Posted: 03/21/16 02:03
by Dave Mindeman
There is something that bears watching on Tuesday...and it happens to be on the Republican side. In the great state of Utah, the GOP is doing an experiment that is worth watching.
They are holding their Presidential ballot via the internet.
This might be an idea that can solve the Minnesota issue of primary vs caucus. And here are the reasons why I think it can help....
First of all, the registration data would be done online. No more data entry at the local level....(which I guarantee you can be very cumbersome).
Second, you won't have to have a large number of people all flocking to locations at the same time with incomplete information and a lot of confusion.
Third, you can still hold a caucus meeting for those that want to do more. They can hold their vote in person and elect leadership among the group that is already committed to doing more. (You could even have a comparison of internet vs. in person voting)
Fourth, it could save the state some administration time and money. If you don't have to occupy polling places or print ballots and other material, that has to be a win as well, right?
There are logistics that may have problems. That is why the Utah vote will be interesting to observe. They will see the challenges first hand and there will be ideas about how to improve that process.
First question mark would be how to guarantee some ballot integrity. Online voting needs to be secure. But in reality, how accurate do you think the vote count on caucus night was anyway? The voting by that flood of people in a small time window must have had a ton of mistakes...more than likely not intentionally, but mistakes none the less. Still, if there can be a reasonable amount of integrity via security protocols, it could be just as accurate as what we are doing.
Secondly, would the party want some control over who would vote. If it is completely open, then the general electorate would be involved - especially if there is an incumbent in one party and an open election in the other. There might need to be some kind of filter if the party wants to keep it within its own membership.
Still on the whole, it is a process that is worth looking at. Watch Utah on Tuesday night and listen for any discussion on this process.
It might be in Minnesota's future.