Technology

Selfies may make election voting ‘extra accessible’, app makers say

A brand new app which permits individuals to vote utilizing a selfie has been revealed by a number one election know-how firm.

Newsbeat had an unique demonstration of the software program which makes use of facial recognition to let individuals register for elections and solid a vote.

Smartmatic, who developed the app, declare it’s safer than customary on-line banking or buying programs.

The UK authorities informed Newsbeat it is dedicated to “embracing know-how” however the paper poll system is most safe.

The app makes use of facial biometric knowledge mixed with a government-issued ID card to create a digital id.

Customers can then log in by taking a selfie and solid their vote remotely, from any location.

driving licence captured by app

Picture caption The app developed by Smartmatic asks customers to scan a authorities issued photograph ID and seize a picture of their face to create a digital idenity

Mike Summers, programme supervisor at Smartmatic, informed Newsbeat the app may encourage extra individuals to participate in elections.

“There’s large potential, we’re seeing an enormous quantity of curiosity on this,” he stated.

“There’s an amazing discount in participation in elections as a result of persons are extra cell now, so we see a possibility to strengthen the method, to make it extra accessible.”

The paper poll system, the place voters put a cross in a field subsequent to the identify of their chosen candidate, has been in place since 1872.

Campaigners say on-line voting could be extra handy and make politicians extra accountable.

Chief Govt of the Institute for Digital Democracy Areeq Chowdhury informed Newsbeat it will assist youthful individuals have extra affect.

Areeq Chowdhury from youth-focused think tank Web Roots Democracy

Picture caption Areeq Chowdhury from youth-focused suppose tank WebRoots Democracy tells Newsbeat the electoral system is ‘backwards’

“It might make politicians concentrate extra to teams who’d be enfranchised extra by this methodology of voting,” he stated.

“We’re banking on-line, buying on-line, even relationship on-line so it does not make sense to proceed with a course of that’s offline, that’s caught within the 1880s.”

Many international locations around the globe use know-how as a part of the electoral course of in numerous methods.

Touchscreen polling cubicles are frequent within the US and in Uganda individuals can scan their fingerprint to register to vote.

However issues about cybersecurity imply some international locations are scaling again on their use of voting know-how.

France has suspended digital voting within the present presidential election for individuals dwelling abroad. And within the Netherlands, the place poll papers are usually scanned electronically, votes are being counted by hand.

touch screen vote machine

Picture caption In Estonia’s most up-to-date parliamentary elections round 30% of votes have been solid on-line

Estonia is the one nation the place on-line voting has turn into extensively used.

In the latest parliamentary elections virtually one in three votes was solid on-line, however officers admit the system has not boosted turnout.

“It did not take individuals from the no-voting space as a result of that is not sufficient,” Priit Vinkel, head of the electoral workplace in Estonia, informed Newsbeat.

“Having a novel, handy methodology of voting just isn’t sufficient. You want different incentives, you want coverage, you want causes.”

The UK authorities claims it’s “embracing know-how” within the electoral course of.

On-line voter registration was launched in 2014 and college students are capable of register to vote similtaneously beginning a college course.

Minister for the Constitution Chris Skidmore MP

Picture caption Minister for the Structure Chris Skidmore MP tells Newsbeat the pen and paper methodology of voting is the ‘finest approach ahead’

However Chris Skidmore MP, the federal government minister accountable for elections, informed Newsbeat the paper poll system is right here to remain.

“We consider that the present paper and pen methodology is the easiest way ahead, it signifies that every particular person’s vote is counted equally, one citizen one vote.”

He stated a pilot scheme in 2018, asking voters to indicate identification after they flip as much as a polling station, will intention to fight fraud and voter impersonation.

“Once you go to the polling station you will current a type of identification and we’re additionally reforming postal voting,” he defined.

“We have got to ensure that every one who’s registered to vote will get the prospect to vote and other people must believe that democracy just isn’t being stolen from them.”

Within the UK, for now at the very least, it appears any type of digital voting, not to mention voting by selfie, is a good distance off.

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