I’d like to say I’m busy watching the mid-term results come in, but actually, I’m too tied up reading all the reports of voting machine failures causing delays, confusion and most certainly some disenfranchisement. Despite plenty of media attention on the matter months ago it’s clear nothing was done, causing delays, confusion and doubt across the process in numerous states.
- Voting Machine Meltdowns Are Normal—That’s the Problem – Wired
- Voting Machine Manual Instructed Election Officials to Use Weak Passwords – Motherboard/Vice
- Voting Machine Hell, 2018: A Running List of Election Glitches, Malfunctions, and Screwups – Gizmodo
- Why voting machines malfunctioned on Election Day – Vox
- Voting machine errors already roil Texas and Georgia races – Politico
- Voting machines can be hacked in two minutes, expert warns – Fox News
We’re talking about it, but it’s still being ignored
Sadly, Election Day in the US once again illustrates my point about technology and humans: we are not perfect, nor are the machines we build and use. Despite this reality being clearly demonstrated in the above, we have the hubris to believe that our technology is somehow immune to our own frailties. In many ways, technology clearly allows us to overcome limitations and achieve spectacular things, but it also amplifies our shortcomings, and as we’ve seen numerous times elsewhere it also enables the less virtuous to exploit those shortcomings.
To change things, we need to expect better from our leaders – business, political, and spiritual. They need to understand critical technologies or admit when they do not and hire experts to help shape and implement policy that advances humanity as whole and not just financial interests. It’s OK to admit to not understanding technology, but if it’s an important part of your job or responsibilities, that continued lack of understanding could cause irreparable harm. Change begins with you, and putting in the effort to understand a technology also grants the benefit of being able to spot others who do not, an advantage that is handy in business and politics.