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+Lance Ulanoff makes the case for voting with your phone. Is this a good idea or too many pitfalls?
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It's a good idea in theory--far more people vote in American Idol than the U.S. elections. That said, there would be a lot of hurdles to overcome in terms of security and legality!
You can buy things with your phone.

Do you value you your vote more than money?
It would be worth a try - if it caused more people to be involved in the decision making process - that would be fantastic, but as Ed says, lots of hurdles that would have to be overcome before it would be a viable option!
While the idea is interesting and for my own convenience I could be alright with it.

What about saving our REPUBLIC which is the system of government we're supposed to have.

But seeing it's a representative republic (heavily influenced by democracy)... i'll let it slide. ;)
I think there are too many pitfalls as it is! This could be a better way to get people to vote. (shrugs)
Risky...this idea takes away the anonymity of the vote. Who knows what other pitfalls might arise with this data
Google, Apple, RIM telco can +/- 30% to any candidates they like/dislike. :-)
This sounds like a great way for a hacker to spoil the counts. Or a great way for some hacker to make a lot of money from a very well funded politician.
Voting is more important than giving a thumbs up on a post. Or sending a kudos to dancing with the stars. It should require some thought and effort. And more importantly an understanding of its importance.
You think saving democracy is a virtue? Sigh...
I understand the concerns, but it makes a lot of sense. We have too few people voting as it is; this would certainly take down at least one barrier. Now, to actually have anyone worth voting for? I doubt even technology can solve that one!
great idea if it can be donne the good way and not be hackt.
Risky, maybe with people double checking if in doubt...
Sure it can we just have to build somebody worth voting for. How about Data 2016!
This presents too many vulnerabilities that would have people arguing over the validity of the process, so much it wouldn't get done. Really, for this to take off, the identity system on phones has to be standardized and popularized. At this point it's all experimental, and the last thing we need to do is "experiment" with voting.
will never happen, too open to hacking, plus votes would no longer be truly anonymous and become trackable.
This would be a major negative for democracy
That would be hacked the second it was launched. If tech is going to be used to fix political systems I'd recommend a shredder over a phone.
Paper can be tampered with, but we have put measures in place to prevent that. Same with e-voting. I say go for it, but obviously up to appropriate security standards.
How about instead! Set up an anonymous phone calling service that uses machines to call registered voters. This may not be totally secure in every way, but it might be more realistic than a smartphone app.
How about web-based instead of "smart-phone" based? Don't forget all the folks that can't afford smart phones and have to go to the library for web access...

That said, all the other caveats mentioned here apply: security, integrity, trackability,....
Voting with phones ... what could possibly go wrong?! Unless all the data is publicly verifiable, the inappropriateness of this is pretty astounding. Most of the security points here are about system vulnerability from the outside. Does nobody consider that these systems are easier for governments to manipulate?
+Daniel Panichelli You can put paper in a physical box that is secure, you can know for sure that it is in that box and no one is looking into that box. You can't even come close to that with anything electronic especially web or internet based technologies. Phones and data to and from phones can be easily tracked. It's a stupid idea to vote with your phone.
I enjoy going to the polling place.

I am highly supportive of anything that enables more people to vote. However, I am concerned with turning over any aspect of the voting process to private industry. The phone manufacturer, the app developer, the wireless carrier -- all of them are "touching" my vote in some way. Not excited by that prospect.
I shared this article earlier, and my comment then was, "Instead of saying, 'This is a stupid idea' or 'It'll never work' focus on what roadblocks we might encounter in making this viable and focus on ways to overcome them. It's far more effective and constructive."
+Erick Koontz First off, no you can't.
There is no magic box that no one can break into or tamper with, telling yourself that is just a delusion.
That's like saying you have a house no one can break into. It's just short-sighted.
People make this same argument for physical locks vs digital locks on cars and houses.
If you actually learned anything about encryption technologies, you would know they're more secure than 90% of the physical security measures we use as humans...
Even if they were not, that's only a reason to improve upon them, not pretend we live in the stone-age out of fear that we'll fail.
+Erik Brown I'm not sure that's true. Certainly those without smartphones wouldn't have the option, but what the article is proposing is this as an option for those that do. Is your assertion possible? Sure. I just don't think we can say for sure that's a problem.
How many great ideas get held back by "this will never work?" ... See it through.
"it will never work" isn't "this is flawed, and would be stupid to see through"
+Aiden Bell True but neither of those statements focuses on possible solutions. It cuts off thinking.
Anyone who thinks this is a good idea and should be realized should get used to seeing President Moot on their TV's directly afterwards. :P
True, but I doubt that any electronic system will come with a public dataset so we can verify the data is correct. Until I can digitally sign an encrypted vote and see a public list of votes and signatures then count me out :)
+mark hare I'm sure they said the same thing about voting with touch screens and scanners.
+Aiden Bell I think that would be required for a system like that to have any hope of functionality. People would just have to get over their whole voter privacy thing.
+Matthew Cassem Why? If they're not connected to a network they can't be hacked. This would be on cellular networks which are far from secure.

Apples and oranges.
I agree, but even if a list of votes and signatures (GPG maybe?) is public, you don't have to name the person ... just let me verify my own signature against my vote. No names. Then people will spot the errors by checking their own vote. People can keep their keys secret, therefore none of the public information would be identifiable to an individual ... except by the individual themselves.
this is not really a NEW idea... but there are a lot of security related implications..
If you think cellular networks are more secure than our regular network, you're wrong...
Let's get the normal ballot system back to something that is reliable and trackable. I've been using optical scan ballots (same kind you use for tests) for years. They have a far better track record than anything else. We don't need electronic voting, we need manual voting with fair voter registration systems.
Not to mention the possibility of someone getting hold of someone else's phone... much more primitive "hack"
+Erik Brown I think you mean Democrats on behalf of mentally ill, deranged hippies, or Republicans on behalf of people who work for a living. :P
Similar to the way some banks use Site keys for you to log on with.
You can secure your phone from theft if your private key requires a password to produce a valid signature
I don't understand what this would accomplish.
If someone actually wants to vote he can just go vote the usual way.
most people do not secure their phone with a pin code even... you really believe they would bother setting up a pgp?
Well, the app might include the gpg routines and crypto ...
Doesn't need to be technical... that's a problem for the apps UI and usability to hide the complexity of the internals
+Aiden Bell but how would the app ensure the identity of the user? the channel between the device and the voting servers would be secured, but not the physical identity of the voter...
Don't get me wrong, i like the idea... i'm just pointing out the reasons why it's not quite possible yet...
simple: User creates vote, signs it. I could email it to the world, but the second anyone changes it, the signature isn't valid and I can tell. That is what a cryptographic signature is. The physical identity of the voter is a registered public key and a privatekey+passphrase ... steal my phone but you will have to get my passphrase too. Of course, no system is 100% secure ... ever.
The key is making sure you are who you say you are and making sure that only the electoral entity can track your vote. If anyone can see your vote or if you can fake who you are then it's not doable unless those issues are dealt with. Fortunately if mobile voting was ever enacted it would most likely just be added to the current options. Anyone who feels secure can then vote that way.
Cybersecurity still ages away from making this a safe possibility. Imagine the chaos if an election was manipulated/wiped out. I would only accept this if it was 100% safe and secure, meaning even little hacks/attacks/probes couldn't damage/harm/alter/penetrate the system.

I think doubling turnout is a modest estimate, I believe it would be far greater.
+Erik Brown I'm a conservative and a scientist too and I think that phone voting poses way too many security issues. I was just boiling the problem down to its basics to show how improbable it would be to reach those goals :)
+Erik Brown no feeling hypothesis here, just my opinion.
I get your point but I think the fraud issues greatly outweighs the benefits.
Someone who is disenchanted towards politics won't vote, even if he can do it with his smartphone.
NFC phones. Use NFC not to identify voters, but to identify if it has already voted to keep people from "spamming" the vote. And have the ability to make your vote, and cast it via tapping at a location. Those locations could be setup in stores, post offices, libraries or wherever. Quick, painless and simple.
I think we are technologically ready. The technology exists to do it in a safe (as it can be) and verifiable way .... we're not politically ready ... not in an age where the UK police are setting up systems to disrupt communication for unauthorised protest
:) I wholeheartedly hope they implement mobile voting this next time around.
+Aiden Bell Yeah, you could argue we are there technologically but we still don't fully understand the security implications. Proof of this is in failure to develop secure e-voting systems.
The failure was on the part of government and corporations (Diebold in this case) to implement security. The technology to do this is open-source already. Government and corporations may fail (on purpose) to implement secure voting ... but the public don't have to fail in the same way. Also, ACORN turned into ARM Ltd (ish) so they are pretty busy licensing CPU IP :)
Haha yeah like they need something to do.
+Erik Brown but in this case it would add the security people are asking for without the problems you get with mistakes and bad counts of paper. Plus it opens up a lot more locations to vote than just a booth.
Bad bad idea. Voting is too important, you have to follow the KISS rule, Keep It Simple Stupid.
There's too many links in this process that can go wrong. Has your handset been hacked ? Do you have mobile net access ? Can your carrier guarantee connectivity at the time and place you want to vote, answer is no.
Will your vote be challenged ? Did you leave your handset unattended for a few minutes leaving open the possibility someone could've voted on your behalf ?
Bottom line is that voting has to be done in a controlled environment that protects both you and the electoral process. Opening this up to smartphones introduces too many variables that're outside of your control and the oversight of the voting officials.
I vote NO! While it has a lot of draw on the logistics side of the equations, security and accountability become troublesome at best.

The language “countless questions and concerns about the reliability of any of the machines” hugely minimizes the issues.
Considering that voting always happens on a Tuesday and it's a pain to leave the office early or arrive late.. yeah, this could have major implications in the long term.
sean s.
My take: A Really, REALLY Bad Idea. Really.
sean s.
Smartphones can't save democracy if people are too damn lazy to go vote. It ain't that hard.
sean s.
Make election day a Holiday. Close everything but emergency services and the Polls.
If people are too lazy or too apathetic to vote (or worse keep voting for the same jackass), then they get the government they chose.
Most adult has electronic certification in Korea so it's very easy to avoid double check and fraud. Korean citizens are also very interested in the electronic vote including mobile.
How cool would that be... I would love it, if I could just use my iPhone..
After the stink that was raised after we rolled out the computer voting system down here, I don't see it happening at all. WAY Too many ways to hack the "vote by phone". I would rather drive to a polling place.
I would love to be able to vote via my phone. We would have to have serious fraud protocols in place to support this. 
I Want to Have My Smartphone...
Using smartphones to crowdsource leadership is more practical. We, as a society, are obsessed with the politics of "who" when we are smart enough and connected enough to transition to the politics of "what."
Any system without a verifiable paper record should be dismissed out of hand. Sure, paper is cumbersome (and imperfect in other ways), but the black box nature of purely electronic voting is by definition incompatible with transparency.
This would make it too easy to commit voter fraud. The physical location ensures that the voters are from where they are said to be from...
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