Experts discuss election technology ahead of the 2016 US Presidential elections
Washington D.C., United States - October 9, 2015 – For former Secretary of State and National Democratic Institute Chairwoman Madeleine Albright, new technology provides a clear opportunity for social and political reform—if used correctly.
"My hope is that these new technologies will help open up elections, reduce the basis for conflict, and increase public confidence in the electoral process,” said Albright during the event entitled “Democracy Rebooted: The Future of Technology in Elections”, organized by the Atlantic Council and held in Washington DC on October 9.
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, Smartmatic's Chairman, joined a panel discussion with Foreign Policy’s David Rothkopf and Pat Merloe of the National Democratic Institute to discuss how technology, such as Internet voting and electronic voting, can support more robust democracies, globally and in the United States.
Agreeing with Mrs. Albright when she said “bad elections can have disastrous consequences”, Lord Malloch-Brown stated “every day that newer, more innovative technologies are not adopted, the risk of failures and crashes increases”.
America’s voting machines are dangerously close to the end of their lifespan, a study from the Brennan Center shows. Yet, little has been done to address this impending crisis. “As the world focuses on the upcoming U.S. Presidential elections, now is an excellent time to have these kinds of important conversations and for the U.S. to demonstrate its commitment as a leading democracy”, stated Malloch-Brown.
Panelists agreed that trust in voting systems and elections results are key to building stronger democracies. “When properly implemented, voting technology makes the election process easier, more secure, more auditable and more accessible and inclusive than traditional methods,” added Lord Malloch-Brown. “Technology can only go as far and as fast as people trust it.” At the end of the debate, when the Politico reporter Nancy Scola asked the audience whether they would participate in an online election, an overwhelming majority raised their hands.
The Atlantic Council is one of the most respected think thanks in Washington DC, working on policy and promoting debates around important global political topics. The event gathered a very impressive list of participants debated and discussed about technology in elections and what would be a global policy approach to it.