Voting anxieties over the New Hampshire primary today are running high following complications with the Iowa Caucus last week. Voting results were postponed due to a malfunction with technological voting practices implemented for the Iowa Democratic Party’s primary election when the new application that the state’s democratic party intended to use to ensure the integrity of the results malfunctioned and revealed inconsistencies voting tallies.
The delayed results from the Iowa Democratic Party were met with frustration and concern from candidates and voters alike.
“There were flaws in the reporting systems tonight that should raise serious concerns for voters," tweeted Joe Biden’s campaign manager Kate Bedingfield in response to the voting delays and complications.
This delay prevented winning candidate Pete Buttigieg from receiving media attention that could have benefitted his campaign. By the time Buttigieg’s victory was announced, the media and public attention had already largely shifted to President Trump’s State of the Union address and the New Hampshire primary.
Unlike the Iowa Democratic Party primary last week, some counties throughout New Hampshire are standing by voting methods that have been used in previous voting cycles. Notably, the New Hampshire town of Windsor plans to rely on a voting machine that is 130 years old.
In Windsor’s primary Tuesday, voters will place their ballot into a wooden box where a bell will sound, signaling the count of their vote. “This is unhackable,” election moderator Patrick Hines told CNN. The process is “slower to get the results. A lot more trustworthy,” said Hines.
With a population of 226, upholding this method is possible for small towns like Windsor. However, counties with ever-expanding communities, like Los Angeles, with an estimated population of 7.8 million adults, demands that new technologies are introduced to tally votes effectively.
California plans to adopt a new and improved digital voting system for the upcoming primary election March 3rd. The touch-screen ballot system that Los Angeles County plans to implement will enable voters to make their selections on an iPad-like screen before with printing out their ballots to turn into the location’s moderator.
Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) has been working for the last decade to bring this $300 million dollar investment into effect and maintains confidence that this change will make the voting process more easy and accessible. Though given the inconsistencies in voting with Iowa’s attempt at a new voting system, some voters in Los Angeles County voiced concerns over the introduction of new voting technology.
“There are a lot of ways that that can be manipulated, more easily than a paper ballot,” commented freshman creative writing major Naomi Nembhard about Los Angeles County’s new voting technology. “The way corruption works, it works a lot of times through technology. While its a positive change, I do acknowledge the opportunity for issues and corruption.”
Similar sentiments were voiced by junior theater major Tara Lederman. “I was first nervous when I learned about the new voting last year and the issues counting votes in Iowa makes me even more nervous," said Lederman.
Although speculation has heightened following the Iowa primary election, the effectiveness of LA’s new voting technology won’t be known until the California primary March 3rd.