Mobile Voting Coming Soon?
In an effort to make voting easier for citizens, city officials are considering making mobile voting an option to get a higher voter participation rate.
U.S. voting turnout lags behind other developed democracies, furthering the argument for the need for mobile voting. While voter turnout for presidential elections is low, the rate for local elections is much lower.
According to City Lab, low participation in local elections also represents low generational turnout, resulting in misrepresentation of a city’s population and initiatives that only benefit one generation.
Officials believe the opportunity to vote through mobile devices will increase voter participation in all elections on the local and national level. With more active voters, representatives will be able to present laws and resolutions which could benefit a majority of the population rather than one age range.
The potential for mobile voting is creating a debate between voting access and voting security. The threat of election fraud is an even higher concern due to foreign interference in the 2016 elections and voters are worried about the potential of an online voting system being hacked.
In the upcoming Seattle elections, the city will use mobile voting systems for the first time, testing the security and popularity of the system. Many other cities are watching Seattle to determine if the system works well enough to implement in their own elections.
If mobile voting results in an increase in the voter turnout rate and doesn’t show any security risks, people should expect to see mobile voting as the new norm.