Winston-Salem, North Carolina, October 15, 2020 – Two voting reform advocates today urged federal, state, and electoral officials to institute safe and proven voting technology over the next decade to avoid the specter of endless “Groundhog Day” election debacles.
Interviewed by The Inc. Tank’s podcast cohosts Christina Elson and David Yang, voting technology champions Ed Smith of Smartmatic and Larry Moore of the National Council of Independent Living reviewed America’s bumpy electoral path over the past generation and offered a roadmap of how the country can achieve smarter and more secure elections in the future.
Ugly partisanship, a global pandemic, apprehensions about foreign meddling, efforts to suppress the vote, allegations about voter fraud, and natural disasters have all combined to form a “perfect storm” of anxiety surrounding the 2020 elections, noted Moore. The same frustrations about votes not being properly cast or counted keep cropping up in cycle after cycle – and they still haven’t been adequately addressed, he pointed out.
Smith noted that with the COVIC-19 outbreak, many people are reluctant to show up or work at polling places, putting enormous pressure on states to execute and count mail-in ballots. Certain western states have relied for years on mail-in balloting. For other states, it’s a new phenomenon – and they lack the resources and know-how to manage the system.
It all points to an overwhelming need for America to develop a safe and secure technology for our elections – Smith and Moore say.
The technology won’t take years to develop – by and large, it’s already here. The Blockchain technology that undergirds Bitcoin can be adapted for elections. So far, Blockchain technology has been impervious to hacking, they say, and could form the foundation of future in-person and remote voting.
Smith’s firm Smartmatic is experimenting with various technologies that have proven promising. Nonpartisan pilot projects are needed to demonstrate their utility and efficacy, which is easier said than done, Smith notes.
The specter of this year’s election results being challenged in the courts – and possibly in the streets – is all too real, the experts say.
A good place to begin finding solutions, they say, is through a bipartisan commission that takes a no-nonsense look at 2020’s “perfect storm” – and embarks on a path that gets us to free, fair, and technologically sound elections as quickly as possible.
Available across all podcast platforms. Click here to listen directly on The Inc. Tank’s website.
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The Inc. Tank, a podcast cohosted by business strategists Christina Elson and David Yang, is where thought leaders discuss the impact of rapidly evolving technologies on business and society.