IBM Internet Pioneer Reveals Why Millions of Votes Don’t Get Counted

IBM Internet Pioneer Reveals Why Millions of Votes Don’t Get Counted and How Internet Voting Can Strengthen Our Democracy.

Dr. John R. Patrick’s 35-year career at IBM placed him at the forefront of the Internet revolution. As Vice President for Internet Technology, he became an influential force behind the rapid adoption of the Internet. After serving on the board of a community hospital, he was shocked to learn how slowly hospitals were adopting new information technology. He said, “I was appalled at how archaic hospital processes were—with paper, post-its, and clip boards everywhere.”  In early 2016, Patrick became interested in the American system for registration and voting. “In my research for Election Attitude, I found the situation in American voting even more archaic than in healthcare. I immediately thought there must be a way Internet technology can make voting more convenient, increase voter participation, and produce a stronger democracy.”

In Election Attitude – How Internet Voting Leads to a Stronger Democracy, Patrick explores how we register and vote in America. Voting is mostly done with antiquated machines running out of date software. Anti-Internet voting activists have convinced political leaders and election officials the Internet is not good enough for voting. Patrick debunks this concern. Election Attitude discusses Internet security, authentication, privacy, verifiability, and other challenges to online voting, and then paints a positive vision for how solutions can be developed to bring voting into the modern era.

Election Attitude includes a vision focused on consumers who use the Internet for most aspects of their lives – except to vote. America has one of the lowest rates of voter participation in the world. Our democracy is not working as well as it could. Internet voting can make it much stronger.

In his eye-opening and thought-provoking book, Dr. Patrick discusses:

• How today’s system results in millions of votes which do not get counted

• The crisis of voting machines which are wearing out. If the 2016 Presidential election attracts increased voters, the aging voting system may not be able to handle it.

• Why some states are encouraging voting by snail mail where voters have no confirmation their mailed votes were counted and despite much higher risk of fraud

• Why the mobile Internet has permeated most aspects of our lives, except for voting. Physically going to a polling place is an old fashioned idea to millennials. They will begin to demand Internet voting.

• How Internet voting can enable to ways for civic engagement including ranked choice voting and random selection voting.

• Why a small group of anti-Internet voting activists, who are opposed to Internet voting, have dominated the dialog about the subject. They compare Internet voting to a perfect election system, which is impossible to create, rather than comparing it to the error prone, deficient and inefficient system being used now.

• When election officials and computer scientists adopt an election attitude, a system of Internet voting can be created which provides security, privacy, accuracy, verifiability, auditability, and reliability. As Internet pioneer Vint Cerf said, “We can do this.”

• How millions of overseas military voters have been disenfranchised. The military are providing us with protection. We should provide the military with the ability to vote securely and conveniently.

• Pilot projects in Arizona, Utah, and West Virginia have demonstrated Internet voting is not only feasible, but also creates high voter satisfaction. Voting jurisdictions should evaluate the success of these pilots and design additional ones.

• Election officials should challenge the naysayers who say “never” is too soon for Internet voting. They should challenge vendors to develop a combination of mobile Internet use, biometric identification of voters, and other advanced methods, such as blockchain technology, for secure recording and storage of votes.

Dr. John R. Patrick is President of Attitude LLC and former Vice President of Internet Technology at IBM, where he worked for thirty-five years. In addition to holding a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration (DHA), Dr. Patrick has degrees in electrical engineering, management, and law. He has more than four decades of experience in business and ten years serving on the board of a hospital. Described as one of the leading Internet visionaries, he has authored three books. In Health Attitude: Unraveling and Solving the Complexities of Healthcare, he takes his visionary view and applies it to the world of healthcare, predicting its path. In Net Attitude: What it is, How to Get it, and Why it is More Important Than Ever, he accurately predicted the evolution of the Internet and its impact on the worlds of business, technology, politics, education, and popular culture. In Election Attitude, he applies the principles of Net Attitude to registration and voting. Dr. Patrick lives in Danbury, Connecticut and Palm Coast, Florida with his wife, Joanne.

Learn more about Dr. Patrick at or connect with him at

Election Attitude is available at Amazon in print, Kindle format by August 25.

About JRPatrick

Dr. John R. Patrick was formerly vice president of Internet technology at IBM, where he worked for 35 years. He was a founding member of the World Wide Web consortium at MIT. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and holds degrees in electrical engineering, management, law, and health administration. John is president of Attitude LLC, a board member at the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC and Keeeb Inc. He is the author of Election Attitude – How Internet Voting Leads to a Stronger Democracy (2016), Health Attitude: Unraveling and Solving the Complexities of Healthcare (2015), and Net Attitude: What it is, How to Get it, and Why it is More Important Than Ever (2016).

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