Managing the complexity of election systems is a daunting task, particularly when dealing with vast geographical areas and relying on volunteer staff with high turnover rates. Artificial intelligence offers the potential to optimize systems for efficiency and accuracy, but implementing AI in election administration requires strong safeguards, transparency, and ethical considerations. It can assist in maintaining voter databases, processing voter forms, identifying errors, and providing audit support.
However, concerns about potential errors and biases in AI must be addressed, and extensive auditing by independent third-party auditors is crucial to ensure accuracy, fairness, and security. Election officials must be transparent about the use of AI and be willing to address ethical questions and gain public trust. The key consideration in utilizing AI in election administration should always be to protect the voter, ensuring accuracy, transparency, and ethical considerations are forefront.
Ed Watal is involved in ethical AI platforms and is collaborating on a book about our AI future. He also provides strategic transformational advice to board members and C-level executives at the world’s largest financial institutions.