Gov. Neil Abercrombie deserves credit for his suggestion that going to 100 percent mail ballots for state elections will solve recent problems.
In the general election, there were severe shortages of paper ballots. Some 24 polling places on Oahu ran out completely and emergency supplies had to be delivered, delaying poll closings.
But, before the state jumps into the all-vote-by-mail barrel, why don't we investigate the possibility of secure voting online? If we truly want to be efficient (and save millions on postage), allowing those who wish to vote online as an alternative to mail is the way to go.
Yes, we know it would be a first in the United States. But - as a recent report on ABC News detailed - Great Britain, Switzerland and Canada, among others, already allow online voting.
If one searches the Web for "voting online," several companies offer software. But, instead of reinventing the wheel, the state could just ask Canada and Great Britain how they do it.
It would seem that a one-time electronic registration where one is assigned a unique voter identification number, then picks a password, could make a ballot secure. In any event, other jurisdictions are using the technology, so why doesn't Hawaii do the same?
Moving to an all-mail ballot would be - at best - an interim step. If we truly want to solve the problems and bring our election process into the 21st century at the same time, going electronic is the solution.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.