Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Is Smartphone Technology the Future of U.S. Elections?

13.09.2011
With more and more Americans upgrading to smartphones, and as smartphone capabilities continue to improve, even the U.S. government is considering innovative ways to harness this advancing technology.

Human factors/ergonomics researchers have evaluated the potential benefits of using smartphones to enable online voting in future U.S. elections and will present their findings at the upcoming HFES 55th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 2000 presidential election debacle in Florida became a national embarrassment, prompting many U.S. election officials to opt for more technologically advanced voter systems. Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002, which aimed, in part, to increase usability and promote accurate election results through the creation and distribution of electronic voting systems. Little research was completed to determine the efficiency of the new systems, however, which has caused additional usability issues. This gap has led some to speculate that mobile voting may prove to be the wave of the future for voters.

In their upcoming Annual Meeting presentation, “Voting on a Smartphone: Evaluating the Usability of an Optimized Voting System for Handheld Mobile Devices,” Bryan Campbell, Chad Tossell, Michael Byrne, and Philip Kortum asked more than 50 men and women ranging in age from 18 to 68, with and without smartphone experience, to vote on two types of systems: a custom-built mobile Web application, and either a traditional electronic voting system or a paper ballot. The researchers found that participants who own and use smartphones completed the voting task more accurately than did those without smartphone experience, indicating the need to design mobile voting systems—including content for such systems—to accommodate inexperienced voters’ mental model to increase usability, effectiveness, and accuracy.

The authors note some potential benefits of implementing smartphone technology for voters: “Mobile voting carries the potential to increase voter participation, reduce election administration costs, and allow voters to interact with familiar technology. In the near term, remote voting should not be considered a viable option for elections. Over the long term, however, with the support of the human factors/ergonomics and computer science communities, mobile voting can be a viable—and desirable—means of conducting elections.”

Congress has given preliminary approval for remote electronic voting to replace slow and unreliable postal ballots for U.S. soldiers stationed overseas. “As a result,” say the authors, “some form of Internet voting seems inevitable, and it follows then that smartphones and other Internet-capable mobile technologies will likely play a key role.”

For more information on this and other research being presented at the HFES Annual Meeting, contact HFES Communications Director Lois Smith (lois@hfes.org, 310/384-1811).

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world's largest nonprofit individual-member, multidisciplinary scientific association for human factors/ergonomics professionals, with more than 4,600 members globally. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, and engineers, all of whom have a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. Watch science news stories about other HF/E topics at the HFES Web site. “Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering”

Plan to attend the HFES 55th Annual Meeting, September 19-23: http://www.hfes.org/web/HFESMeetings/2011annualmeeting.html

Lois Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hfes.org
http://www.hfes.org/web/HFESMeetings/2011annualmeeting.html

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Snake-inspired robot uses kirigami to move
22.02.2018 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht Camera technology in vehicles: Low-latency image data compression
22.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>