What Is the Role of Technology in the Voting Process Today?

December 5, 2022

When most people think of what it means to vote, they typically think about local, state, and federal elections related to government. But each and every day, all kinds of elections take place that have nothing to do with the government. 

This voting takes place in the boardrooms and the workforces of America's companies and educational institutions. Whether it’s a vote for a CEO or a union election to decide who will advocate on behalf of union members, technology is changing the way these elections are held.

In this article, we’ll look at how voting has been changed by modern technology and how online tools like ElectionBuddy can help you hold online elections of your own.

Elections the Old-Fashioned Way

What started as a relatively simple system in the Roman senate 2,000 years ago has evolved into a complex system of candidates, voter eligibility, and tabulation. The first U.S. election was decided by scarcely 30,000 people in a messy system of voting. Four U.S. states didn’t even hold a popular vote and simply allowed the state legislature to appoint electors to the electoral college, and two other states essentially abstained from voting by default as they hadn’t yet ratified the constitution.

By the 1820s, most states had dropped the requirement that men must own land in order to vote. With this requirement removed, voting numbers surged, as did the complexity of conducting elections and counting votes. Early ballots were often deliberately complex in order to confuse voters and rig elections. By the early 1900s, gear and lever systems that continuously tabulated the results became commonplace. By the 1960s, technology had moved to computerized punch cards that left a paper trail should recounts be necessary. Finally, as touchscreen technology became more accessible, states moved to computerized voting, but many still relied on paper ballots for mail and absentee voting. 

Corporate and Union Voting Systems Move Online

As voting technology advanced out of necessity for nationwide elections, it became more accessible to corporations and unions. While federal and state elections have yet to move online, corporations and unions have embraced online voting as a way to increase voter turnout, make tabulation simpler, and make voting easier than ever before. 

Online voting not only makes the process more convenient, it also makes it more transparent by allowing a greater amount of information to be presented to the voter regarding candidates. Before, many voters who weren’t 100% up-to-date had little more than a name to go off of when choosing their union representatives or board members. 

In today’s increasingly unequal world, a shift in public opinion and a tight U.S. labor market has forced corporations to pay higher salaries and pushed employees to unionize. With systems such as those offered by ElectionBuddy, voting to organize a union and elect its members has never been more convenient. 

ElectionBuddy uses the latest encryption technology along with two-factor identification, and all votes are auditable to prevent election fraud. 

Final Thoughts

With features on online voting platforms like customizable ballots and options allowing voting to be organized into local subgroups, elections can be held in a variety of ways. Whether you choose a self-administered election or an election conducted with an ElectionBuddy Election Expert, you’ll find help available at every step of the way to ensure that your election and the voting process are secure, fair, and convenient.

Register for your own ElectionBuddy account and set up a free test vote! Feel free to reach out to the team at support@electionbuddy.com with any questions or explore ElectionBuddy’s Help Center.

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