Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Voting via smartphone?

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On our smartphones, we can: deposit checks, register for classes, pay bills, and submit term papers.  So why not vote?  Because, let’s be honest, if one thing goes wrong, it will be the closest thing to an American apocalypse.  We can risk losing our social security numbers, identity theft, bank routing numbers, and class schedules, but once our VOTE is in jeopardy, we don’t mess around.

But when a state like Florida turns in its election results four days after the election and standing in line to vote can take all day, one would think that maybe we need a new system.    Voting via internet would definitely be faster, but it poses serious risks that Americans may not be ready to face.

Their fears don’t go unfounded.  Barbara Simons, a former I.B.M. researcher and co-author of the book “Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?”, worries that online voting could be hacked by our enemies in other countries, viruses could take over phones, or government could create biased software.

Mr. Rivest of the RSA encryption system stated that, “if things went wrong on Election Day, chaos could ensue, because doubts about the results would rattle the foundations of our democracy.”

While many complain about the inconvenience of waiting in line at the polls, most Americans are not willing to risk mass chaos and the foundation of our democracy due to uncertainty and election fraud.  For right now, it’s safe to say that paper and pen is what we’ll stick to.


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