It is estimated that participating in political life is somewhat of an American tradition. However, according to Chapter 8 in By the People: Debating American Government (Kersh and Morone, 2020), today, while Americans continue to display high voluntarism levels, the political participation indicators have been reported to disturbingly fall. In order to see how the situation can be improved, one is to view what contributed to the current state of affairs. Still, whatever the reasons, it is essential to ensure accessibility, transparency and safety – only then will the initiatives be successful.
First of all, when it comes to analyzing how to encourage voting among those who do not vote, one has to look into who it is exactly. Such are, for example, people of color and Americans with low-income. After having considered the obstacles for these particular groups, Root and Kennedy have found out that an extremely effective way to improve participation rates is to increase the amount of people registering to vote (2018). Reasonably, it can be done by attempting to make the process as convenient as possible.
An example of initiative that is able to do just that is the Electronic Registration Information Process – or ERIC. According to Root and Kennedy (2018), ERIC employs advanced technology to ensure all the information is accurate and updated regularly. When constructing a program that makes voting easier, one might employ similar principles. For instance, if the voter registrations are not valid, people with such records are to be contacted and made aware of it. Then they are provided with information on how to change that and complete registration, so that they would not have to dismantle it on their own. Consequently, since people will have someone explaining all the intricacies and complications that can occur when using the system, they will not be discouraged to the point where they will deem registration not worth it. Therefore, such programs can be considered very helpful in terms of facilitating voters’ registration.
However, when it comes to ways the implementation of technologies in such important processes as voting, one might be concerned about their data’s safety – and rightfully so. Seemingly everyone has heard of hackers tampering with such programs. There is a solution: a system similar to that of the American Arbitration Association is to be devised. Such system has to create an environment for voting remotely that is secure and stable. Voters’ security is to be of utmost importance: for example, their ID needs to be supplied in order for them to register. Additionally, they are assigned a particular ID number from the system, which is required to cast a vote. Constant monitoring of any questionable activity is to be applied. If something is wrong, the system blocks the activity and developers are informed. Thus, it would be almost impossible for someone to commit fraud.
Additionally, people may particular concerns about election campaigns’ transparency and the amount of money that stands behind them – especially online. When it comes to creating a company to regulate finances in the World Wide Web, various platforms can be contacted in hopes of their assistance in maintaining transparency online. For example, social media platforms may be of help since they have enough resources to do that. Furthermore, guidelines for invoices from digital suppliers to be more detailed can be required, so that the transparency of campaign costs could be increased. The most important thing, however, is to start with making the issue public and follow from there. Since there are people who are interested in changing situation with campaign finances regulation for the better, it might be extremely helpful.
In conclusion, when it comes to the voting system in the United States, there are definitely things to develop and factors to consider. What government officials have to remember when considering various solutions to the current problems is to prioritize initiatives’ efficiency and people’s data safety. This is the only way to ensure the processes’ effectiveness as well as to keep the public’s trust and make them want to be involved again.
Kersh, R., Morone, J. A. (2020). By the people: Debating American government. Oxford University Press.
Root, D. & Kennedy, L. (2018). Increasing voter participation in America. Center for American Progress. Web.
Voting Security and Preventing Fraud. (n.d.). American Arbitration Association. [PDF file]. Web.