Let’s step into the future with voting by app

You can bank on your phone — why not participate in your democracy?

Here’s a question I have wondered about for years concerning elections. Why not vote by app? It seems like nearly everyone in the country has a cell phone, even homeless people. Even if you didn’t have one, you could still log on to a public computer, at the library, and vote that way.

Security? Have the app designed to the same standards as the banking apps. You need to be a registered voter to sign on to the app. You sign up with a unique account number; once registered, you’re taken off the mail in ballot list. You pick a unique user name and password. It should also have a 2 part authentication, where you get either an email or text with a number to be entered in. Just like banks and credit unions

I think this could be far more secure than voting by mail. Consider this: a friend of mine bought a new house, and had 4 ballots besides his own arrive in the mail the first year. He could have voted 5 times; who would have known? Think about the 2004 governor race between Rossi and Gregoire. It made national news, because the Rossi was initially announced as victor, but by a very slim margin. This triggered an automatic recount. The more times they counted, the more votes Gregoire received. There was a lot of talk of interpretation and discretion by the manual vote counters. She ended up winning by 129 votes; that’s a big discrepancy! This could never happen if it were all done electronically.

Even people in the military, stationed overseas, could vote and have it counted. As long as it’s submitted by the deadline, it should be valid.

Too tough for the elderly, or people set it their ways? During the past 2 years, we’ve all adapted to new technology where we’ve had to, due to Covid-19. Even my 84 year old mom has learned how to zoom and face time with her doctors and grandkids.

Hacking concerns? Sometimes banks get hacked, but the accounts seem to be secure. The banks are dealing with millions of dollars in individual accounts. I’ve always had my accounts balanced to the penny. I’ve never known anyone that’s lost money from hacking, unless it was by a trusted friend or relative that’s gained access thru illicit means. Certainly never from Russian hackers.

Many other countries have adopted online voting; some as early as 2004. They’ve found it to be secure, generates more turnout, lowers overall cost of elections, and they’re able to count and announce results faster.

Simple solution. What am I missing?

This is 2022; why not step into the future?

Brad Doll

Bonney Lake