Mobile voting system (pitch for NUIM Apprentices Dragons Den task)

Introduction

Hello and good afternoon everyone. My name is Louise Sheridan and these are my team members Sarah Nealon. Aisling Whelan, Aoife Doyle and Seamus Hanafin. We are here today to make a pitch to you all about a new piece of innovative technology, which we are proud and confident to have created. We as a team know and believe that this piece of technology will make a huge difference to the current political voting system inIreland. But what we need from you is your backing and support to get this new technology off the ground so that it could make a vast and positive difference inIrelandtoday. We are looking for 1,000,000 euro to do this. We want Ireland to reach a successful level in terms of voter turn-out in particular among young people who are the future of this country and need to have their say in terms of important decisions been made.

Background
We are a modern country that has proved itself and has moved successfully through a vast amount of ups and downs over time, throughout the political system and the problems that occurred with it in Ireland in the past. We have come through these pivotal and life changing moments strong and empowered and we have the ability to
now vote for who we want to lead the country to success. But we are all not getting a fair chance to do this and also we are not getting the opportunity to make a difference in this country. So if we are now this new, modern and contemporary country, why do we have a voting system that is somewhat prehistoric in Ireland? Times have and
are changing and advancing at a rapid speed. We as a small island that has managed to keep up and exceed some of the larger countries across the globe, so why are we failing to keep up on a political voting level. Everyone, once 18 deserves a fair chance to vote whether it is in a general election, local election, presidential election or referendum. A single vote can make a difference and so everyone must have the opportunity to cast his or hers.

The Research

Research shows voter turnout in elections over the last number of years has been considerably low. The most recent election was to vote for our new president to represent our country, and also to vote on two referendums. It is estimated that only 60% of the Irish population came out to vote. For such an important part in Irish politics and the country a much larger turn out would have been expected. According to the Irish Independent “FEWER than one person in every two is likely to have voted to choose the next president despite a bitterly fought contest between a record
seven candidates. It is common knowledge that the majority of people who did not vote were among the young people. A number of reasons for this are that they are away in college and cannot make it home to vote but also the lack of information giving on politics in Ireland, which young people can relate to. This forms the basis of our idea.

 For example in a group of ten students who work in a local Centra part time at weekends, in the Cavan Monaghan constituency the question put to them was, “Did they vote for a new president in Ireland and did they vote for the referendum”. 7 out of the 10 said no. From further investigation it was understood that they did not vote because they were in college inDublin,Sligoand Maynooth and were not able to vote on the Thursday as they were in college to the Friday and would not be home in time

The Plan

Today, we know and can identify with how we can move forward and lead the way to a new and empowering political voting system. We have come up with the innovation of ‘mobile voting systems’ where this new and advanced piece of technology will set itself up in different parts of each county e.g. in the local national schools, colleges, main shopping districts, hospitals and so on. This will allow a vast amount of the population access to voting. What you have to do to vote is, it will allow you to enter in your name and the unique password that you will receive in the post that is unique to just you and no one else. It does not matter what constituency you are from when you enter in your password it will come up in your details allowing you to vote anywhere in the country. For example if it a yes no answer e.g. for a referendum you push the button yes or no. If it is to vote for e.g. a new president you click the name in order of preference. It is as simple as that and it will allow anyone wherever they are better access to vote.

The Website

In order to establish this mobile voting system it will need to be promoted, and explained to the public. We aim to do this by creating a website that explains the ins and outs of applying to use the system, how the system works, the benefits of it etc. The website will also have the option of registering online for the personal identification number needed to use the mobile voting system. We also aim to use the website as providing information to the public on all things current social political and economic, but on a level that people can easily understand and relate to. We aim to work along side government departments so that we can be the link between the state and the people. The website will contain videos such as how to use the mobile voting system, how the voting system in Irelandworks, explanations of referendums, the constitution etc. Our website will also be used as a one stop shop on information on politics, current issues and useful services for the public. The information would be provided in a language that can be clearly understood by everyone. Our website would promote and creative an interactive learning space, which would include developing games to entice young people onto the website,
while at the same time educating them. There will also be an area on our website where young people can post up any questions that they may have and they will be answered by Ministers. This service will be available for Ministers to explain their policies in a language suitable for everyone. We would also have this service on an application for I phones and blackberry so people can get informed while on the go.

This is why we need your support. We need to all come together, to proceed  as a country to keep Irelandadvancing at a sustainable speed and also to keep Irelandin a strong level to keep competing with the other developed countries across the globe.
We need to provide the people of Ireland with a fair chance to vote and make a difference in the country. This is why “mobile voting system” will allow the people of Ireland who may not be able to get home to their area a fair chance to vote.

Thank you for your taking the time to listen and understand our pitch. The power in now in your hands to help improve and modernize the voting system in Ireland. Let’s make a positive difference together for the future of the people in Ireland. Don’t let the country suffer any more with the prehistoric voting system that’s in place.

Let’s make a difference now!

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9 Responses to “Mobile voting system (pitch for NUIM Apprentices Dragons Den task)”

  1. Adrian Kavanagh Says:

    Desmond O’Toole (via Facebook): First pitch, electronic voting. Perhaps not. This dragon’s out I’m afraid!

  2. johnny Fallon Says:

    I make no apologies of the fact that I am a big fan of electronic voting. Its sensible and the future. The last plan for it was just a mess but that does not mean the concept is. This idea has some potential, however, knowing the current mood in the country and the anti-electronic voting hype created by the last farcical attempt at a system I dont see this getting a hearing for at least another 20 years, and unfortunately for that reason Im out.

  3. Nichola Says:

    Interesting idea but I wonder how might such a system cope with the potential ‘double-voting’ problem. If every citizen was given a unique username and password for the online system, could they potentially cast their vote online then also manually vote in person at the polling station? How would you propose to eliminate this risk? Would the traditional polling station also be equipped with technology to check if a voter has already voted online? If so, surely this would make the voting process longer and more drawn out and maybe polling day would need to be extended into a second day or over the course of a weekend or maybe elections should be only held on Sundays or Public holidays as is the case in Germany.

  4. Leo Kavanagh Says:

    If a voting machine was transported into some students’ bedrooms they still wouldn’t vote. Nice idea but waste of time and effort. Thanksfully not money.

  5. Tomas Says:

    In the current climate and with the memory of the last attempt to get electronic voting up and running still fresh i don’t see it happening.

  6. Patrick Cagney Says:

    I’m a big fan of electronic voting and jumpers. I like leather shoes too but electronic voting is my favourite thing.

  7. David Says:

    Hi, I think this is a super idea. I was away at college so didn’t get an opportunity to vote, which I was naturally disappointed about.

  8. Ailsa Says:

    I think the comment made by Dr Kavanagh is unfair. (AK adds: Not my own comments – just forwarding on comments made elsewhere. I will be saving my own personal comments for the Boardroom.) Demonstrating such a lack of faith in Ireland’s young people will certainly do nothing to engage them in politics. The presumption that lower turnouts among this generation is merely due to apathy has no real standing. Meeting the needs of a far more mobile society should be a prioirity and this proposal is certainly a step in this direction.

  9. Colin Says:

    I like the idea but its open to a bit of abuse i think given that you don’t seem to have to prove who you are, so in essence anyone with your username and pass can vote for you. Which would be handy but possibly not the most democratic.

    Possibly simpler solution hold all our votes on the weekend like they do on the continent?

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