I think that standing in line with your fellow citizens to vote is a necessary part of the engagement process and online voting doesn’t create that. Selfies proclaiming that people have voted will be a great means of building awareness, but it can’t replace the real social element of sharing the same physical space peacefully with people who have the opposite agenda that you do.
Apart from the ease with which online voting can be hacked, the physical space sharing social interaction is a crucial democratic engagement.
I think the reason our election should also be a public holiday is based on that shared social experience. We have so much angst in NZ over Waitangi Day as a national identity, we should look to shared celebrated experiences that bind all. The fact we are one of the few democracies that can change power minus violence and intimidation should be a source of celebration and deep pride.
I would suggest election day becomes a Wednesday and that Wednesday is considered a public holiday and we work at building election day into a celebration of our democratic process. If we want to build national identity and lift participation rates then we have to invest in that relationship and not leave it to the free market.