Downloading an election app on your smartphone could someday replace the need to join long lines of fellow voters, and it might make elections work better. Researchers have found that smartphone owners make fewer errors using a mobile voting system than when using traditional voting methods.
A mock election conducted by Rice University researchers showed how voting on smartphones offers a more user-friendly process compared to electronic voting machines or paper ballots, but only among voters already familiar with smartphones. If computer scientists can solve the related security challenges, mobile voting could help boost election participation among both young and old smartphone owners in the future.
"Nobody likes to wait in line at the polling place, and so mobile voting offers the opportunity to cast votes when and where it is convenient for the voter," said Phil Kortum, assistant professor of psychology at Rice University, in apress release.
Smartphone voting could do more than just improve voter participation by allowing individuals to vote using a familiar technology. It could also reduce the administrative costs of running polling stations and managing electronic voting machines or paper ballots.