If there is one thing technological trend that we believe in it is this – mobile technology. The iTunes App Store has over 100,000 mobile applications, new smart phones like the recent Google phone will saturate the market and as all of that happens more and more business, personal productivity and lifestyle applications will get deployed.
The democracy space is not immune from the impacts of this confluence.
A new Silicon Valley company launched a smart phone app yesterday – called Verafirma – that will allow signature gatherers to collect your signature on a cell phone app!
California may become the first state in the nation to apply this kind of technology to the collection of signatures for initiatives, referendums and recalls headed for the ballot.
The new technology is catching some serious buzz, “I think it’s transformative,” said Warren Slocum, our Chief Elections Officer. “I’ve seen it – and from everything I know about it – it’s secure, has the necessary audit trail and provides controls that should give voters and election professionals confidence.”
Slocum cautions, however, that “Depending of the outcome in the courts, we could take a giant step toward the idea of an e-voter who is empowered to support legislation using today’s technology. Assuming it survives a legal test(s) in the courts, which is an inevitable result of the introduction of this new technology, we will know if registrars can take advantage of the efficiencies of the technology or not.”
Check out the video to see how it works!
According to Jude Barry, a San Jose political strategist and co-founder of the firm, the technology also works on an iPod Touch and the Verizon Droid and should soon work on other smart phones.
Slocum added that, “Gov. Hiram Johnson, the California governor who added initiative, referendum and recall to the practice of democracy in the state would be proud. Submitting signatures electronically could make it a lot less expensive for county registrars to verify the hundreds of thousands of signatures needed to qualify measures. This innovation is a good thing for the whole movement toward green voting because it reduces the carbon footprint and doesn’t involve having a piece of paper shoved at you in front of a supermarket.”