Does it make sense to simplify our elections and allow voting by smart phone? It seems like a good idea on the surface, but would it be safe from hackers. We seem to have an app for everything these days, what about a voting app? Well, this topic came up recently at our Think Tank, and one thinker stated;
“I have to admit it is very hard to trust the government and it gets harder every day. So I can completely understand the complications with giving more freedoms to the government, however, I don’t think that the voting app would give away anymore freedoms than just going to a physical poll. The app is just a quicker way to do so and it saves the average American a couple dollars’ worth in gas money driving there and back.”
Regarding a ‘voting app’ and misuse; well, although just a tool to improve efficiency and seeing as a voting app would only be a tool for a faster feed-back loop for government and politicians, in one regard that would be a wonderful thing, on another it allows government to move faster. One of the reasons I believe that we have checks and balances is to slow down the speed of governmental change, to protect the government from moving too fast and catching people off-guard.
In a large complex system stability is important and if things are changing very fast and people are unsure they stop spending and businesses stop investing and we have issues. People who have done long term planning might be caught with rapid changes and lose their nest eggs, and politicians can force their agendas quicker, which is a problem too.
I guess it depends on how it is used, and we wouldn’t know until we tried it. There are Survey Apps, and polling apps out there, but they are not widely used, once they were sponsored by the government, they would be used all the time – the frequency of their use is important, how often should they be used and for what types of things? And, what if citizens want to opt out? Not vote? Don’t want incessant texts?
Then just like our voting apathy would set in. What happens when people vote and the government bureaucracy does something else anyway – which is typically the case, even the bills and laws in Washington DC are often the exact opposite of their name; “Affordable Healthcare Act” for instance, nothing affordable about it. Think on this.