The Short Version: Online Voting

The Short Version: Online Voting

The point of it all is to break down the headlines, determine why an issue is important and reveal the best arguments on each side of the story. In some of  the most recent iterations of The Short Version, Cleo Abram looked at the pros and cons of “trigger warnings.” This week, she talks about online voting.

Note: If you have missed any of Cleo’s blogs, just go to our Home Page, type “The Short Version” into Search (magnifying glass icon) and poof, like magic, all her blogs will appear.

“I love getting feedback every week—thank you! If you want come hang out, debate a thing or two, and meet other Shorties, check out Short Events,” says Cleo. “Or if you have a topic you’d be interested in guest writing, just let me know! Let’s make it happen.”

Cleo Constantine Abrams of the “Short Form,” offering densely packed spins on issues of national and global importance.

Cleo Constantine Abram of the “Short Form,” offering densely packed spins on issues of national and global importance.

What’s happening?

On November 8th, citizens across the country will head to their polling places and cast their ballots. On average, voters wait 14 minutes, but wait times differ across states and correlate with race and socioeconomic status. On average, black and Hispanic voters wait over 20 minutes and white voters wait only 13 minutes. In some states, the average wait can be up to 45 minutes. In other words, it can be time-consuming to vote, even more so for historically marginalized people.

Why don’t we have online voting?

Why is it important?

Online voting is controversial worldwide. All citizens can vote online in some places, like Estonia and parts of Switzerland. In the U.S., some states allow some voters to use an online portal: in Missouri, this option is available to military personnel in a “hostile zone.” In North Dakota and Arizona, military or overseas citizens can absentee vote online. In Alaska, online voting is available to all residents.

But computer scientists raise serious questions about the security of online voting. In fact, some have already demonstrated ways to tamper with Alaska’s system, changing votes remotely, en masse, and without detection. When the same group demonstrated vulnerabilities in Norway’s system in 2013, the country ended online voting.

Debate it!

Should we have online voting available in all states, for all voters?

 Why “The Short Version” on TIO:

Eight+ years ago, Telluride Inside…and Out began as a lifestyle webzine. Today, in the full knowledge that Telluride is a window on the world, we continue to bring the “zazz” (short for “pizzazz) of the region to a local, national, and global audience by covering everything from Telluride’s robust cultural economy – major events and festivals – to health and fitness and outdoor adventure. When Telluride travels, we write about places to go, people to meet too. (That’s part of the “Out” part of our handle, the other, obviously, Outdoors.)

And now, this new weekly column, “The Short Version,” which offers simple summaries of issues of national and global importance. (Though we won’t go political, or rather we won’t show bias in the upcoming election.)

“The Short Version” is written by Cleo Constantine Abram, the daughter of Telluride locals Eleni Constantine and Jonathan Abram (and therefore an honorary local and regular visitor) and a digital strategist.

Why “The Short Version”? Because, though we live in Shangri-La, our bubble is not impermeable and the rest of the world is only a click away. Because there is no inconsequential action; only consequential inaction. And because information is power in a moment so many of us are feeling powerless.

More about Cleo Constantine Abram:


Cleo Abram 2


Cleo grew up in Washington D.C., lives in New York City, and loves to visit her parents in Telluride. She authors “The Short Version,” a newsletter that explains each week’s most important issue and both sides of the debate around it.

Cleo is a digital strategist at Precision Strategies, a political consulting firm born of the Obama 2012 presidential campaign.

Cleo’s work focuses on ways to share, educate, and inform using online platforms. While in college at Columbia University, she guided the school’s entrance into online education through her role as the youngest elected representative to the Columbia Senate, which makes university-wide policy.

She continued her work on online education at TED-Ed, the educational branch of the nonprofit, building new programs and online tools to support high school teachers worldwide.

Continuing her work with TED, Cleo founded and led an early TEDx conference, the organization’s community-specific series.

Most importantly, Cleo loves to ski.

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