My bags are packed, apartment’s clean, work is in able hands, cab is on it’s way and my vote is cast. I am officially ready to go. This election year is the first in which I cast an absentee ballot and I have to say it was a rather painless process! I was able to submit my forms and my ballot via email and complete the entire process within 2 weeks! I can now rest assured knowing that come November 6, my vote will be counted.
This process showed me that states vary widely in their absentee voting protocols and, lucky for me, D.C. is probably among the more flexible and provides plenty of options for sending in your vote (as it should be). However, as easy as the process was, I couldn’t help but wonder why it still wasn’t EASIER. We still rely so heavily on community groups hitting the streets grassroots style registering people to vote and then making sure they get to the polls and yet so many eligible and interested voters remain left behind. It got me thinking….if I can deposit a check using my cell phone without ever having to go to the bank then why can’t I register and cast my vote from my cell phone too???
So along came google search where I learned that Washington state is the first and -from what I’ve been able to find- only state to develop a voter registration app. It was done through public-private partnership (as most good things are) between the state, Facebook and Microsoft Corp
My opinion (and not those of Ernst & Young):
1. This is awesome and I hope that come next general election year every American can register and cast their vote from their phone, tablet or whatever the future of technology brings us.
2. The private sector needs to continue pushing this movement forward because states are too resource constrained to bear the costs.
3. Partnerships (like with Facebook) may impede independence of the state as many social media sites encourage and allow users to post their party affiliation and even donate through these avenues. Not only would such a thing add to the polarization and partisanship we all hate so much but could it even deter voters from participating at all??
Anyway, hopefully some techy folk (maybe even those expecting me in Santiago) will come along and revolutionize the game. Until then, I’m just glad to know that I can participate in this process with confidence that my vote will matter.
This morning we had our quarterly Risk Advisory Network Series which covered an unintentionally political series of topics including COSO framework changes, Kentucky Tax Reform and employer considerations with passing of the Affordable Care Act. Our Louisville Office Managing Partner, Dave Calzi, made a remark about business and community working in partnership that I think is appropriate to leave this audience with (if you’re even still reading):
“We as people in business have a significant say in what’s going on around us….through our vote and through our voice.”