Why can’t we vote online with a voting app? Is it really that tough to secure such a system? I mean we seem to be able to secure online transactions alright? If we could do this; should we? How would it change the speed of government? Would that change move too fast and catch people and the business community off guard? “The Only Constant is Change” but would this change be a bridge too far, too fast? Let’s talk about it.
Our Think Tank is working on the concept of online voting using smartphone and online apps. We believe it is possible, but there are some serious issues to consider. Cody Hunt a think tanker type noted:
“While online voting will shorten the time span that people in the government would have to make decisions on the topics that they are bringing to the people, I think it would still be good because it would cause the politicians to fully create the policy before it is brought to the people for polls, instead of the idea being leaked and politicians flip flopping around because they know they have the time to do so while the American people argue about it for a couple months. Another thing about this idea that I really like is that it would create more jobs. If my job is to think about these topics and how it can best be resolved for the well-being of our society, than jobs are definitely something to look at. We will still have all the same people who help run the physical polls that are held at local high schools but this app will create a couple more jobs for programmers and for people to run the technology smoothly. ”
All true statements aren’t they? Indeed. Well here are some other thoughts I see. The challenges with voting in real-time I guess might be:
1.) Someone would rig the system to cause chaos, like social media manipulation during the Arab Spring riots in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, etc. Or just like the electronic voting machine rigging and software hacks.
2.) If everyone knew they could vote for free-stuff, they’d all vote yes; Free Obama-Phone, Free College Tuition, Free Health Care, Free Food Stamps, Free Pop-tarts, Free-BMW, Free Fuel. etc. Then we’d be bankrupt, whoops isn’t that already happening? I guess we have a Republic so that we don’t fall into that trap like a pure-democracy might, that way more prudent behavior can occur and better long-term planning than the chaos of switching directions at a whim due to the news cycle, what Paris Hilton’s dog had for breakfast or what Kim Kardashian thinks of something that week.
And yes, you pointed to another challenge, how can we all be “equal under the law” which is provided in the constitution if some could not participate due to the “digital divide’ – oh, BTW: FYI, the FCC has determined that the government should mandate $8.25 per month (under $25,000 annual income) subsidy to allow everyone Internet access, so that problem might be solved. Cite: March 8, 2016 article in the Wall Street Journal titled; “Fine-Tuning FCC Plan to Subsidize Web Access” by Cecilia Kang.
What if the people voted for leaders who could decide for them, Republic Concept, but those leaders were not allowed to take lobbyist money, yet would vote for the most prudent options based on viability and budget, not just the ever-ending whims of the mindless masses? Not to cut short or crucify the masses for being human, just to help illustrate that most people don’t do a lot of thinking but do take in a lot of mass-media which they then internalize as their own decisions, desires, needs, and wants?