The United States has a much lower voter turnout rate than other Western countries. For presidential elections, only 60% of us vote. In midterm elections, it's just 40%. That's really bad!
But if we started voting by smartphone? Bear with me, I know it sounds outlandish, but it could be a real possibility thanks to a group called Long Distance Voter and its Vote By Smartphone campaign.
The group has been campaigning to get more millennials, unmarried women, Black and Latino voters to the polls. About 85% of this group, collectively known as the Rising American Electorate, own smartphones, so the plan initially seems fool-proof, despite a report from last year claiming that smartphone voting isn't ready for prime-time.
It's not completely a new system however. It would work the same as absentee ballots do. All voters would need to do is place an order for an absentee ballot, fill it out electronically, digitally sign the document and cast the vote at the end. Sure is easier than snail-mailing in your vote!
According to Gizmodo, Long Distance Voter will release a prototype in California and Missouri for the 2016 elections. Why not all states? Absentee voting rules vary by state, so Long Distance Voter will have its work cut out for it before it can be widely adopted.
What do you think? Will vote by phone catch on? Or are there too many hacking concerns? Will people know how to use the technology? Let me know your opinions by posting in the comments below.