States should provide electronic ballot delivery to all voters. Electronic ballot delivery allows voters to use a computer to download, complete and print their absentee ballots. The voter then mails in these ballots just like current absentee ballots. There are two main benefits of electronic delivery: first, it eliminates the costs of mailing out ballots to voters; and second, it allows individuals with disabilities to use the assistive technology on their computers to complete the ballot. Voters do not send completed ballots over the Internet, so the security risks are no greater than other vote-by-mail systems. Moreover, this option is already available for military and overseas voters in many states so it would be relatively easy to extend it to all voters.
Policies to Increase Broadband Adoption at Home
While the vast majority of U.S. households can subscribe to broadband, far fewer choose to. Thus crafting effective policies to increase demand for broadband should be a critical part of a national broadband strategy aimed at increasing the number of individuals who use broadband Internet to drive productivity, enhance their quality of life, and benefit society. In a new report, ITIF details a number of policy proposals that could significantly spur an increase in broadband adoption by addressing critical barriers to adoption including cost, usability and the perceived utility of broadband access. These policies include:
1. Fund a competition for ISPs to attract new subscribers in low-income communities.
2. Support innovative pricing plans by ISPs.
3. Allow Lifeline to be used for broadband.
4. Use E-rate funds to help defray the costs of low income families owning a computer.
5. Extend and expand the moratorium on Internet taxes.
6. Fund digital literacy programs.
7. Create a digital literacy and broadband adoption clearinghouse.
8. Establish a reinvented TOP program.
9. Pass along cost savings to citizens that use e-government services.
Digital Quality of Life: Understanding the Benefits of the IT Revolution
In the new global economy information technology (IT) is the major driver of both economic growth and improved quality of life. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in its 2007 report Digital Prosperity: Understanding the Economic Benefits of the Information Technology Revolution documented how IT, since the mid-1990s, has been the principal driver of increased economic growth not only in the United States but also in many other nations. However, IT is also at the core of dramatic improvements in the quality of life for individuals around the world. In our new report, we show how IT is the key enabler of many, if not most, of today’s key innovations and improvements in our lives and society—from better education and health care, to a cleaner and more energy-efficient environment, to safer and more secure communities and nations.
Table of Contents
Part I – The Digital Information Revolution
- 1. Why is the Digital Information Revolution So Powerful?
- 2. Why is the Information Revolution Happening Now?
- 3. Public Policy Principles for Driving Digital Quality of Life
Part II – Improving the Lives of Individuals
- 4. Education and Training
- 5. Health Care
- 6. Personal Safety
- 7. Accessibility for People with Disabilities
- 8. Recreation and Entertainment
- 9. Access to Information
Part III – Improving our World
- 10. Environment
- 11. Energy
- 12. Transportation
- 13. Public Safety
- 14. Government
- 15. Communities
- 16. Developing Countries
Part IV – Challenges Moving Forward