It’s October 25, 2019. Where Are We?
There’s no special significance to today’s date. I happened to wake up too early, was on this site and saw we hadn’t posted anything to the blog since July. A lot has happened since then so I figured I’d give everyone a quick update.
- Mobile voting is definitely happening. Twenty months ago, it was just an idea. By November 5, mobile voting will have happened in jurisdictions in West Virginia, Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Washington State. I’m not sure that five states constitute a movement, but it’s certainly a trend.
- Different groups are able to use it. When we started in 2018, mobile voting was limited to deployed military voters overseas. Two weeks ago, Utah County made it available to voters with disabilities (if you think voting is a pain, imagine all the same hassle and being blind). Our goal is to make mobile voting available to every American. But we’re starting off by making it available to people hard for our opponents to object to. When a soldier risks her life to protect our right to vote, you can’t say no to then making it easier for her to cast a ballot. When someone who can’t see now has technology in smartphones that has transformed their lives, it would be unreasonable to not let them use it to vote. If our opponents are dumb enough to object, that’s fantastic (by the way, if you’re asking “who would even oppose mobile voting?” the answer is typically people who benefit from the status quo; that means interest groups on the left and the right – whether the NRA or NEA – who can control votes and outcomes in low turnout primaries and it means policy groups in Washington DC who don’t really think that everyone is smart enough to vote, so they equate difficulty with virtue).
- It’s secure. The National Cybersecurity Center has audited both mobile voting elections that have taken place in 2019 – Denver and Utah County. Both audits came back completely clean (and both audits were live-streamed on Facebook so they were completely transparent). A report was recently released noting there was an attempt to hack mobile voting in West Virginia in 2018. And that hack was repelled (and the hacker is now under investigation by the FBI). In other words, mobile voting works.
- People are starting to notice. If all we ever do is create and fund a handful of small elections around the country, we’ll have failed. Today’s work is designed to prove the idea works and to create a movement. That happens primarily by conducting successful elections. But it also happens by generating awareness. That’s why we’re starting to organize college campuses. It’s why we’re speaking at events like SXSW, Bloomberg’s Sooner Than You Think, Web Summit, Forbes 30Under30 and dozens of others. It’s why we worked with the producers of Billions (to whom we’re eternally grateful) to create a subplot around mobile voting. It’s why we’re out there as much as possible – because the strategy here is pretty simple: we need to let the genie out of the bottle. Technology always wins. The only way to stop it is to keep anyone from noticing it in the first place. We can’t let that happen.
Thanks for checking out our website and this blog post. More to come.