Text 70932 to vote for...

The Swiss will soon be voting via SMS messages from their cell phones. The Swiss style of democracy involves a great deal more voting events than the US counter-part, so it seems natural that they would be among the pioneers for making voting easier for the masses.

Of course, my concerns about the fallibility of electronic voting still apply. The ease of hacking cell-phones has been proven in graphic detail. See: Paris Hilton, once again gaining infamy by being incredibly comfortable with recording devices. Indeed, the article linked to highlights a major problem: the "security" of computer networks isn't always the weakest point in the chain, so efforts to create bleeding-edge security algorithms may be largely pointless.

Plus, this technology still doesn't appear to have a paper trail. Which may not create too much worry in the Swiss cantons when the votes may be re-done with little effort and little loss of voters from frustration, but could be catastrophic in something like a presidential election. Since phones don't have printers on them (yet?), a mailing with a statement of who you voted for (a correctable record, in effect) might solve some issues.

Most importantly, though, is figuring out when "text" became a verb. In my class last night my frustrated professor requested that a fellow student "text your friends when I'm done talking; the clicking is maddening." Didn't he realize that he might have been disenfranchising the woman?

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This page contains a single entry by published on October 21, 2005 10:51 AM.

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