Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Voters using smartphones made fewer errors in mock election

Date:
March 4, 2014
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Voters who cast their ballots via smartphones made fewer errors than they did when voting via traditional methods in a mock election, according to new research. Researchers found that while there are no consistent differences in efficiency and perceived usability between the smartphone-based system and other voting systems, smartphone owners made fewer errors on the mobile voting system than when they used traditional voting methods.

Implementing smartphone voting as an anytime, anywhere system will require addressing substantial security and authentication problems that may not be solvable -- and certainly not in the near future, the researchers say.
Credit: photka / Fotolia

Voters who cast their ballots via smartphones made fewer errors than they did when voting via traditional methods in a mock election, according to new research from psychologists at Rice University.

In a first-of-its-kind study, co-author Rice Professor of Psychology Michael Byrne examined how smartphone-based voting systems can be incorporated into the current large-scale voting process. The study, "Toward More Usable Electronic Voting: Testing the Usability of a Smartphone Voting System," found that while there are no consistent differences in efficiency and perceived usability between the smartphone-based system and other voting systems, smartphone owners made fewer errors on the mobile voting system than when they used traditional voting methods.

According to Byrne, many U.S. counties have incorporated electronic voting technology, largely in response to well-publicized challenges related to older mechanical and punch-card models. He said that although these updated systems have solved some usability problems, they present a new set of issues for voters unfamiliar with the technology.

"Current electronic voting systems have numerous issues -- from usability and accessibility to security to the fact that many of them are nearing the end of their life cycle -- and there are few good certified alternatives currently on the market," he said.

For the study, the researchers designed a mobile voting system optimized for use on a smartphone and tested its usability against traditional voting platforms. They asked 84 participants -- 48 of whom reported owning a smartphone at the time of the experiment -- to engage in a series of mock elections using different voting methods. The subjects ranged in age between 18 and 68 years and had varied voting histories and educational backgrounds. Ninety-two percent of participants had voted in fewer than six national elections, and 88 percent of participants had voted in fewer than six non-national elections. Seventy-five percent of the participants had either an associate's or a bachelor's degree.

The researchers found that the 48 smartphone owners made fewer errors on the mobile voting system than they did via the traditional system. There were no significant differences in error rates among nonsmartphone users.

Phil Kortum, assistant professor of psychology at Rice and a study co-author, said there are numerous potential benefits to using a smartphone-based voting system.

"Nobody likes to wait in line at the polling place, and so mobile voting offers the opportunity to cast votes when and where it is convenient for the voter," Kortum said.

Kortum noted that despite these benefits, implementing smartphone voting as an anytime, anywhere system will require addressing substantial security and authentication problems that may not be solvable -- and certainly not in the near future.

"Ongoing research is needed to develop systems that allow voters to securely and anonymously submit their ballots," Kortum said. "Creating voting systems that retain the convenience of mobile phones while still ensuring the security and anonymity we enjoy with current voting technologies will be the biggest design challenge."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. The original article was written by Amy Hodges. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. A. Campbell, C. C. Tossell, M. D. Byrne, P. Kortum. Toward More Usable Electronic Voting: Testing the Usability of a Smartphone Voting System. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2014; DOI: 10.1177/0018720813519266

Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Voters using smartphones made fewer errors in mock election." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304095027.htm>.
Rice University. (2014, March 4). Voters using smartphones made fewer errors in mock election. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304095027.htm
Rice University. "Voters using smartphones made fewer errors in mock election." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304095027.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Reuters - US Online Video (July 27, 2014) Congress gets rid of pesky law that made it illegal to "unlock" mobile phones without permission, giving consumers the option to use the same phone on a competitor's wireless network. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins