Camilo Casas, candidate for city council in Boulder, Colo., has promised to hand over his voting power to his constituents by way of a smartphone app should he be elected.
Casas is running on a platform based solely on “liquid democracy," and if elected, he will vote the way the residents of Boulder tell him to on the app he created for this exact purpose, parti.vote. Optimal as it sounds, there are reasons to pursue Casas’s idea with caution.
In response to security concerns about voter fraud, Casas has stated that the parti.vote application will use facial recognition software to ensure that each voter is the person they claim to be.
The threat of voter fraud, exaggerated as it may be, remains a major reason why mobile voting is so foreign to American politics. Any application that allows an individual to vote by phone would need to be thoroughly secure and proven.
This leads to a second flaw: Apple’s facial recognition program, Face ID, was only recently introduced alongside the release of the iPhone X. If the app parti.vote will require a similar program, it will likely only be available on expensive smartphones (the iPhone X is currently listed on Apple’s site at a cost starting at $999).