Election Attitude
by John R. Patrick
Attitude, LLC

"An open question is whether easier and more convenient methods of registration and voting could lead to high participation. An election attitude suggests the entire process should be as easy as one-click purchasing online."

Author and innovator in information technologies, John R. Patrick, has created this timely examination of voting/polling processes in America. It is no secret that voter participation here is perennially low compared to other countries, with many complaints among voters and non-voters alike about such issues as the reliability of current procedures, the cumbersome paper trail (or lack of it), and over all a mistrust of this system, both in terms of the machinery involved and the personnel who oversee it. Patrick believes that a switch to Internet voting would answer many if not all of these complaints. He asserts that mobile devices, especially phones, offer “an ideal platform for voting.” They are private, they can be carried anywhere, and they have a surprisingly good track record of security of information. Internet voting can be both anonymous and resistant to coercion. Though no state has yet to adopt the “one-click” voting advocated by Patrick, a few have developed some forms of e-mail balloting. The arguments for online voting are thought provoking, and the author presents them cogently.

Election Attitude offers admirably thorough researching of the subject matter, with the author citing sources ranging from The Pew Research Center to the US Census Bureau and finally to the Gettysburg Address in order to press home his points. Patrick, president of Attitude LLC, has devised an erudite, almost academic study aimed at those seriously interested in the issues and wishing to delve even deeper. The book is intelligent and informative, but probably not the first approach for a casual reader. It contains graphs and statistics and explores numerous court cases and initial experiments involving cyber-voting. The decision is not yet complete regarding online voting, but if it eventually becomes the norm, Election Attitude will establish its author as an early, articulate proponent.

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