As last week’s webinar showed, it’s never too early to start thinking about the 2012 election. In preparing for next year, many elections officials will utilize a variety of new voting technologies.
Technology will impact voter registration, voter information, the voting experience itself, and administrative practices—like how ballots are counted and monitored.
Finally catching the online wave, elections officials and secretaries of states have flocked to Facebook and Twitter (the EAC cultivates an elections officials and office Twitter list) to better connect with voters and share important deadlines and information. Some local boards are using targeted Facebook ads to reach residents, and hoping that they’ll share their enthusiasm for elections with their social network.
Online voter registration is available in a number of states (see if yours is one of them) and has made it easier for would-be voters to register and update their registration. It’s also helped organizations streamline their registration efforts by reducing logistical concerns related to returning forms.
The Pew Center on the States is working with 35 states to create new voting tools, including an app to help military and overseas voters fill out their ballot and a multilingual polling place locator.
Because many election components have migrated online, many voters are dreaming of the day that they’ll be able to vote online. Most will have to be patient—security and hacking concerns have impeded any substantial progress toward making online voting safe and secure. However, some municipalities have toyed with the idea, and Washington is set to permit its roughly 52,000 voters abroad to do so in 2012.
How has technology impacted your registration or voting experience?