Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mobile Voting! When?

As the 2008 election primaries and caucus have been occurring, I have been thinking about being able to use cell phones in the voting process. There is often a low turn-out of younger voters in many elections and I was thinking if we were able to vote by mobile phone than it may make a difference in the younger voter turn-out. I recently came across an article from last year about citizens in Pittsburgh being able to register to vote via cell phone. Cell phone voting and voter information is much more common in developing nations such as Kenya, where citizens are able to receive text message reminders on voting issues, where to vote, and when to vote. If I can renew my driver's license via the web in Michigan, than I'm not sure why we are not able to vote via cell phone (or at least a secure site on the Internet), I do think it would bring in more younger voters and allow social studies teachers to better introduce the democratic process to their students as they reach the legal voting age. If anyone knows of a state in the U.S. where mobile voting is allowed or being considered I would love to hear about it.

Mobile citizenship could be applied to teaching and learning. For example, in schools, social studies teachers could use a free site called TextMarks, which allows anyone to set up text alerts for groups. Text alerts would be a great way for students to research a political issue (such as Health Care) and then send out "alerts" to subscribers concerning updates, current bills in the legislative process, or even candidates views on the issue in upcoming elections.

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