- Apple CEO Tim Cook envisions a future where Americans can cast their ballots through their iPhone.
- “We do our banking on phones. We have our health data on phones,” he said. “And so why not?”
- Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose called the idea “preposterous” in a Fox News interview.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s hopes for a future where Americans can vote on their iPhones is “preposterous,” according to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.
In an interview with Fox News, LaRose said the idea is, “a classic example of one of these, kind of, elites, thinking they have a simple solution to a complex problem.”
Cook suggested the concept in a recent interview with The New York Times, published just days after Cook joined a growing coalition of business leaders who criticized a restrictive new Georgia voting law.
“I would dream of that, because I think that’s where we live,” Cook said when asked if tech would be the answer to some modern voting issues, like accusations of fraud. “We do our banking on phones. We have our health data on phones. We have more information on a phone about us than is in our houses. And so why not?”
LaRose’s major criticisms ranged from identifying the phone’s user to technological competence. “You have to have the technological competence to do it right,” he said in reference to America’s biggest smartphone maker and one of the world’s most profitable companies. “And that may exist sometime in the near future, but it is more complicated than people realize.”
In the Times interview, Cook argued that current voting systems in America are “pretty arcane,” and that allowing people to vote on their smartphone could expand the reach and accessibility of voting to more Americans.
“I think we’re probably all having the wrong conversation on voting rights. We should be talking about using technology,” he said.
Of the voting age population in the US, just shy of 67% voted in the 2020 presidential election – the highest percentage of any election in over 100 years.
“How can we make it so simple that our voting participation gets to 100? Or it gets really close to 100. Maybe we get in the 90s or something,” Cook said.
While LaRose agreed with Cook on expanding voting availability, he wasn’t convinced that iPhones are the path forward.
“Trying something untested, like voting on iPhones,” he said, could result, “in a loss of confidence” among voters.
Though voting through smartphone could expand accessibility for some voters, cybersecurity experts speaking to CBS News last November listed a number of ways it could also disenfranchise other voters: Security issues, the cost of iPhones, internet access, and voter identification were all among the main issues cited.
Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (email@example.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.