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EET 320 Industrial Electricity and Electronics

Published : 04-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10

Question:

The ultimate expression of freedom in the United States is the right to vote. This right is deeply treasured by many Americans, but there are those that take the process for granted. How is my vote counted? Do I have fair representation in Congress? Does my vote make a difference? These are the kinds of questions a concerned citizen must ask when considering the voting process.

There are a number of different methods for counting votes used around the world ranging from majority rule to the constitutionally mandated electoral college used to determine the US presidency. In order to explore the complexities of the voting process and methods used to assure fairness, let's examine the following scenario:

In the near future, Congress and the states will abolish the process of voting at the polls in the United States. Instead, all citizens will cast their votes via an approved and secure smartphone app.

In your post, address the following questions:

Describe what changes you anticipate this would make to the accuracy, documentation, expense, and convenience of the voting process.
 
What method of fairness do you feel would be best suited to counting the votes in this process: majority rule or some other variation?
 
Explain whether this method of voting could be considered truly secure.
 
What are some unintended consequences that could arise from this method of casting votes?

Answer:

Risks of Voting through Smartphones

The use of smartphones to cast votes is likely to deliver better transparency and accuracy, reduce documentation and experiences as well as make casting votes more convenience for the US citizens. But it’s not possible to classify this form of voting as truly secure due to smartphones and digital technologies capable of being manipulated easily.  With ballot and voting machine the enters can be easily counter checked but with smartphones, there always remains the possibility of unfair voting taking place due to many people owning multiple smartphones many of which are owned by people who may not vote (Gloria). This can lead to the unauthorized use of those numbers to cast votes which could lead to favouring one candidate

The most concerning issue related to using smartphones to vote would be how easy it would become for some politicians in powerful positions to rig the elections. Elections today already attract serious claims of rigging despite them being performed on ballot boxes and through secure voting machines. With smartphone voting apps the process would definitely get corrupted as the application can be reverse engineered and altered to cast multiple votes from a single smartphone.

Most citizens today own smartphones but less than 1% of the users understand how smartphone application is developed not their vulnerabilities. With little knowledge of the back-end operations of smartphones, the citizens are not capable of even knowing whether the elected officials have entered office fairly which would result in seriously undermining the public’s interests.

Voting has never been a straightforward process and politicians have been known to rig and buy votes since time immemorial (Saltman, 2006). This makes the voting smartphone application an even bigger concern for the public who are likely to lose their grip and control over electing political of their choice and never be able to follow up on cases of vote rigging.

References:

Gloria, R. (n.d.). E-Voting by Smartphone: A Sample Business Plan. Lulu.com.

Saltman, R. (2006). The History and Politics of Voting Technology: In Quest of Integrity and Public Confidence. Springer.

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