Mobile voting. Is it a good idea?

@tenrajj (911)
Bhutan
August 16, 2011 12:32pm CST
Now the world is full of technology and almost each and every one uses mobile. How about Mobile voting. Let me first make clear about the concept of mobile voting. The service is basically to enable the general public to cast their votes to their desired candidates during elections simply by sending sms from their mobile phones. Is it achievable? What things we will have to consider? What would be advantages and disadvantages? Would it be better than electronic voting that we currently use?
1 person likes this
10 responses
@pbbbsra (1214)
• Philippines
16 Aug 11
I think it will still be dangerous... THe internet has become an easy access and I think there will not still be a hundred percent that our votes will be protected. Like, how can they make sure if one person casted only one vote? What if the same person used two simcard to cast in his or her vote? Also there will be a difficulty with verification of identity of the voter. What if someone voted on another person's name or what if someone voted on behalf of someone who has deceased? The counting will indeed be easy, but the accuracy of the results will be in a big doubt.
1 person likes this
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
17 Aug 11
I don't think it is dangerous. More secure it will be instead. To maintain security the storage in the database will have to be in the encrypted form. During the results only, the will once more decrypt the information in data base. You second question is about each person casting only a one votes. Well this is not a big issue. No voters can vote getting registered in current system also. First every voter should register their phone number to be eligible to vote. Each voter for register only one SIM card or phone number with ID proofs. This can be matched in Data base. TO ensure that a voter casts his/ her vote only once, then respective phone number is blocked or unregistered after receiving a vote. There won't be any difficulty in identity of voter as stated earlier. With their details in voter detail Data base( with id card as primary key and phone number as foreign key) we can easily map with the votes detail Data base( with primary key phone number). Voters can't vote on another person's name or on behalf of deceased as he will have to register with ID proofs. Counting will be not any difficult. We don't have to count manually and not mistake will be made. We can write query and it will show the correct number without any body's interference.
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@zandi458 (27954)
• Malaysia
17 Aug 11
I don't agree on mobile voting as it is not practical and more likely being abused by those who are in charge of counting the votes. The only advantage maybe is to ease manual counting and people who are lazy to go out to vote can do so in the comfort of their homes while the disadvantage is political candidates who are competing against each other are tempted to use money to influence the outcome of the voting.
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
17 Aug 11
How can those involved in counting abuse it? The counting will be done by system itself and they will only need to declare it to the public. And in case of political candidates influencing others, it will be no worse than the present system. They can't let the public vote by giving them lots of money to vote. Only one votes will be allowed per registered voters,.
@zandi458 (27954)
• Malaysia
17 Aug 11
Anything can happen with computer savvy people. They are the only people who know how to game the system. I would still think the conventional voting system that is presently being used today is still the best method to minimize fraud. By bribing the officer in charge of receiving the incoming mobile votes, he can rig the votes by what ever means to delete incoming votes via mobile cannot be discounted.
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
18 Aug 11
What else can happen to system savvy people? What about the people involved in the present voting system. Can't the same happen to them and you know very less people will be involved in the case of mobile voting where as thousands of peoples are involved in the current system. The more people involved, the more fraudulent it can be. In present system, we need to use machines like (EVM) electronic voting machine. Each polling booth needs one such machine. Then see there how many such machines will be used. What about the chances of errors, mechanical, electrical and logical errors. All the machines will have to be run using powers. What about the power failures. It is not at one place. Every polling station or booth may involve more than 10 peoples. How many peoples in total just for conducting. SO don't you think mobile voting can be less fraudulent as less people will be involved. May be a representative of each candidate, two or more system operators and few officials will be enough.
@louievill (15555)
• Philippines
17 Aug 11
I think modern technology is a good idea but you also have to take into consideration the country or the people where you are going to use technology, personally for me, if you apply that in my country my answer would be a resounding " Nope and it ain't" at least for the time being until we move on to become more politically mature
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
17 Aug 11
Politically mature? I am confused in how should I understand it. You mean you are in the country where the political parties are new? Or in the country which turned to democracy lately? I don't think to use this technology, the political parties have to be matured. Instead the system will require matured technology.
• Australia
17 Aug 11
I think it would be harder to govern cheating and false votes if they weren't done in person for something like an election. I do think it's a great way to create renvenue for some of the TV shows and competitions offered via premium text services in most countries. I think it's a fast and effective way of placing your vote and there are more people with phones than computers, so i think it could work. The government in my country sends out txt message warnings in the events of bushfires or evacuation in certain areas! Everyone within the affected range located by GPS technology is notified that they have to leave the vacinity.
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
17 Aug 11
Cheating and false votes can be monitored easily. No body can cast more than one vote. If they vote also, it will not be validated. This can be done by making use of primary and foreign key in data base as i have explained above. If it all happens, cheating be done by the people who handles system and databases. But if 3 or 4 people are there, then they can't cheat. Yea it will be of course a great income generator for the service provider.
1 person likes this
• Australia
17 Aug 11
Yes i think that its a great idea and probably the way of the future. I guess if it was able to be monitored properly then it would make things alot easier for busy people who find it hard to make it into the polling booths or people in rural areas who often have to travel further! I just think that 2 many people have too many different mobiles to make it safe. I guess theres always ways around the fraudsters. I wouldn't have a problem with it as long as it was known that it couldn't be cheated.
17 Aug 11
hi:) That's a great Idea for me, I think that us being able to vote with our phone is a good. Think no more waiting in line for two plus hours to spend a minute at a poll.I wouldn’t have to worry when I get off late that am I gonna make it to vote. I would be able to vote at my room and keep doing mylot:)
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
18 Aug 11
Thanks for great response and great humor too. I am really laughed reading your sentence," I would be able to vote at my room and keep doing mylot". It is funny though meaningful. Yea voting through mobile will not only save voters time, but also number of voters will be more and government will also be able to safe lots of time and resources including capital.
@bouncybug (615)
• South Africa
17 Aug 11
I have thought for a while now that this would be a very good idea. Most countries see poor voter turn out when they have elections, and the reason for this is that people just couldn't be bothered to have to travel to a voting station to vote. So using cellphones would be a good way to overcome this! I definitely think it is achievable and I'm sure that this is the way that the future is going - soon we will all be voting on our cellphones!
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
17 Aug 11
I think the system will soon come into existence as you have stated. This systems can be reused, improved and maintained and also can be changed according to the requirements if necessary.
@scjbxz (139)
• United States
17 Aug 11
I think it's a good idea, especially because a lot of voting for various award shows and whatnot use that technology now! However, I think because voting for elections is a more "serious" issue, so people worry about maybe spamming texts, or anything that might corrupt the system. Plus, it may be a little difficult if various people didn't follow a certain format, or started texting random things to an assigned number. It seems like a good idea to me, but I bet there are many people that can pick out even the smallest of problems!
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
17 Aug 11
Voting for various shows are for entertainment and also for income generation. I would rather say it as a business. Example like voting for idol. So for such voting, we don't need to register and it does not matter how many votes per user casts. They main aim of organizer is to make some income shared with the service provider. But such things will not happen for elections. It is not aimed at making money or not a business. Yea your are right. There should be certain standard like code for each contesting candidates. I think service provider and software developers can prevent spamming text. They message won't be send if it is not in the standard format. When message is send it will be encrypted
@kharlav (1673)
• Philippines
17 Aug 11
Mobile voting may be done for less serious votes. Like a vote for a tv personality, etc.. but I dont think it would be appropriate during elections because election is a very serious matter. If we vote by mobile phones it is easier to cheat and it wouldn't be accurate because people/candidates could just buy a lot of simcard and make up names so that they can have more votes on the candidates of their choice.
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
17 Aug 11
Election is a serious matter and why can't the mobile voting be serious. How do you think people can cheat? I have mentioned about each and every security issues and measures in above two comments. As I have already stated, they can't vote from more than one sim card. All the voters must register with the number and Id proofs. And this record will be maintained which will be mapped later on during the voting day automatically by software. Election commission cannot be that foolish.
@kaylachan (4778)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
16 Aug 11
The concept sounds no different then the absent T ballets. Redigistered voters currently have two options. Go to an actual poll location, or Absent T where they get a ballet they can fill out at home on their own terms. Mobile voting is nothing more then an eletronic version of this, and would work just as well. Not to say it'll replace the absent T, because while it seems unheard of... not EVERYONE has a mobile device. In a way I'd see it working much faster. It would get us results a lot quicker, becaue it'll reduce the number of ABsent T's that need to be counted and received. Which will be less work for those who have to do it. And, while elections are important, everyone's thinking about money. Money, the root of all things. By intruducing a text messaging option, some of the finical burden is shifted on the person sending and receiving the text. Because they don't have to charge for this, they don't have to pay for it, but the person who'se doing the texting would be responsible for usage charges their provider may provide for Using SMS. I'm sure there's a list of pros and cons going into this new option, but mostly it's fear because it is new. Yes, It's not perfect... it's not fool proof, and is probably in the planning and beta stages right now. Mind you Next year is election year, so they've got a little over a year until this has to be perfected. Mind you voting is done the first Tuesday in November, so they have until then to hammer out the details. As it stands it's only perposed, and may not appear as an option next year... but perhaps in four years from now? Who knows.... I sure don't.
@tenrajj (911)
• Bhutan
17 Aug 11
I am not very sure about absent T system. If you are talking about Electronic voting, then it would be bit different. And I think almost everybody eligible to vote has a mobile this days. Let me list some of the pros and cons here as you have pointed out there are many pros and cons. Ballot paper and other accessories needed for manual voting are not reusable. Voters crowd in at the center causing mis-managament. In mobile voting people can do from their own home. We don't need to wait in queues which takes unnecessary time. Counting and management would be very easy. The voting process would be very fast as you have mentioned. Number of voters can be more as they don't have to travel to voting places or polling station. Some of the disadvantages: It won't be fair if the focal person handling the computer is corrupted. But this can be overcome by keeping about 3 or 4 people. And another danger is it the computer server crashes, then all the votes casts will be lost though we can also overcome this by maintaining back up instantly in different system. There are advantages and disadvantages but i think advantages rule out the disadvantages. I think it is better to make all the normal jobs as computerized in the ever changing digital computer world.
1 person likes this
@asliah (11149)
• Philippines
15 Apr 13
for me i think mobile voting is not advisable to be used in voting because before the data will go to the counting department some other department go first so they can change it,so for me its not good to use mobile voting,prone to cheating rather paper and pencil.