Presidential Elections Take on Voting Through Smartphones

The premise of our class thus far has been the simplistic and efficient nature of technology. Each week we talk about new inventions and ideas brought about to improve our standard of living as a nation. Many of the ideas have proven to be beneficial while also remaining controversial. I came across this article that is fitting for our time frame considering the presidential elections are right around the corner.

Our country is built upon a platform of traditions. As our society has progressed, many of these traditions have been broken and altered. The infringement of social norms has resulted in evolution, without it we would remain at an unreformed standstill. Technology is the key to breaking all of these boundaries and while it was difficult taking the first step of defiance, it has led us to a world of possibilities we never could have imagined. But what about the breaking of one of our longest-standing and most prideful traditions…the power of democracy and the voting process.

Jennifer Booton’s article, Voting for the Leader of the Free World….From Your Couch, discusses the idea of voting in the presidential elections simply by the touch of a button, whether it be from your smartphone or laptop. In a world where people manage bank accounts, do their taxes, invest in stocks, etc. from a computer, why not present the option of voting through a similar approach. We already rely on our forms of technology for every personal necessity, perhaps the cherished opportunity to have a say in the ruling of a country should be thrown into the mix as well.

The ability to vote from a smartphone or computer is a major upgrade in convenience. With this power, perhaps more people will be willing to take part in the election due to the ease of accessibility. Even the elderly or disabled can be a part of history without all of the hassle of making it out to the polls.

However the concerns of interference and fraud certainly make themselves known. Scientists and politicians are concerned that with a major development such as this, other nations will react maliciously and try to corrupt the security of the elections. Hacking is a very real prospect that coincides with an idea such as this.

The ability to  have a say in our country’s ruling is not something to be taken lightly. We pride ourselves on the freedoms that are granted to U.S. citizens, and voting, via smartphones and computers, can either help or harm those freedoms. We live in a society where technology is dominant and simplicity and efficiency are encouraged, but how far are we willing to go before we violate the very morals upon which our nation was founded? Should the power of voting be available through our iphones and laptops? Or should we continue to hold sacred our democratic processes?


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6 Responses to Presidential Elections Take on Voting Through Smartphones

  1. esf17 says:

    Wow! Thank you for informing me about this aspect of the presidential election, as I had no clue that scientists are considering making a voting application for smartphones. After reading Jennifer Booton’s article, I am vastly intrigued into what online voting has to offer in the future for our political elections. This process will change our nation forever as polling booths would become extinct, and people would have more of a chance to vote with “the simple click of a button”.

    I don’t know about you, but I am an avid fan of politics and as I sit here waiting for the final presidential debate tonight I wonder if a topic like this would come up when President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney dispute over issues tonight. The presidential candidates would surely have a good discussion if they talked about morals upon which our nation was founded on, but coming from a college liberal view I see this as not violating the morals that our country was founded upon because with time comes change for the betterment of society as a whole. In this situation the benefit is for those disabled and out-of-town Americans that you mentioned who can’t make it to their local polls. So yes, I feel as though voting should be available through our smartphones and laptops because this would enhance efficiency on election day every year, saving valuable time for Americans across the country, but not until the security of this system is 100% secure do I want online voting to take place.

  2. Jordhen says:

    The idea of voting from our smart phones and what not sounds like a really good idea. It is simple, quick, efficient, and would probably get a lot more people interested in voting. However, this is one of those things that sounds a lot better than it actually is.

    There are way too many things that could go wrong with this. For example there could be hacking, not only by other countries, but by citizens of the United States as well. Also how would we stop people from voting more than once? How would we know who is actually casting the vote? What if there was a huge technological blackout on election day? All the negative possibilities that are out there are too great to even consider it. Besides we are a country that likes tradition, and this would definitely be breaking tradition.

    Although this sounds like a really good idea, I don’t think it would be the right thing to do. There are just too many things that could go wrong. If voting from smart phones would ever be allowed there would be a lot of discussion and resolving of problems before it could truly be done. Our country doesn’t need anything making us any lazier either.

  3. tchumphrey says:

    Last year in my Participation in Government class, we actually had this debate of whether or not voting through the internet was an acceptable idea. During this debate, I was unsure of my opinion, but now, I agree exactly with what Jordhen, above me, said.
    Sure, it would be efficient. It would lower the cost of voting and save time for voters. Not only would it do this, but it would also encourage more citizens to vote. Though this initially may sound like a good idea, I think it would be harmful.
    This is because you have to consider the type of people who are more likely to vote after the smartphone voting system has been adopted. Though many of these people would be individuals who would vote regardless, many of these voters will be new. I believe that these new voters would be less educated on the presidential issues. The people who are willing to get out of their homes to go vote are people who really want to participate in government. They are people who have specific issues they want to fix or deal with, therefore they have a specific party and candidate chosen in mind. I feel as if the new voters would just be attracted due to the convenience, and so they can say that they voted.
    Though the target market the creators are trying to attract are busy Americans, I don’t believe this is what will happen. Busy Americans still are able to take a little part of their day out in order to participate in government, and would be willing to, if they really had a stance and were educated. Not only this problem would occur, but the same ones mentioned above: Hackers, people voting more than once, the lack of identity behind the smart phone, and the chance of failure in technology. The negatives in this circumstance outweigh the benefits. If this technology were adapted, it could literally change America.

  4. usa2014 says:

    I also agree with Jordhen. While this would be very convenient and save a lot of time, there are way more negatives than positives that would come out of this.

    First, I believe voting through phones would kind of diminish the personal sense of accomplishment and the feeling people get when they go somewhere else and stand in a voting booth to vote. People wouldn’t take the whole act of voting as serious if they voted through a text message or the internet. Plus, as Jordhen stated, people would vote more than once for a candidate or hack into the voting system and rig the polls so that their favorite candidate would win. This would make for a very unfair race and could possibly hurt the country in the long run if the wrong candidate won the presidency or some other office of government.

    Ultimately, I believe that more negatives than positives would come of voting through smartphones and it is not worth switching a process that the United States has had since our founding.

  5. Miss Jackson says:

    I think that being able to vote on iPhones and laptops is a great idea and opportunity for our country. Like you said, it will allow for people to vote without having to go through the hassle of coming out to the polls. I’ve actually heard people say that they don’t vote because they don’t want to be bothered with having to wait in long lines at the polls. So being able to vote from personal computers and smartphones will actually allow for our country to become more of a democracy because more people will be open to letting their voice be heard through voting.

    I think that the reason why this idea seems so abstract to us right now is because it has never been done before, but I feel like this is the case with every new piece of technology that comes out. For example, when it became possible for people to pay their bills or do their taxes online, some people were spectacle of this idea. However, now it has become a common thing to do and most people prefer it over having to send a bill through the mail. Also computer programs have been invented in order to make paying bills online and putting personal information on our computers safer. I feel that the same thing will happen with being able to vote from laptops and smartphones. People will design computer systems so that our democratic process can remain sacred while becoming more convenient for voters.

  6. Lee says:

    I too believe this would be a great opportunity and convenience. However, I feel like this technology would fall in the wrong hands. The people who use this technology the most are the young voter. Those who may not know all about their side. Those who could be voting on just what their parents tell them to. However, our traditional voting process involves more time and effort, ultimately more thought. It very easy to just push a button.

    Also, the fear of cyber attack is very real. There have already been fraudulent votes in our traditional system. We this proposed system the problem could escalate even higher.

    I believe we should stick with our current method

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