On Tuesday 18 April 2017, Theresa May made a surprise announcement unexpected by most, to say that a snap general election would take place on Thursday 8 June 2017. General expectation is for a Tory landslide but with more than a month left before voting day anything could happen. In this article however we discuss how we, the electorate, can vote and what technology lies behind the voting process including how votes are counted.
About a decade ago when it came to voting everyone had to travel to their local polling station and cast their vote on paper and for the majority this may still be the case, but as the technology world advances so have the methods in which we can vote. With paper voting, there are both advantages and disadvantages; one advantage is that each vote can be accounted for; your name is checked against a register so nobody else can use your vote. Also by folding the paper and putting it into the ballot box that is final confirmation of your vote, however as with most things there are disadvantages, one major disadvantage is how long it takes to count the votes as all the ballot boxes have to be collected and voting slips manually read and accounted for which can take hours, especially if one of the elective parties asks for a re-count.
More recently, especially in the US, voting is done electronically be that online over the internet or in an electronic voting booth at a local voting centre. Electronic voting booths are widely popular in the US however the UK has trialled different types of electronic voting and in Scotland’s 2007 general election, the UK Electoral Commission found significant errors in ballot design and produced more than 150,000 spoilt votes (source: Wikipedia). Like paper voting there are both advantages and disadvantages to electronic voting; the main advantage being once voters have selected their choice it wouldn’t take as long to count the votes as it would to keep a manual tally. Also, it would be so much more convenient for electorates to vote using their mobile devices; this is helpful particularly to disabled people who may find it hard to get to a polling station. Unfortunately, the main disadvantage is a problem that almost all technology faces, security! Online voting is more likely to be hacked and this could occur in different ways; someone could rig the machines to manipulate one candidate’s votes or the hackers could potentially give themselves multiple votes online to use on one person and clearly this wouldn’t give a true result.
Here at Introspective we design and build bespoke applications in the form of a web browser or mobile application. Security is a top priority and we pride ourselves in being able to protect your business application. Applications are a great way of improving or even changing your business’ image to attract more users and ultimately increase revenue. Introspective can produce excellent mobile applications for businesses; designing and building custom apps for iPhone, Android and Windows platforms. We pride ourselves in the production of robust code, built to last.
Don’t forget to register your vote here in the forthcoming election!
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