Changes in voting technology could affect 2020 presidential election

Lawrence Goodwyn

Voters may not have to storm the polls to show support for Kanye West in the 2020 presidential election — changes in voting technology may let them cast their ballot from the couch.

Diego Bernal, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, and Peter Jackson, a public sector strategy leader at IDEO, will present on how technology will change the current electoral process on Friday, March 11 at the Old School Bar at 9:30 a.m.

“Is voting a right that we have to make available to people as much as possible, or is it something that people have to work at in order to access?” Bernal said.

The event will cover technology’s possible role in making the voting process easier and more attainable. 

“Same-day voter registration, online voter registration and voting on election day at any polling location are legislative changes that can be made, and then technology can help us carry them out,” Bernal said. 

This voting technology will likely benefit college students. 

“I think citizens have the responsibility to do what it takes to vote, but I think if there was a way to make voting a little more accessible, that would be great,” government sophomore Taylor Feldt said. 

UT government assistant professor Bethany Albertson said she could see both sides of the argument for updated voting technology.

“I think that the way we vote in the U.S. is terribly outdated, and I would love to see us take advantage of technological advances to make voting easier,” Albertson said. “I also worry, though, that since voting is handled by state and local government, that the benefits of new technology would be unevenly applied.”

According to Bernal, new voting technology could allow more citizens to vote and increase political participation overall. 

“Young people should vote more,” Albertson said. “[The youth are] much less likely to vote than older people, and that difference is reflected in the politicians we elect and their policy priorities.”