dimecres, 3 de maig de 2006

The importance of a (conscious) null vote

As Jordi stated in the previous post, ERC has decided to recommend their supporters to cast a null vote for the next referenda to be held in Catalonia about our internal constitution. Up to here there's no problem at all... it's a political decision like another one.
The problem could arise when imagining a future use of e-voting in our country. It's quite usual to hear that one of the best achievements of e-voting systems is the vanishing of null votes, which are defined only as unconsciuous errors made by voters. The question that null votes are often marginal in quantitative terms does not imply that all of them must be understood as errors. In fact in several elections null votes have became the only option to cast a critical vote in a clearly conscious way: we fund them in the Basque Country when Batasuna was illegalized or in Argentina during the severe economic, social and institutional crisis.
We have defended in different forums the need to include those ways of casting votes when designing an e-voting solution. Unfortunatelly it seems we only receive the echo of our voices. But think about it, to cast a (conscious) null vote is endeed a way to participate. Dont' you agree?