The Antiquated Voting Process

Yesterday was election day in the United States.B I wonbt talk about the results b youbve probably heard all you want to hear about that!B Rather, Ibd like to explore the technological aspects of voting.

Ibve wondered for years why we couldnbt just vote online.B We have the technology.B Why make people stand in line to use an electronic voting machine (computer) when they could use their computer at home.B And, for those who donbt have a computer, theybre probably already spending time at their local library to use the internet.B It just doesnbt bhold waterb to use the lack of universal access to a computer as an excuse.

Some would say that electronic voting can be manipulated b which I donbt disagree with.B However, itbs unlikely that we are going back to mass use of paper ballots any time soon.B And, if webve accepted that we will take advantage of technology to streamline the voting process, then why not make it more convenient for the actual voters?

So, I found it interesting to learn that New Jersey residents displaced by the storm could vote by e-mail.B Apparently, this is not a new phenomenon.B If youbre overseas, you can request a ballot that can be submitted by fax or email.B It was pointed out that any hope for privacy in the voting process is eliminated since the e-mail or fax has to be manually processed.

Seriously!B If we can secure our bank account and maintain online access, donbt you think we could come up with a process for voting online.

I suggest we consult with some really smart people b like the developers of Amazon for example.B Do you think Amazonbs gift cards can be used more than once?B This eliminates the argument that people could vote multiple times.

That leaves the issue of ensuring that the person who is voting is authentic.B The risk?B I could gather up a bunch of ballots and vote them all bmy wayb.B This risk could easily mitigated by some online process of authentication.

Webre already used to seeing this with the security questions that we are presented with online.B What high school did you graduate from?B What was the make of your first car?B Where was your mother born?

Imagine the resources that would be saved by eliminating much of the infrastructure that is required to handle the voting process.B Add that to the positive impact that improved access would provide and you have a win/win/win by my calculations.B Letbs bring the voting process into the 21st century.

And, while webre at it, itbs a good time to take a look at the processes used in your business.B Where could implementing advanced technology provide a win for you?

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