Richard Helppie's Common Bridge

Episode 81- Voting Apps and Voting Accessibility with Kahlil Byrd

December 14, 2020 Richard Helppie/Khalil Byrd Season 2 Episode 16
Richard Helppie's Common Bridge
Episode 81- Voting Apps and Voting Accessibility with Kahlil Byrd
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Richard Helppie's Common Bridge
Episode 81- Voting Apps and Voting Accessibility with Kahlil Byrd
Dec 14, 2020 Season 2 Episode 16
Richard Helppie/Khalil Byrd

Rich talks with Kahlil Byrd about making voting more accessible through smart phone apps, kiosks, online and in-person voting with Kahlil Byrd who is on the advisory board of Voatz, one of the leading developers of voting apps for the smart phone.

Support the show (https://RichardHelppie.com)

Show Notes Transcript

Rich talks with Kahlil Byrd about making voting more accessible through smart phone apps, kiosks, online and in-person voting with Kahlil Byrd who is on the advisory board of Voatz, one of the leading developers of voting apps for the smart phone.

Support the show (https://RichardHelppie.com)

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Richard healthy's common bridge. The fiercely nonpartisan discussion that seeks policy solutions to issues of the day. Rich is a successful entrepreneur in the technology health and finance space. He and his wife, Leslie are also philanthropists with interest in civic and artistic endeavors with a primary focus on medically and educationally underserved children.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the common bridge. We've got a very interesting topic today that is important to all democracies and particularly the United States. And that is the integrity of the vote. Frankly, we've been using voting integrity methods from several hundred years ago, even though we're here in the 21st century with so many other tools available to us. Our guest today is a man that's been called a political entrepreneur, an extensive background, colonial bird . He is the chief executive of invest America, and he's on the advisory board of votes, which is a voting technology just beginning to be employed in this past election Kahlil . Welcome to the common bridge. Thank you so much. Rich . It's nice to be with you. And this is such an important issue to talk about. And I know people are thinking about , uh , this vote, especially since we have not only the presidential election that just passed, but pretty exciting vote in Georgia, which is going to make a huge difference in what happens in Washington indeed. And we have a great deal of people in the country questioning the integrity of the vote. And we're going to dive into that, but kilo or KB, let's tell the audience of the common bridge a little bit about you. Where did you grow up and what was your schooling? And what's been your career arc today. I thought about this question a lot. You know, I, I grew up in Boston and in Washington, DC, really wonderful family, two parents who both got their PhDs, my father, a pastor, my mother, an educator, and both of them, my father is 85. Now my mother has passed on, but both of them , uh , put in my brothers and my sister and I a sense of service. We are people who saw them leading in the community in both Boston and Washington DC. And some of it was because of their smarts, but a lot of it was because of their commitment. And I think I've tried to carry that on as I've built, invest America, which advises individuals and family offices and corporations on their bipartisan spending efforts. And as I joined advisory board efforts like votes along the way, I ran a couple of very large national political organizations, one focused on electoral forum and other uneducation reform. And , uh , took a turn at Morehouse college where Martin Luther King graduated and a Harvard Kennedy school. So my wife and I now live in New York and , um, we're New York tough .

Speaker 3:

You have to be these days in New York and I love New York, but haven't been there

Speaker 2:

Since the pandemic started. You know, it's interesting. What you, what you see is , uh , well , we got right in New York was people adjusted to the reality of this. They figured it out, even in the changing situation around whether or not people could go to school or go to work, they figured out how to keep their lives going. Their economic lives, how to educate their children. And we certainly do keep our politicians to account and the choices that they make everyday new Yorkers are not shy about letting you know what they think.

Speaker 3:

I think that's the biggest understatement of every episode of the common bridge to date. Well , let's talk a little bit about the voting systems and, you know , we have this arc it's starts with eligibility. Are you old enough? And are you a citizen? Did you register to vote? Did you get on the voter rolls? Did you turn out, did you come to vote or send in your vote? Did you cast your ballot? Was that ballot counted? Was it tabulated correctly? How is the system or systems that we're using today designed to work? What's good about it, what isn't working and are there those who benefit from the issues that we have today, or, you know , perhaps who's harmed or who's harmed the most by the methods that we're using to ,

Speaker 2:

You know , when I think about voting , um, and , and I've, I've spent a career working in these issues. Um, I think about it as the hardware and the software of voting and how we decided to structure this system in the United States, the hardware things like voting machines, where you go into the polling place , um, being able to register online or not , um, and the software or the regulations that guide our particular activities. And we could go very deep into how our election system is set up, but at the top of the pyramid is the fact that the entire system is based on trust it's trust in the fact that the people who are presenting themselves for leadership deserve the vote trust in the voting systems and the election officials who actually deliver the vote and trust in the citizen who is supposed to show up. But we've also , uh, in that situation. And especially in a low trust environment, have created a challenge for ourselves. We've come to accept two things that I think should be unacceptable. One is consistent, low turnout , uh , of the vote in primaries and the other is we under finance the system , uh, all over the country. And unlike other countries, we've made the decision in the United States that the vote is a state level activity. So every state has its own rules, has its own standards, its own process. And so some States , uh , have all mail in ballots all the time, like Washington state. And that will be completely different from New Jersey or Alabama in that particular situation, in this, in the 2016 election. And in this election, we've strained, as people have examined and come to understand what's under the hood. You know, it's not just the activity of putting your ballot in the ballot box, but it's actually understanding what happens to that ballot. Once it's taken from your hands and goes into the system, people are having a lot of trouble trusting what happens to their ballot, and we've got to restore that. And we can,

Speaker 3:

I agree with you that trust is the central issue. And I would just offer that perhaps it starts even earlier is who is presenting that ballot. We've heard a lot about that in recent weeks, probably more than we really cared to hear about, but how did that individual's name get on the list of registered voters? Is that person still alive? Do they still live in that area and who submitted the vote and were they subject to any kind of coercion or bundling or other activities other than one person, one vote? And I don't know if you would agree with this KB, but it seems to me that, you know , this process of using a paper registration and a paper vote and a person has to show up physically, it really begins to dampen the enthusiasm and the participation in the system and the lower, the participation, the lower, the trust. So in recent elections, we've had accusations of interference by hostile foreign powers, miscounted votes, ineligible voters, ballot harvesting, and intimidation and voter suppression. And that goes back a long, long way are the voting methods that we use today, fueling those issues that reduce the trust. And is there a way,

Speaker 2:

Well, there's certainly a way out of there. Um, I tend to be an optimist. And one of the reasons I know there's a way out of there is that if you look at the election of 2016 versus the election of 2020 , uh, we were very concerned about foreign actors having influence in our elections in 2020 20 , uh, by the good offices of both Congress , um , the white house , uh, both the Obama white house and the Trump white house and Christopher Krebs, we actually have absolutely no situations of foreign influence in our elections, no hacking , uh, none of those things that concern people, a great deal, those concerns, however, are replaced by other things that we, that we now need to deal with. Here's the reality about the vote in the United States. We have very little evidence or , uh , opportunity for people to do even small scale fraudulent activity in the election. That's not what perhaps 40 or 50% of the eligible voters in this country believe, but it's absolutely true. There has been a tension between one issue that I think is important for us to , to figure out how to resolve. And that is on the left. People have wanted to, and have worked toward breaking down every barrier that could exist to someone casting their ballot. And that is up to, and including the idea of not having to present any kind of ID when you're voting, whereas people on the right have been fighting to make sure as they would say, every vote is counted accurately and have one of the things like voter ID to be woven into the system. As you mentioned before, I'm on the advisory board of a company called votes. And if we break it down to its essence, it's the idea that you can vote on the device in your life. That's , that's omnipresent and your smartphone in the most secure and accurate way. So what we know at the end of any voting process, the best way to audit of vote is having a piece of paper that election officials can count. That's what's happened in Georgia three times since the presidential election. What I believe very strongly is that we don't need to rely on just one system of voting, but that we need to be resilient and have redundancy in our system. And the pandemic has exposed the necessity of this at the highest level we need for people to be able to vote in person. And we need to be investing in both the hardware, that period voting systems and in the people who are Manning and winning those election sites, we need to invest heavily in male . Male is just an important thing to be able to do, especially because with our modern systems, we're able to track mail just like you can track a package at Amazon or at the postal service. And what votes is saying is that we have to have the ability to vote at home that electronic voting what's called electronic ballot marking and return. The idea that you can go to your smartphone, that smartphone can be secure that using blockchain, that we can both preserve the integrity of your vote and make sure that your identity is protected and that no one can get in the middle of that transaction. Having these three systems in place, the idea, being able to vote in person, the idea of being able to vote by mail, the idea of being able to vote at home electronically. These three systems will increase the trust in the election system, because I've always put my bet on what I think is probably the most important part of the system. And that's the people who run it. The heroes of this particular cycle are election officials and every state Democrats, Republicans and independents, some elected, some appointed who have delivered , uh , not only the most votes in American history , uh, but the safest vote that we've ever seen in this country,

Speaker 3:

I would concur with you that we need to make voting as easy and accessible to as many people. And I've said that several times during broadcasts of the common bridge, I find it insulting that a political candidate or a political party. And particularly this happens with referendums relies on low turnout to get the vote, come out the way that they want it to. And that begins to degrade the confidence in our constitutional Republic and in that ultimate power of voting. And I also think about if I was going to hack an election and try to influence it, what system would I want to have in place and which one would I most fear? And when I thought about the ease of someone going to a polling place and misidentifying themselves, or going multiple times, versus someone being able to collect ballots at a home or ballot applications. And we had a lot of incidents of that during the course of States, trying to scramble, to react to a pandemic, or I think about all the things that we do from our home, from the local coffee shop, from our offices, we do very intimate transactions relative to our finance, to our investing, to our personal relationships. And we do that without fear that they're going to be compromised. So when I think about what a 21st century voting system might look like to your point, we have now your smartphone, we have facial recognition and we have blockchain to protect that transaction all the way through. It would be very, very difficult to have an ineligible voter in the system. It would be virtually impossible with the combination of those technologies, to have a person voting that shouldn't be, and then the checks and balances on the tabulation. So your involvement with volts , that's V O T Z, and we'll put some of that information [email protected] . Could you just educate our listeners to the common bridge, knowing that of them are not deep technology people, how would that are from eligibility to registration to turn out, to voting, to counting and tabulating change. And indeed, how has it changed in the places that's been tested with votes?

Speaker 2:

Look, I'm very proud to be an advisory board member of votes, and I'm proud of the story. You have two Indian American founders, Nimit Sawhney and summer Sawhney who created a technology some years ago and were identified at South by Southwest as doing something that could be a huge innovation in the voting space over the last five or six years, votes has done more than 75 elections. None of those elections have been hacked. They have all been either government, election or private elections of increasing size and scope the way that you create a resilient voting process, because you, you can't create these things in the lab. You have to do them on under live fire is you do pilots around the country. So votes has been participating in a very rigorous audited pilot process, which resulted this year in the first presidential election votes being cast in the 2020 election. This is a huge leap. And as we know, and your listeners should know there are critics of electronic voting, but we say to them , uh, who criticize and say that we should never do electronic voting as a part of our , our suite of voting in this country is that we want their participation in improving these systems. We believe what you've stated rich people are using these technologies in every part of their lives. And even as they're using these technologies, the technologies security safety ability to be deployed is increasing on every level. So this group of 30 people who work at votes venture backed by Jonathan Johnson and the DJ vengeance . Jonathan is the CEO of overstock are believers in a future of voting that allows anyone to vote anywhere safely and securely from their personal device. At the beginning of this conversation, we know that there are groups that are just being excluded from the voting process every year under the current situation, disabled voters, who aren't able to make it to the polls and who needs support to do things like absentee or male and balance , um, voters in rural communities, where there are where the access to polling places are , uh, difficult think of voting in a place like Alaska, military voters, and those who are serving in the state department or intelligence communities overseas, who instead of having a private boat, have to do things like fax their vote back to an election jurisdiction instead of having a safe way to do it. So votes has been on the forefront of making sure that those groups have access to the vote. Now we're moving into the next phase and the pandemic, and people's concerns about getting sick. They don't want to have to choose between casting their votes and jeopardizing their health.

Speaker 3:

You make a lot of really good points there. And if you think about some elections have pivoted on the fact that there was a snow storm and people couldn't get to the polls by way of example, we've had hurricanes come up during this time. And what I'd like to perhaps shut a little bit of light on is blockchain. Blockchain is the underlying technology for cryptocurrency or Bitcoin. There are billions of dollars worth of transactions that occur using blockchain, both in the crypto world and in the banking system. And it is impervious to hacking based on the way that the technology is encrypted. And I believe KB , what you're talking about is if I'm, let's say a voter in rural Minnesota, and I want to cast my vote, I can go to my phone. I can register using blockchain. So it knows that I am now a registered voter and I can cast my ballot. And my ballot is going to be transmitted without fear of being compromised. And perhaps rather than a 17th century verification of who I am, I E my signature, it may take my photograph. And now we know that this is the person that casts the vote. Is that kind of where we're leading with this .

Speaker 2:

The technology will look and almost every state election officials have registered voters online using encrypted systems. And there's two parts of the vote that I think it's important to emphasize. One is the fact that when rich registers to vote, he actually is who he says he is. And when you receive your ballot, the ballot is landing in the right place with the right person. But then there's the other part of it. Once rich cast his vote, the people who count those votes should not know what Rich's preferences or desires are. The privacy and integrity of the vote is keenly important. And by using some of the security message that you talked about biometrics, which don't allow someone who isn't using your phone to actually compromise it , encryption and security on the phone itself, which makes sure that the information can't be hacked or harvested by outside sources, you being able to use something like the votes app, to be able to say what your intentions are in terms of who you want to be, president who you want to be your school board member, or on those referendums that are in your state, what your preferences are on those issues, submitting that ballot electronically the blockchain and other technologies splitting that particular ballot apart, putting it in different places. So no one source, it can't be found in one place and manipulated being re gathered together. And it ending up as a paper ballot at the election system of your state. That activity has been replicated and done and vote after vote, after vote by votes and other companies in the space, it is becoming increasingly safe as we go forward. And I think what the company is looking for in terms of the academic community and other computer scientists is come along and collaborate to make these systems better. We're not talking about something that isn't happening when we actually conduct votes around the country. And we do after action polling, you're getting levels of 90 plus percent levels of satisfaction. You're having people vote who wouldn't have voted before. So you're increasing the number of people who are voting and you have election officials to go to the point you made earlier that if they have a forest fire or a hurricane or a snow storm on election day or election week, they increase the probability of being able to make sure that every voter has the opportunity to cast a ballot . These things are just very important with regards to our ability to hold the integrity of our election system and make sure that every voter in the United States has the opportunity to have their voice heard. The only last thing I would say rich is the United States sets the tone for the rest of the world in terms of democracy and voting. That's why this moment is so dismaying to people. We are the shining light, that bright city on the Hill that people look to in terms of not only how to organize a democracy and have successful transitions, peaceful transitions of power, but actually how to make sure that people's votes are counted. We haven't gotten it perfect in this country over time. And over time more groups have had access. We feel like this is the last mile, making sure that every person can vote wherever they are in a safe and secure way.

Speaker 3:

The reason that I started this podcast was because my view that both political parties, the two major political parties had developed as their core competency attacking the other one and not having to actually work on policy and also a media environment that sensationalized things did not actually do any kind of factual reporting and breaking down and reporting of issues and positions. And I believe that the technology is moving in the , to the 21st century in conducting votes can begin to cure that here's my view. And you could comment on this, if you would, please. First of all, getting 90% plus of people to vote would mean that the political parties, the major ones and all the others would have to be responsive. They could not rely on people not participating in the system. It would also mean that there would be a imperative for an informed electorate and that when people realize I have a vote, they're going to hopefully look for information about what the differences might be in candidate, a candidate B proposal, one proposal two. And so I think this could become the catalyst. And then to your point about us being the leader in the world, we should be able to conduct an election on a Sunday, have the results compiled, and Monday morning you wake up and the results are there. We have the technology in place to do that. So let me ask you a KB , two questions. Do you share that view or , and if not, where have I got it wrong? And what would some of the negatives or the risks or the downsides be of moving to this twenty-first century method

Speaker 2:

Voting? Well, I'll take that last question first. I do think that you are seeing the issue correctly. Look after the 2000 election, which was incredibly painful and controversial for people , um, the hanging CHADS and other things. What we did was something very smart. We made significant investments in our election system. We gathered groups of Republicans and Democrats to examine the issue. And for the next 10 or 15 years, the country benefited from the fact that we were very thoughtful in how we invested in our election systems that now, you know, is we're sort of 15, 20 years out from the last vestiges of those things. So what we do in this country now is we invest in elections in a piecemeal way. We have a huge opportunity right now to use this challenging moment where we need for the American people to trust the voting system, Republicans, Democrats, supporters of the former president, the supporters of the new president. We need to have people support the integrity of our election system. And we will do that by publicly analyzing what we could do better and making the proper in both the hardware, election machines, voting machines, expanding of electronic voting through systems like votes and the software, making sure that the regulations are in place. Making sure we don't have things like voter suppression, being the norm in this country, making sure that every man and woman who wants to vote has the opportunity to do so, if we don't make that decision right now, the system will continue to be trapped in the hands of political consultants who really do know how to win based on the fewest number of voters coming out as a political consultant myself. I know that my tribe of people are very focused on getting the next person out, not the most people out. And that's just habit. It's a habit that's been developed over 50 years of campaign practice, but here's where we have to be very heartened, even though we under invested and the vote as we got toward election day, every election official in the country in all 50 States, made the decision and were able to make a, a, an agreement with their governor and their legislature to make sure they had enough money and resources to be able to produce the safe vote this time as we go into the 2022 and 2024 cycle, we shouldn't make these folks deliver perfect without the proper resources. So my call to action is that we analyze this election greatly. We give comfort to those people who think there are challenges to it. We listen, and then we make the proper investments to make sure that we, we have resiliency in our system. We have redundant systems around voting in person mail and increased electronic voting through systems like votes . Um, and that we're moving into the 2022 and 2024 cycle using this as a great example of how bipartisan change can still happen in this country.

Speaker 3:

When we talk about electronic voting, I think people need to understand that there is a distinction between a web type of , uh , approach , uh, which is hackable , uh, or something that is on a device. I believe from the reports that I've read that when volts was used in this most recent presidential election in three locations, in two States, that it worked very well. And if that's the case, why not expand it and where might be the next best places to take that technology as an option for people.

Speaker 2:

So the, the answers of , uh, the last question is we should take the, the technology everywhere. We should use it for soldiers and sailors or overseas. We should use it for disabled communities. People who can't leave their homes or who need support and voting. But as we saw, we, we should have it as an option for people , uh, in every way they possibly can. Um, and the only exception that I take to what you said is votes work perfectly in every election that it was deployed in this year. The challenge of web based voting is that it's very difficult. If not impossible, to secure a browser, it just is, there are certain things that election officials can do through the website, safe to check your voter registration status. It's safe to download your absentee ballot. Um, online through a browser, it's safe to download a voter registration card because there are, there are different ways to check and make sure that that information is accurate by the time we get to the vote. But when you're talking about the actual delivering of a ballot, marking it and delivering it back to election official for counting, that needs to be much safer. And what we believe is that app based voting the security of the smartphone, the biometrics encryption, the use of blockchain allow for that particular transaction of, we know that this is rich, who is casting his vote, but by the time it's counted, there's no way to know that that is actually Rich's ballot or how he voted. No election officials should know how you voted. They should know whether you voted. And we think that electronic ballot marking and return and systems like votes allow for this extra level of security. We don't want it to replace what we have. I like to walk into my election polling place. I did it this November stood in line with everyone else was very proud of people, but I have voted absentee. So I liked the idea of having a mail option. And I think that in every particular case, as a person who wants the world opens back up, we'll be traveling a whole lot since I try to vote in every possible election that I humanly can. I want the opportunity to be able to vote electronically. So we want election officials over the next several years to have opportunities to pilot these systems, to give their feedback about how to make them better and to expand them and scale them because we think they're , they're an important part of the election mix.

Speaker 3:

Well-developed absentees system works really well in terms of ballot tracking and ballot integrity and secrecy and such. You've described some great policies and I scratch my head and say, now who might oppose them and why would they do it?

Speaker 2:

Look, I think that the image of the town meeting and being able to Mark a piece of paper and put that in a box that everybody can see is a , is a wonderful and romantic way of thinking about voting. And all of us have been through that in our clubs and other things where we have voted that way, but we're a country with more than 200 million registered voters. And we can't be romantic about how we vote, especially with regards to the different challenges. And we probably in this election cycle have seen all of them from low levels of trust in institutions, which created huge challenges for election officials under financing, our elections, this time two hurricanes, forest fires, and the pandemic, making it difficult for people to get to the voting places. All of these things came together in a perfect storm . It would be foolish of us to think that we shouldn't prepare for either acts of God or pandemics or other things, to be a part of what we have to do. Here's where we should be proud, just like in the civil war. This country voted in a presidential election and had someone like Abraham Lincoln as he was going to his second election insistent that we had a vote because it was important for the American people. We produced an election this time with dependent a global pandemic, which is creating a huge amount of pain for people all over the country. But we produced that vote and more people voted this time than I've ever voted in American history, more than 160 million votes. That is something to be proud of, but we've got to get better. We've got to use technology to make sure we can do this as scale every time.

Speaker 3:

Well, I think you brought up a Grilly good point about, you know, the town hall or town square meeting and putting the ballot in the box and the romantic nature of that. And we move now to the pandemic and people aren't out and about in the town squares. They're not interacting informally with people. In fact, they're not even seeing their families. And so we've got the spectrum now of big tech, which played a role in the past two presidential elections. And what are your thoughts on this and the manipulation or leverage of big tech and what do we need to expect from those big tech platforms,

Speaker 2:

People and how they're consuming media, which is probably one of the biggest challenges we have is that we don't have a generalized understanding of what the facts are and what the social media platforms have to deal with and have been working to deal with. And we're very successful at is making sure that they are not used as an information source that hardens the divisions, my feed shouldn't be something that only allows me to see things that I want to see or facts that I want to believe are true. They can allow themselves to be used in that way. I think the challenges and the conversation about privacy, about biased algorithms and about content being paid for, which is used to manipulate how people are thinking about this country, their leadership institution. I think that those platforms are improving, but we still have a long way to go. And we need to make sure that in every election we get better at it, but simple innovations like the advertising moratoriums and or fact checking that you see on these platforms, I think were very successful. Some people didn't agree with those choices all the time, but I think they made us better, not worse. And I think we can go much further

Speaker 3:

The documentary called social dilemma. I have, I think everyone needs to see that, to understand that they are getting fed a certain stream. And I love your nomenclature. It's hardening the division and you have people othering and saying, I can't believe that those people think that way they must be subhuman in some respects because they're being reinforced on that particular point of view. And I think this comes back to that trust matter that you spoke about at the beginning, I have a lot of work in medical information, medical records, and one of the things along the lines that we discovered some years ago that next to someone's own physician, one of the most trusted people was the anchor on the local news. And I don't know if that still holds true, but I think some of the journalism that we're now seeing hyper-local journalism is high trust because people know who that reporter is. We had a fellow on an episode of go and the TiVo Gonzalez , who is got a rising podcast on the central coast of California and he is doing hyperlocal reporting. So my sense of optimism is if we get reporting more down at the grassroots where people say, you know, I know nut T-ball or I know rich, and therefore we're going to listen. We may not like everything they say, but at least we trust that we're getting a set of facts. And in fact, KB , my brand promise is that every episode I hope that everyone finds something to not like this one may be a little difficult. I don't know if we've said anything that controversy will yet, but as we wrap up here, what didn't we cover that perhaps we should have?

Speaker 2:

Look, I think that the, the thing that's a challenge, our sensibility about our politics right now is the fact that in 2016, on how Senate and the presidential race in this country, we spent about $7 billion. And this is with a robust community of reformers who believe that we should figure out how to take money and its influence out of politics. In 2020, we are cresting toward $15 billion spent on the house, Senate and presidential race. We've got to reevaluate how we finance elections in this country. What we think is inbounds . Some people believe that your ability to spend money as a first amendment, right? And that it shouldn't be abridged under any situation in my own personal history have leaned toward that view of the world. But I can't get around the fact that the more money is being spent in elections right now, the less people trust, both the outcome and the people who are actually putting themselves up for office public servants who are running. So that's something we need to examine. I think there are several other issues around fixing our election system that we need to look at gerrymandering reform things, things like bipartisan commissions, instead of legislatures deciding the actual borders of congressional districts. For example, in States, things like rank choice, voting, different methodologies of voting, which open up both the opportunity for more candidates to run and also people to have more choice with regards to the ballot box. And I think we need to , to continue the efforts that are going along to make sure that regular people, black, white, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Asian tribes, men and women, should be able to have the opportunity to present themselves, to run for office and have a good shot at it. We shouldn't trap that system in a situation where the only people who are eligible to run are people with money and connections at the beginning. What I'm looking forward to as we go into this next phase are people who are making the decision to go into public service, being honored, as opposed to being vilified for the decision that they're making to help the country . So I'm hoping and hopeful about this next phase, but I hope we don't fumble the ball and continue with the, just conversation about this as opposed to making significant investments in our election system.

Speaker 3:

Well, as a closing thought, I would tell you, I concur with that. And also when I have guests like you on my sense of optimism about the future is Boyd because we can face these issues. Head on our political parties may not be willing to do that because they see an advantage. But I do believe that a highly participatory electorate using the best technologies that we have so that there is a trust factor. And to everything that you've mentioned, I will also pile on and say that we are electing people to do a job. I expect anyone that's achieved anything to have made mistakes in their life. Henry Ford went bankrupt many times by way of example, people have had indiscretions in their personal lives. I don't think that makes them ineligible. I think it makes them human. And that's where we need to get off of the sensationalizing. There was a day and a time when somebody may have been a accomplished military leader or an accomplished academic or accomplished business person or an accomplished philosopher. And we would turn to them and say, we would like you to be our leader. And I think we're in a different era today, where there are people that have chosen public service. And I think most of them are. They're trying to do an honest job, but they're thwarted by a system and by the incentives that are there. But I think there's an opportunity to overcome it with the technologies that we have available today. [inaudible] any closing thought that you might have as we wrap up this edition of the common bridge, I'm just grateful that we have the opportunity to rich to talk about this subject. I hope that behind it there's action on expanding people's ability to vote using new and modern technologies. And I look forward to continuing this conversation with you and your listeners. I look forward to that as well. We've been talking to Khalil bird today about voting, voting technology and the future of the constitutional Republic that we enjoy here in the United States. This is rich, healthy signing off today on the common bird

Speaker 4:

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