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"I think engineering will supply our demand for a "spiritual" life after meat death."
- Bart Kosko

Electronic Voting  
  Using computer terminals to register votes from citizens.  

In the novel, every last bit of commerce, government business and private communication goes over a nation-wide data network. Some individuals obtain special access through the use of government power or great wealth, and use their access to conceal their criminal activities in a way that can never be uncovered.

Nick Haflinger, hacker extraordinaire, writes a super-tapeworm that ends this system, and devises an electronic plebiscite (e-voting) scheme to give every person in North America the opportunity to vote on two guiding principles that the tapeworm will enforce on the datanet.

Although Brunner did not invent the concept, this was a great mass-popularization of the idea. Buckminster Fuller wrote about "electrified voting" in 1971; there was at least on limited implementation for distributed choice-making done on early networked computers in 1970.

From 0700 local until 1900 every veephone on the continent would display, over and over, two propositions, accompanied by a spoken version for the benefit of the illiterate. Most would be in English, but some would be in Spanish, some in Amerind languages, some in Chinese ... the proportions being based on the latest continental census. After each repetition would follow a pause, during which any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a "yes" or "no."
From The Shockwave Rider, by John Brunner.
Published by Harper and Row in 1975
Additional resources -

The propositions voted upon related to the laws governing the computer network that ran every aspect of people's lives. The electronic plebiscite ran as part of a super-tapeworm that would carry out the results of the voting immediately.

The first proposition:

#1: That this is a rich planet. Therefore poverty and hunger are unworthy of it, and since we can abolish them, we must.
And the second:
#2: That we are a civilized species. Therefore none shall henceforth gain illicit advantage by reason of the fact that we together know more than one of us can know.
So, how did you vote?

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Shockwave Rider
  More Ideas and Technology by John Brunner
  Tech news articles related to The Shockwave Rider
  Tech news articles related to works by John Brunner

Electronic Voting-related news articles:
  - No Online Voting Yet (How long Did You Wait In Line?)
  - Electric Voting From Home Via Internet
  - Electronic Voting Banned In Netherlands
  - Vote Flipping Video Shows Poor Electronic Plebiscite
  - E-Voting Simple And Verifiable
  - US Census Will Be Online In 2020

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