Beware of the Experts

"Keep calm I'm an expert" mug

I recently came back from a conference in Washington, DC called J.E.T.S., the Journal of Elections Technology and Systems where more than a dozen academics proceeded to dismiss the prospects of online / internet voting anytime soon.  They dissected past voting machines (which truthfully were pretty awful) and presented professional papers on how vulnerable current iterations of online voting systems are.

There was a lot of “the apocalypse could happen” talk among snickers and self-congratulatory chatter about how smart they were and how dumb and wrong ‘vendors’ were – despite the fact that there are been more than a handful of successful online elections around the world including a few months ago in New South Wales, Australia.

It was quite amusing to hear these experts tear apart any and all vendors trying diligently to bring this industry into the 21st century, and then at the end of the conference discuss how this dying organization could raise funds to survive, suggesting that perhaps they could get sponsorship money from those same vendors.  Um, I don’t think so.

Now I have nothing against people who try to make things better; in fact that’s our mission too.   But when the primary intent is to “expose” a “potential problem” just to earn academic kudo’s and a path towards tenure; well I simply take issue with that.

Thankfully, the most refreshing talk came from Matt Masterson, the newly installed commissioner of the Federal Election Assistance Commission, who recognizes the fact that voting systems / processes have not kept up with how we live our daily lives and is committed to making sure that we do advance the technological agenda of the voting industry.

Our vision for mobile voting is gaining traction and as we tweeted earlier, both President Obama and presidential candidates support our vision (as do countless others).

We are committed to revolutionizing voting by bringing mobile voting to the world. We are launching a full-out offensive to change the way we vote and believe that mobile voting will create positive change by bringing modern voting to the world.

Our goal over the next 10 years is to enable 1 billion voters to regularly participate in the democratic process.

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