The rapid technological change, shifting priorities and the need to have equal societies have led to sectorial and process reforms. Processes like voting are becoming simpler and simple day by day. Previous methods of carrying out things are being done away with and people are constantly embracing modern technologies. However, on given occasions, the use of these technologies might be against what the constitution demands. Crazytown city in Texas has proposed two radical reforms which are aimed at improving the processes of its council elections. The first reform, which is the accepting of votes to be cast via smart phones, is aimed at boosting voter participation in the whole electoral process. The second reform, which is driven by egalitarian concerns, involves the change in the way the city council districts are assigned. Although these reforms are driven by the urgent need to improve processes and ensure equality, the question is whether they are in line with the constitution requirements and whether they are against what the constitution states about the same processes.
In the first reform, the traditional ballots will still be accepted but the number of voting days will be reduced. It is expected that there would be few people who would vote personally when smart phones can be used to cast votes. It should be noted that smart phones will make the voting process much faster and efficient. The constitution requires that all individuals while participating in the civic duty of voting must produce their photo identification in polling stations. Questions would be asked whether the use of smartphones for casting votes and whether the reduction of the number of days for voting are constitutional or are a breach of the constitution.
This digital voting, use of smart phones, could drive more residents of the city to polls. Research has indicated that most people do not vote as a result of being in a far location from their voting stations or sometimes be so preoccupies with their daily activities. The use of smart phones in voting could enable people to vote from the comfort of their living rooms. Despite the enormous potential, the use of smartphones in voting may not be in line with the constitutional requirements. The constitution demands that all eligible voters to present themselves at polling stations with a copy of their photograph. The use of smartphones would be against this. Although technology may allow the provision of these documents electronically, this would be against the constitution requirement. The reduction in the number of days set aside for the voting exercise would also be unconstitutional.
The second reform involves the changing of ways in which the city council districts are assigned. This reform is mainly a result of the need of having equality among all people in the said city. Instead of dividing the city into ten geographical areas, citizens would be assigned to constituencies that would labeled 1 to 10. The citizens would further be assigned to districts after 10 years. Rather than designating geographical areas, the districts would be comprised of families of a particular income ductile. These current changes in the geographical mapping of areas and this would eventually affect the voting pattern and the systems that were in place. In as much as the reform aims to change the way the city councils are assigned, the ultimate effects of these changes would be to civic processes and other social issues.
In the case of Hunh vs. Crazytown, interest groups joined forces to sue the city for making and initiating reforms without their consent and that the moves were illegal as per the constitutional guidelines. In this case referring to the constitutionality of these reforms, varied opinions would be raised each player trying to argue their points. In the first reform on the use of smartphones, the defendant, which in this case is Crazytown, will argue out that elections usually experience low voter turnouts as a result of many people being so much preoccupied with their daily activities. The defendant would also try to cite the potential for the use of technology to cut on costs and serve people faster and better as compared to the traditional ways of doing things.
Counter arguments from the respondents would state that it is not always a guarantee that the use of smartphones in elections would provide accurate information. On some instances these gadgets tend to fail and hence might jeopardize the whole exercise. It would also unconstitutional to reduce the number of days of elections as this is usually the date is usually set by the congress. The presentation of photo identification is also a requirement by the constitution by any voter as he/she is required to present it at the polling station. Smartphone applications may be able to offer opportunities to present these photos electronically but this would only need constitutional amendments for them to be in use. The use of smart phones in casting votes may offer a great opportunity to engage most of the people in the voting exercise, but there many underlying issues that deviate from the constitutional requirements. On this case the issue would be unconstitutional unless there is an amendment to incorporate such.
Crazytown city also implemented the shift in the assigning of districts from the ten geographic areas to the use of constituents comprised of ten families with a particular income dectile. This shift in the assigning of districts is aimed at providing an equal ground for each of the members in the city. The constitution clearly gives people different liberties that should be infringed at all times. People’s rights are more important than the Crazytown City’s reforms. The case involving Hunh and Crazytown would mainly favor Hunh since the bill of rights is paramount. The reforms are timely and aimed to improve a situation, but their clashing with the constitution makes them untimely.
Ives, Stephen, Amanda Pollak, Peter Sagal, and Jaime Bernanke. Constitution Usa: With Peter Sagal. Boston, Mass.?: PBS Distribution, 2013.