The way people vote has been paper-based for a long time in Turkey; however, online voting has started to gain popularity nowadays. At this point, a question comes to mind: is today’s so called tech-savvy generation ready for such an enormous change or is this new approach likely to cause insurmountable problems as to technical issues? Before having deep biases against this regulation, we must surely touch upon both upsides and the potential pitfalls of this issue thoroughly.
To begin with the advantages of this novelty, it can be easily asserted that, in this respect, the voting process is likely to be easier and more accessible than ever before. Instead of waiting in a line to place one’s ballot in the ballot box, now, people can cash in on the ample opportunities of technology. It goes without saying that engaging young people who are the hardest to reach will undoubtedly be an enviable growth in terms of parents. Equally important, greater secrecy for special populations of electors with disabilities can be provided more effectively. In addition, authorities can more easily make the most of technological opportunities and get the results of the election faster and more accurately. Another fruitful outcome of electronic voting is the potential to be less expensive. If we take the expenses and time spent for voting into account, we rightly start to show more interest in this novel approach.
When it comes to the disadvantages of online voting that convey various perspectives, we must initially mention security. By and large, unreliable software, threats of computer viruses and hackers pull people into vortex of negativity while surfing on the net. With regard to the election process, those menaces are likely to increase considerably. Potential problems with access, for example, pose a serious risk of digital divide. Living in a developing country, our citizens are perpetually considered non progressive and uninterested in technological developments. Let alone the technologically illiterate majority, there will be numerous technical issues such as connection problems and electricity shortages. Strange to say, although almost all Turkish citizens are deemed to be keeping pace with technology, most of them cannot afford the expenses of the net or updating of machines. In a nutshell, computer illiteracy is the underlying reason why we are not ready for such a change.
To sum up, the above mentioned examples are more than adequate to support the argument that before undertaking such a huge enterprise, Turkey must dwell on its infrastructure development. On the other hand, while assessing the effectiveness of electronic voting in terms of its practicability and convenience, we should not belittle its possible advantages as well.
HAVVANUR ZAFER Program 2, May 2015