In the wake of the 2018 midterm elections, multiple states across the country faced various issues, such as long lines, inadequate number of voting machines and even power outages. Just as in years prior, this election has called attention to cracks in the current system. Early voting and voting by mail likely cut down wait times on November 6th, but clearly these alternate options have not entirely alleviated the strain states feel during large voter turnouts.
The issue is sure to get attention from national media, and many people are hoping to find a viable solution to help expedite the process and ensure all Americans can exercise their right to vote. Fortunately, recent advances in IoT and location intelligence technologies can work to solve issues like long wait times, insufficient ballots or machines and even help with directing large clusters of people.
By leveraging location intelligence during election days, users can use real-time data to notify voters about polling locations close to them and their respective wait times. By supplying voters with various polling locations along with wait times, voters could choose to drive an extra few minutes away, thereby alleviating heavy wait times and improving pedestrian traffic by allocating individuals to more voting areas.
Additionally, IoT sensors coupled with voting machines can help speed the process of getting more machines to locations that could be facing broken or malfunctioning machines. If voter turnout is much higher and simply not enough machines were delivered, location intelligence could help organizers to get an adequate number brought to the site to help get individuals through lines faster.
Choosing to incorporate location intelligence during election seasons can also help officials understand and identify key patterns. Perhaps a particular county has a high voter turnout, but for years has been neglected, causing long lines and a slowly diminishing voting group. Understanding what cities or counties may be more stressed can help officials allocate necessary resources to make the voting process easier for Americans.
The 2018 election showed a massive upsurge in Americans getting out to vote, putting significant strain on the system. This election further underlined the need to leverage powerful technologies like real-time data and location intelligence. By harnessing the power of IoT, officials can make informed decisions that will benefit the general public and hopefully improve the current voting system in the United States, making election day easier for everyone involved.
Craig Johnston is an engineer, accomplished business executive, and the VP of Business Development at Live Earth. He has over 30 years of experience bridging semiconductor technologies, computer hardware, computational analysis software, and operational management positions. His knack for building new relationships and partnerships brought him to his leadership position today, driving business development and marketing efforts for Live Earth. Outside the office, Craig is a competitive rower and a passionate social advocate.