We’ve had debit cards for most of my adult life. Regularly, people sign their names on electronic pads to obtain medication, credit, what-have-you. You can order books and music and nearly anything online, from your computer, your smartphone, or your new iPad.
It’s high time to take democracy into this new era.
At least, Michael Ni thinks so. And I agree.
Last year, Mr. Ni brought a signed ballot initiative to the clerk’s office in San Mateo County. He did not use anything so archaic as ink. Or a pencil. He signed the document using the screen of his iPhone, and he delivered it to the designated agent via flash drive.
It was rejected.
And so began a lawsuit, Ni v. Slocum, to upgrade the State of California’s initiative process. Mr. Ni runs Verafirma, a company that has produced technology that, you might say, puts another “i” (or is that the “e”?) in “initiative.” The technology works on the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the Verizon Droid, and is slated for other smartphones and similar post-PC devices.
Mr. Warren Slocum, named defendant/respondent, admits that the technology “is transformative.”
Recently, Twitter and Facebook have helped foment and organize revolutions. But the statewide citizens initiative, a bulwark of democracy in half the states, is lagging behind, technologically.
It’s time for government to accommodate the habits and desires and sheer convenience of the masses.
It’s time to say, “Democracy: There’s an app for that.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.