Voting 2.0

A cherished right in the United States is to vote in secrecy. But what if we don’t want to exercise that right in secret? What if in this age of insecure and inaccurate e-voting machines we want to record our votes and our voting experiences, say with cell phones or video cameras? According to The New York Times, many voters plan to do just that, making it likely that this election will be the “most recorded in history.”

Much like the online communities that came together to expose flaws in Diebold’s source code in 2003 after activist Bev Harris discovered the code on an unsecured website, Web 2.0 platforms are emerging for the sole purpose of recording voting problems. Jon Pincus’s Voter Suppression Wiki will let voters collaborate to collect examples of problems with voting, from exceptionally long lines or more direct actions to intimidate voters. Allison Fine and Nancy Scola are using Twitter to monitor voting problems. YouTube has created a channel, Video Your Vote, to encourage submissions. Even The New York Times has a Polling Place Photo Project on its website. Such public participation will no doubt generate crucial information for states and the Election Assistance Commission to study and may even enhance the legitimacy of this election.

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1 Response

  1. A.W. says:

    I have long said that we should make it anonymous and simultaneously identifiable. how? we create a special voter identity number known only to the voter and a very small number of officials. then we can publish who voted for what, even on the web, who is recorded as voting for what.

    Then if you claim you didn’t vote for whom your vote was recorded, you would have this additional protection. Of course that changes our secret ballot to a “mostly secret ballot” but i think the trade off is so minimal, and the concern that computer voting and the like might be corrupted so great that it is worth it.

    Just a thought.