California. Meanwhile, we are pursuing the approval of circulating initiative petitions over the Internet.
As to your question: How will the electronic voting work? Electronic voting has already been done over the Internet, in the Arizona Democratic Primary and in Alaska (for outlying areas). There were no reports of voter fraud. The voting was handled through election.com, which was originally established to conduct corporate stockholder voting worldwide. It is just a matter of time before most elections will be handled by electronic voting. More direct democracy is inevitable. We want to make it happen as smoothly as possible, without a lot of hit and miss, trial and error.
Our vision is to establish separate, secure voting networks for direct democracy at every level of government. If and when it becomes a reality, and with the advances in network security, you can be sure that there will be far less voting fraud, if any, by then.
Your question is one of our two most asked questions. The second is: Will apathetic voters participate in direct democracy? Frequent comments are: Most people won't bother taking the time. Others will only vote on matters of self-interest, etc. My answer is, how can anyone say what direct democracy will be like until we get there? No one can say whether or not it will work based upon present conditions. Voter apathy and cynicism exists because of the system. We believe it will be "voter self-interest" that drives direct democracy to full participation.
The third most frequent comment is, "I don't trust other voters to make decisions for me or to do anything that will have an effect on my life." My answer is, the current system is already doing that, very poorly. Direct democracy can only make it better, if for no other reason, because people would be truthfully and fully informed sufficient to make informed decisions. Plus, it would create better understanding and cooperation between all of us in an otherwise highly polarized and divisive society.
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