SXSW Interactive festival director, Hugh Forrest, wasn’t kidding when he introduced President Barack Obama‘s onstage interview at this afternoon’s conference as the most exciting moment of the festival’s nearly 30-year history. “I like excuses for coming to Austin, Texas,” the president joked, mentioning that he stopped by Austin’s popular Torchy’s Tacos before hitting the fest. But of course, as leader of the quote-unquote free world, he soon segued into Serious President Mode: “We want to use technology to make civic participation easier.” In short, the president wants government to use the tools and tech WE ALREADY HAVE to make it easier for us (you and me!) to have an impact on our society.
Use technology to make the voting process easier. “We’re the only advanced democracy in the world that makes it harder for people to vote,” said President Obama. Imagine if you could vote from your phone, or with a click on your laptop? Imagine if there were a voting app nestled in between Class Pass and Lyft on your mobile device’s desktop. Chances are, you’d be more inclined to make your voice heard. As Obama himself puts it: “It’s easier to order pizza or make a trip” than to do our part in the democratic process.
Of course, there are barriers there too: not everybody has Internet at home, let alone high-speed access or a smart mobile device. Oh yeah, and that other issue that it’s up to GOVERNMENT to adopt technology for US to use and not just something that we can make happen ourselves overnight (ugh). But you know what we can do? Pressure the sh*t out of our local and federal governments to make it easier for our generation to rock the vote. It’s now or never bbs!
How do YOU wish voting were easier? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Featured photo via Mark Wilson/Getty)