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Smartphones could be vital in US elections

Smartphones may play a significant role in future US elections by enabling online voting, new research claims. The US government is likely to harness the technology in the light of potential benefits of using smartphones.

social media Updated: Sep 13, 2011 14:34 IST

Smartphones may play a significant role in future US elections by enabling online voting, new research claims. The study was conducted by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), a non-profit association with more than 4,600 members globally.

The US government is likely to harness the technology in the light of potential benefits of using smartphones to enable online voting in future elections.

Study authors Bryan Campbell, Chad Tossell, Michael Byrne and Philip Kortum, asked more than 50 men and women aged between 18 to 68 years, to vote on a custom-built mobile web application, and either a traditional electronic voting system or a paper ballot.

They found that participants who use smartphones completed the voting task more accurately than did those without a smartphone experience, according to an HFES statement.

It indicates the need to design mobile voting systems - including content for such systems - to accommodate inexperienced voters' mental model to increase usability, effectiveness and accuracy.

"Mobile voting carries the potential to increase voter participation, reduce election administration costs, and allow voters to interact with familiar technology," noted the study authors.

"As a result," say the authors, "some form of Internet voting seems inevitable, and it follows then that smartphones and other Internet-capable mobile technologies will likely play a key role."

These findings will be presented at the forthcoming HFES 55th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.