Content Ninja's Weblog

An exploratory journey on the edge of newspaper evolution

A vote for progress October 23, 2008

Filed under: innovation — contentninja @ 11:34 am
Tags: ,
vote yes on bubble-girl

Image by teejayhanton via Flickr

I voted today.

Some people see voting, especially for the empire’s next leader, as an event. I hold no romantic notions, though, about standing in line on Election Day, rubbing elbows with my fellow citizens and trying to chat up the cranky senior citizens at the front table. (And believe me, by the time I would get there in the evening, they are cranky.) Absentee ballots have been my MO for years, but today I decided to try a satellite voting station.

During the five-minute wait in line and another five minutes at the registration table, while the young man behind it struggled with an unstable Wi-Fi connection, I caught up with e-mail via my BlackBerry.

Finally, after verifying my home address in two places and signing off (in pencil?!) in two places, I was handed three pieces of paper and directed to a cubby to vote with that pencil.

All told, it took me 25 minutes to vote. Not bad for such a momentous decision, eh? Wrong. I think the voting process would benefit from a little digital disruption, too. I want voting to be faster and more convenient. I want it plunked in front of me, at my convenience.

I want a ballot e-mailed to me, and I want to vote from by BlackBerry while standing in line for coffee. THAT’s what I want.

B-but, Ninja, you say, there are security issues and control issues in voting that way. I don’t care. I want voting to join the 21st century. Don’t tell me no. Tell me when we’ll get there.

It’s not unlike what’s happening to the media business. A lot of people no longer want the old model, and they’re not interested in sputtered excuses. Yep, change is a lot of work and it’s hard work, but we need to get over it and make faster progress toward what comes next.

Just imagine what digital change could do for turnout — voters’ and media consumers’.

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3 Responses to “A vote for progress”

  1. Greg Says:

    I went absentee for the reasons mentioned. And the excuses for not going digital? UGH! I can buy a brand new TV using a credit card online and have it shipped to me but I CAN’T vote? There aren’t some smart people on the payroll that can figure that out?

  2. NiT Says:

    Ninja, in a way I agree with you. It’s one of those “duh” things.

    But at the same time…Call me old school, but there is something wonderful about going to my elementary school and casting a paper ballot. It makes it feel real. In fact, it’s about the only element of the entire election process that does feel real. Will there be a way in the electronic future to make it feel as tangible?

  3. T Says:

    Electronic voting from home or iPhone should have happened a long time, but it never will, just like there will never be zero taxes. There is too much power in voting and taxes for pols to change either.

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