A company from the United Kingdom is creating voting machines that could soon come to the United States. The current voting equipment in the United States is rapidly aging, and much of it is set to reach its expiration date in the near future. The country will desperately need new voting equipment in the to prevent voting problems from occurring during the next election.
Smartmatic has been designing voting machines that are used around the world. The equipment that is offered by the company includes many modern features such as touchscreens and optical scanners. Their products have already been utilized in 307 counties from 16 different states in the United States, and they might become more commonplace soon.
In fact, President Barack Obama voted on a machine produced by Smartmatic during the 2012 election.
Smartmatic is also focused on the future of voting. The company is creating new technology that would enable people to vote online. Some countries like Estonia have already made use of this technology.
Smartmatic Board Chairman Mark Malloch-Brown plans on making a presentation later this week at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council. During his presentation, Malloch-Brown intends on urging voting officials to modernize polling centers with equipment that is offered by his company. He also wants to discuss the potential benefits of online voting.
However, Malloch-Brown will most certainly face challenges in proving that online voting will not be susceptible to easy manipulation by users. Many security experts believe that tools to ensure that internet voting can be conducted both privately and securely have not yet been developed.
Malloch-Brown has acknowledged this fact. That is why while he plans to discuss the benefits of online voting, he is going to ultimately recommend that the United States modernize the traditional polling booth instead of moving directly to online voting. Smartmatic voting systems would enable America to do that.
Even though the United States is not quite ready for online voting, it is not fair to compare the United States to Estonia. The United States is much larger than Estonia, making secure online voting a much greater challenge for America. Additionally, the Electoral College system that is used in the United States makes the process more complicated.
Furthermore, the digital divide, where more wealthy individuals tend to have easier access to the latest technology might make an online voting system somewhat unfair.
The internet voting system that is used in Estonia makes use of several encrypted digital signatures in order to establish and secure the identity of each voter. Every voter is filed in a national voter database that is closely monitored by the government.
Even though the United States is not about to make the leap to online voting, there’s no denying the fact that voting equipment in America is sorely due for an upgrade. Some of the voting equipment that is still being used has been in place since the 2000 election. Much of it has already met its intended expiration date.