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US judge OK's online voting in spite of racial bias

Jeez, has Mary Robinson heard about this?

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Some Arizona Democrats will enjoy the luxury of voting from their houses, offices and local Internet cafes in next week's Democratic primary election, in spite of a lawsuit filed to block on-line voting on grounds that it discriminates against minorities. US District Court Judge Paul Rosenblatt denied a petition to block the scheme by a voting rights advocacy outfit calling itself the Voting Integrity Project.

The group claims that only 19 per cent of Blacks and 16 per cent of Hispanics have Internet access from any location, compared to 38 per cent of Whites. The judge allowed this might result in some skewing of votes, but doubted that the effect would be large enough to influence the election results. He said he was open to setting aside the results and requiring a second poll if, after the scheduled election, it appeared that the scheme had an ill effect.

The Register thinks it should be self evident that the scheme is going to have an ill effect, but more due to the voters it will encourage than those it will exclude. We note that determined voters will always make the time to cast their ballots. But the online voting scheme will attract more casual voters - those who vote only when it's entirely convenient. We can therefore expect the digital divide to mean that more white casual voters than black or Hispanic casual voters will point and drool their way to civic responsibility next week.

We would point out that the type of voter the scheme will empower is likely to be among the least concerned, least informed and least thoughtful members of the electorate. So we have to ask, does anyone really want these idiots mucking about with public policy issues to which they haven't given half a thought? O

f course we certainly believe that fair is fair. Enabling a disproportionately large number of white idiots to cast ballots is patently unjust, and probably dangerous. We feel strongly that black and Hispanic idiots should, by any standard of decency presently recognised in the free world, be permitted to have their say too. ®

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