The nominating process for political office is, in many places, mired in traditions that don’t lend themselves to efficient and accurate voting.
Anyone who’s seen the presidential nominating conventions for the major U.S. political parties can see this old system in action, and while it might make for great television, it’s clear that there must be easier ways to nominate a candidate for the highest office in the land than by a long-winded voice vote.
In fact, there is. While it’s unlikely to appear at a GOP or Democratic presidential convention, audience response technology can easily be incorporated into the political nomination process to streamline the nomination process and ensure both accurate results and the security necessary to keep the process private.
For state party nominations that run on a smaller scale (and without the TV glitz) than those of the national parties, using audience response handsets can replace the archaic and old-fashioned paper ballots or voice and hand votes. Delegates can be given the option of voting for on one of a group of candidates, or voting yes, no, or abstain on another decision.
Because the software used to tabulate votes can easily be integrated with projected graphics, nominations that take place in large venues like auditoriums or banquet rooms can be enhanced by visual presentations that track responses visually.
In addition, audience response systems used for official voting are set up on a closed system without connecting to the internet, which can thwart attempts to hack any voting process.
So, while the process might not have the sparkle of televised nation conventions, it will have the accuracy and security that are integral to the process.