The Future of Voting
As smartphones become smarter and citizens become more keenly aware of security, we could envision a society in which citizens would have a frictionless voting experience without having to drive to a polling place.
Sir Richard Branson recently penned an interesting blog post about the future of voting and how citizens one day might be able to vote on the internet. The internet of today is not the future of online voting. Instead the future of online voting rests in the developments of mobile and wearable technologies.
As smartphones become smarter and citizens become more keenly aware of security, we could envision a society in which citizens would have a frictionless voting experience without having to drive to a polling place. Taking time off from work, getting gas and driving to a polling place creates friction which does not entice your average younger citizen to want to vote. What if that younger citizen could download an app and vote?
What if that same citizen could talk to their smartwatch and tell the app how to they want to vote? This would be a frictionless experience that would be engaging to younger voters. Voting would be a simple task that could possibly encourage younger citizens to get involved in politics.
The big downside to a voting platform such as the one described above would be privacy, as the Government would have to verify your device against a database to ensure you are a legal citizen over the legal voting age. Would citizens allow the Government to verify their device in exchange for being able to vote using a smartwatch and smartphone?
While we might not have the answers today, we do agree with Sir Richard Branson that there are many benefits to online voting.
There could be many benefits to voting online, not least the opportunity to engage more young people with politics. I was speaking to my friend Vladas Lasas, who is running for President in Lithuania, and he pointed out how the tech-savvy youth of his country (and the wider world) are the “sleeping giants” of politics. They feel disconnected from politics and the action of going to vote is not appealing. – Sir Richard Branson
While the current state of voting today is not a frictionless experience, this could be changed by allowing online voting through a smartphone or smartwatch. Would you wave some privacy rights to be able to vote with your smartphone or smartwatch?