Groundbreaking technology has enabled development of electronic voting systems that are fast, reliable and very simple to use. However, every new technology offers new challenges that need to be overcome. Although we live in a technological era where everything is digitalized and available online, it seems that we still prefer to trust the conventional voting system over modern electronic voting solutions. In this article, we are not going to debate the benefits and possibilities of digital democracy. Instead, we will discuss the importance of electronic voting systems and solutions in preserving our environment. Read on to find out how online voting has shown potential to contribute to environmental protection.
Eliminating the Need for Transportation and Reducing Air Pollution
When we think about online voting, the biggest benefit we have in mind is convenience. Online voting requires only access to the internet and a computer to cast a ballot, therefore eliminating the need for transportation and reducing or eliminating missed time at work and school. Besides the mentioned, by eliminating the need for transportation during elections, we will significantly reduce local air pollution. A new study found that 35% of cars are causing 90% of the air pollution that we breathe. During the elections, the pollution caused by transportation increases for more than 7%. Just imagine how much the pollution would increase if everyone would get out of their homes and vote. With online voting systems, besides saving the environment, we would definitely have a higher voter turnout. People with disabilities or those who live abroad would also be able to vote by making a little more effort than a few clicks.
Reducing the Costs of an Election
A very significant benefit of online voting is the reduced expense of an election as well the reduced costs of participating in an election. Since people won’t have to travel anymore to reach the polling place, a lot of money can be saved. Setting up the necessary infrastructure for voting is very time consuming, costly and unpractical. Besides the mentioned, online voting would be less expensive in the long term because it doesn’t require using traditional paper ballots. By not using paper ballots, we will not only save a lot of money, but also thousands of trees.
We can just guess the number of trees cut every day to make paper, but lodging reports and statistical research conducted eight years ago shows the following. It takes 24 trees to make one ton of uncoated non-recycled printing or office paper. 12 trees are required to make one ton of 100 percent non-recycled newsprint, while one tree is required to make ten reams of 100 percent, non-recycled copy paper.
Now imagine how many trees are being destroyed to make traditional paper ballots. Never forget that only trees can filter the air pollution and provide us the oxygen that we breathe, therefore every tree is worth saving! Reduced costs also include the expenses of printing, mailing and tabulating paper ballots. Online voting systems are auditable, transparent, secure, accurate and nature-friendly – there is no reason not to trust them and use them.