Several House members have introduced a bipartisan resolution to modernize how Congress operates. It includes the ability to vote remotely or take part in hearings online. A California Congressman said, “Across the nation we see the development of new, innovative ways of conducting business to improve communication and connectedness. It’s time for Congress to learn to be more mobile and adapt to the times in which we live.”
What a great idea, although long overdue. In 2012 and 2016, there were more than 100 million people who could have voted, but did not. Between 10 and 15 percent were potential voters who did not like either candidate or just became apathetic. However, 85 to 90 percent did not vote because they could not get to the polls. Many inhibitors exist: disabilities, illness, out of town, overseas, could not get time off work, had to take care of kids or parents, weather, and numerous other reasons. Yes, Congress should be able to vote remotely, but so should the rest of us. Unfortunately, election officials have been frightened by discussions of hacking and fraud, although there is no evidence of either affecting the election outcome. There will never be, nor should there be, a central Federal online voting system. However, state by state, county by county, Internet voting, using blockchain technology and mobile devices, can be implemented safely, securely, verifiably, and privately. We just need the technological and political will to do it and strengthen our democracy.