-Savvy Voters"> Those are neighborhoods of the citys professionals: people who travel a lot on business or who work in Silicon Valleya long commute, particularly when you need to beat a clock. For these voters, permanent absentee ballots are the only way to vote. There are some cautions, of course. For now, permanent absentee voterslike the first folks to vote online will beare more sophisticated. Theyve figure out how to get the forms, for starters. That sophistication makes them, in the grand scheme of things, more moderate: able, if not willing, to consider both sides.In San Francisco, Newsom ran as a fiscally minded liberal. Although he has become best know for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, his main campaign platform was his insistence on bucking the citys self-styled liberalism. He campaigned on a plan to change how San Francisco helped its homeless residents by dramatically reducing the cash subsidies they were paid. Thats not a cookie-cutter liberal agenda and it was created to appeal to the very folks who userely on, reallyabsentee ballots. Thats another trend that folks supporting online, Internet-based voting might want to consider. With time to consider their votes, such as a range of days in which to send in their choices online (or, for now, through the mail), voters listen a bit less to sound bites and thumbnail analyses and a little bit more to common sense and practical solutions. That wont be a permanent state of affairs, of course. And yes, I know. Its a lot to hope for. But almost anything beats what weve got now. eWEEK.com technology and politics columnist Chris Nolan spent years chronicling the excesses of the dot-com era with incisive analysis leavened with a dash of humor. Before that, she covered politics and technology in D.C. You can read her musings on politics and technology at Spot-On.com. She can be reached at CNolan@spot-on.com. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on government and politics.
That might not be such a bad thing either, particularly if youre getting tired of all the screaming and baiting that passes for political discourse these days. But it will be temporary. As more folks move online, the more raucous aspects of politicking will show up there as well.