IT Pros Speak Out About Election Debacle

TechRepublic members debate the voting process and propose how technology could improve the system. The verdict: A modern, efficient, and fair system that uses technology capabilities for electing leaders is needed.

Drew Douglas or Liz WarinCorporate Technology Communications(312)
TechRepublic Members Debate Voting Process,
Propose How Technology Could Improve System
LOUISVILLE, Ky., November 17, 2000—As the national election drama continues in Florida, professionals in information technology suggest it is time for America to cast a vote of confidence in today’s technological capabilities. This would guarantee a modern, efficient, and fair system for electing our leaders.

With last week’s presidential election outcome still unknown, questions about the current voting process's effectiveness and legitimacy have surfaced. Many are proposing that technology play a more integral part in improving the voting process.

IT professionals are weighing in on the issue at the TechRepublic Web site—the leading online destination for the IT community designed by IT professionals. They are voicing their opinion in an online discussion entitled “Election debacle: How could technology help?”

Many IT professionals participating in the discussion cite the need to update the archaic voting system, and they believe advanced technology will provide an alternative to punch-card ballots, mechanical lever machines, and other “low-tech” voting systems.

IT pros have been quick to note that in today’s high-tech world, much of the United States still uses voting technology from the mid-20th century and earlier. While technology is integral to nearly all facets of modern life—with IT contributing one-third to recent national economic growth—the United States continues to use antiquated systems to elect our political leaders.

On the technological front, IT pros suggest:

  • ·       Using a voting device that would be a networked PC with a touch screen. Candidates’ names, pictures, and parties could be included, and a voter simply would touch the picture of the candidate they prefer, which would prevent confusion as to which candidate was selected.
  • ·       An electronic voting station, where citizens would vote online but would also receive a printed "receipt" of their vote to be deposited in a secure location to ensure fair results.
  • ·       Electronic voting could be exposed to hackers.

“No one understands the benefits that technology can play in modern life as much as today’s IT pro,” said Bob Artner, vice president for content development at TechRepublic. “As the current election process demonstrates, the existing technology is prone to failure. TechRepublic members have proposed several alternatives to resolve these problems.”

Artner added that regardless of political affiliation, IT pros agree that there must be a better way to vote and tabulate the results than the process presently in use. The technological capability exists; IT pros are saying it’s time to use it.

Additionally, TechRepublic parent Gartner Group, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB) recently has recommended that local governments follow the lead of counties in Arizona and explore e-voting—the use of information technology to improve the voting process—as an option for voters.

About TechRepublic
TechRepublic is the leadingonline destination developed exclusively for IT professionals by IT professionals.It was acquired by Gartner Group, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB) in March 2000. With the Gartner relationship, TechRepublic provides its members with the largest and most comprehensive source of IT community, content, and research available anywhere. In August 2000, TechRepublic acquired ITRadar, the leading IT marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of information-technology services. TechRepublic’s services include IT industry news, analysis, columns, articles, downloads, career-management tips, forums, a job directory, a peer directory, a vendor directory, auctions, e-commerce offerings, event listings, and electronic newsletters.

Content on is categorized by IT job segments. CIO Republic provides analysis and insight for an organization’s chief information officer, chief technology officer, and other IT executives; IT Consultant Republic features content specifically tailored to IT consultants; IT Manager Republic provides information and resources for IT managers; IT Support Republic assists help desk professionals; and NetAdmin Republic features content written specifically for network administrators.

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