Democracy in the hands of Technology
Now, I personally have never been a big fan of conspiracy theories. I am one those fools who believe there is a lot more good in the world than bad. However, it doesn't mean I'm naïve. For the longest time whenever I've heard about the possibilities of American elections being rigged, I usually turn a deaf ear to it. However, as silly as it sounds, after watching the in class documentary "Hacking Democracy," I have become highly skeptical of the democratic system in America. I believe technology can be used to enhance society in many different ways. But it is very important to understand it can never completely replace human beings. The American political system is being used as a model for many countries in the world. So it is very important that we setout good examples by exercising an honest and transparent politics.
Putting an event as big as the American presidential elections in the hands of man made technologies that are easily manipulated is very unsettling. The possibility of the voting device getting hacked into was not the most troubling fact. It's the speed and accuracy it was done with that's most alarming. If someone can hack into what is believed to be a very secure voting system in less then 10 seconds, there is no reason not to believe that many votes were messed with. Even though it might seem like a serious accusation, from what have been demonstrated by the investigators, there were clear voting irregularities.
Now this is not to say there is no place for technology in American elections. What I am saying is that people need to take a lot of things into consideration before experimenting with new technology at the highest level of the democratic process. Even when completely ignoring the idea of the voting machines getting hacked into, it is very hard to look past the many technical failures that occurred on Election Day. Which made voters highly skeptical whether or not their vote was counted. The fact that there wasn't any backup system to keep count of all the votes raises a serious issue about the whole voting process.
We are not talking about voting for an American Idol. This is an Election to decide who will be come arguably the most powerful person in the world. So it is very crucial that we take all the necessary precautions to make sure voting irregularities doesn't elect the wrong people. I know it is very hard not to fall for the temptation of turning everything digital. However, it is a very risky thing to depend heavily in a man made computer that could easily be manipulated. Now if it is indeed crucial that all the voting takes place using voting machines, then there should be a way of providing voters a hard copy of their voting choices. So that way if a dispute is to arise or a machine malfunctions, there is a back up system of tracking all the votes. These days many forms of technology are highly integrated into every aspect of our lives. Even though technology has made our lives a lot easier, we have to be careful to not to completely depend on it for our every social and political needs.