2016 has been a tumultuous year for American politics. The highly-involved electorate have raised concerns about everything from superdelegates to contested conventions. And the voters aren’t the only ones looking to make sense out of this year’s lengthy and complicated election process. As technological requirements grow on both sides of the political spectrum, companies like Microsoft are stepping in to meet the need.
From apps specific to an individual state’s nominating process to quickly and reliably collected national polling data, the potential for modernization of elections is vast. Some of the responsibility for that modernization falls on the shoulders of Microsoft Senior Director Stan Freck.
“People want to use the device they carry around every day to do the things they need to do… How do you get your driver’s license, how do I participate in the vote? There’s no technical reason why you have to go stand in line and do that at a physical office, if the right systems[…] authentication and[…] security is in place.” –Freck
Even some of the laws which govern elections in the United States, Freck notes, would have to be updated in order to implement solutions like mobile voting. That said, traditional paper ballot systems have their own security concerns and reporting speeds based upon these systems are severely behind the times. The solution to many of this outdated system’s woes? Data.
“Data is gonna become the oil of this next century… whoever can gather the most, who car refine it, who can actually distribute it, and who can actually make decisions based on where it’s going, that’s where both the business and the power will sit.” –Freck
Despite the challenges associated with delivering faster, more convenient, fair, and reliable elections, Microsoft is determined to make the elections of tomorrow a reality. For a better look at the technology and expertise involved in modernizing the electoral process, check out our full interview with Stan Freck.