Whatever the result of last Sunday’s district council election, we wonder that when iPad and tablets will be used to vote in Hong Kong.
According to the ‘Smartphone Advertising and Marketing Industry Study” conducted by the Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association(WTIA), Hong Kong Wireless Development Centre(HKWDC) and the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) from June to July 2011, 84% of respondents use mobile phone/tablet at least 30 minutes every day. The figure represents the enormous presence of smart phone and tablets in local market.
Voters in United States are casting their ballot using the iPad in Election Day this week. In Oregon, disable residents will have the option of voting on Apple’s tablet computer. In addition, Canada and some European countries have their web-based voting system already. And the first state voting on the web is Estonia, according to CNN, has implemented online voting for 4 years.
As one the highest mobile phone penetration rate cities/countries in the world, is there any possibility for Hong Kong to use iPad and tablets to boost the voting rate?
Security will be the most important issue to solve while we want to vote online. The comparatively ‘closed’ ecosystem of Apple iOS is viewed as more secure than other platforms. But no systems can be escaped from malware and hackers. Some serious security measures including servers and database must be used to protect all the personal information and preferences of the citizens.
Even we have not started any project on voting on tablets yet, we believe the phenomenon of mobile internet will force the government to review the existing voting method. For the own good of all citizens including the elderly, disable voters and children, online voting system is a powerful way to promote civics education and provide a more user-friendly voting experience to the voters.