King County, Washington, the state’s most populous county, has become the first area in the country where all eligible voters can view and cast their ballots online from their mobile device.
The experiment takes place for the King Conservation District Board of Supervisors election, a race unfamiliar to most and one that has drawn dismal turnout in the past. Like any election, making it easier to vote is a positive if done securely and all but guarantees a higher vote count.
“This election could be a key step in moving toward electronic access and return for voters across the region … my role here is to remove barriers to voting” said Julie Wise, the King County Director of Elections in a statement reported by the Seattle Times.
While a few other counties around the country have tested out mobile voting for things like overseas absentee ballots, this is the first time ever that every eligible voter in an election will be given the option of voting online.
Despite the move giving voters easier access, the vulnerabilities of any online system loom, a risk Wise herself acknowledged but remained optimistic about.
“There’s a lot of things we do online, banking, health records, that are also of concern for people that are secure,” Wise said according to the Seattle Times. “I’ve vetted this, technology experts in the region have vetted this to ensure that this is a safe, secure voting opportunity.”
Projects like these, if successful, could revolutionize voting — but the question of what could go wrong will always remain.