With the birth of a vast telecommunications network such as the Internet, there has been a significant change in the quality and way of life. Such change also makes itself prominent in political paradigm and manifested itself as “e-Government.” This concept had its origin in the declaration by the Clinton Administration at its onset which stated, ‘We would like to take advantage of information technology to enhance the quality of life of our citizens and breath new life into economy.’ A ‘small and efficient government’ is the fundamental ideology of e-Government.
“e-Politics,” a political paradigm in a new space by relying on such medium, was born. Ultimately, this is manifested as a form where the current reality of political space has been transferred to a network space that we call the Internet. This e-Politics can not only realize savings on significant cost, time, and manpower required for the current political activities but also forms a basis from which we will be able to step closer to realizing direct democracy that enhances political participation by citizens by supplementing problems related to representational democracy of the day.
Various political parties and politicians engage in promotion and opinion gathering on political issues, discussions, and donation receipt through websites. Political activities in cyberspace are now coming to the fore as one of the important political methods. We would like to conduct research on the area of e-voting, one of the most critical areas of e-Politics. There are a number of voting methods currently being employed by various countries. But, the losses related to manpower, time, and money in carrying out voting are still far too great for most countries.
Moreover, at the moment, the voters’ political indifference poses a more significant threat: It translates directly to a decrease in voting ratio. Due to such reasons, the development of new voting method can be said to be an important project of national significance. The fact that diverse forms of e-voting where convenience, efficiency, and accuracy are punctuated via the advancement in electronic and information and telecommunications technologies are currently being developed is a testament to such claim.
We would like to explore problems inherent in the existing voting methods and propose a form of e-voting based on new devices, along with its future development paths.
(by Her Yong-Sork, Kouichi Sakurai, Kim Shin-Hwan)