While the state of Georgia is looking to make voting more secure, Apple CEO Tim Cook believes Americans should be able to vote directly from their smartphones.
Georgia Senate Bill 202, signed on March 31st, 2021 by Gov. Brian Kemp requires voters to show a valid state ID at the polls. If voting absentee, the voter must include an ID card number, date of birth and the last four digits of a social security number or similarly pre-approved form of identification on the outside of the ballot.
The left claims the new bill is restrictive and will make voting more difficult for minorities in the state. Georgia Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an administrative order last Tuesday in response to the signing of Senate Bill 202 noting that while mail-in ballots lead to “historical results,” the allegations of fraud in the state of Georgia were “unsubstantiated” and “unsuccessfully challenged in the courts.”
“The voting restrictions of SB 202 will disproportionately impact Atlanta residents—particularly in communities of color and other minority groups,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement. “This administrative order is designed to do what those in the majority of the state legislature did not — expand access to our right to vote.”
Apple’s Cook wants Americans to have the ability to vote directly from smartphones, calling the current U.S. voting system as “arcane.” In the 2020 election however, the use of technology raised major concerns. With no universal voting standards, states used different measures to cast and tally ballots on election night.
“I think we’re probably all having the wrong conversation on voting rights. We should be talking about using technology,” Cook said.
“The right to vote is fundamental in a democracy. American history is the story of expanding the right to vote to all citizens, and Black people, in particular, have had to march, struggle and even give their lives for more than a century to defend that right,” Cook said in a recent statement made to Axios.
“Apple believes that, thanks in part to the power of technology, it ought to be easier than ever for every eligible citizen to exercise their right to vote,” Cook added.
Just a month before the November 2020 election NBC ran a piece titled, “Why elections aren’t happening on our smartphones” in which law professor and computer scientist at Georgetown University, Matt Blaze stated: “The entire banking industry is based on the premise that if fraud occurs, it can be reversed…that’s not true with an election. If the wrong person wins an election and takes office, there is essentially nothing you can do about it if you discover six months down the line the wrong person was sworn in.”
Blaze also explained a would-be attacker wouldn’t be going after an individual vote, but rather compromising the entire system by tampering or exploiting online protocol for the app itself. Bottom line? Voting online is not secure, and won’t be any time soon. We saw that with the 2020 presidential election, and questions arose nationwide -especially in Georgia- after several voting systems were found to have been connected to the internet while votes were being cast on election night.
This same article also mentions an app called Voatz “having been used in some states for small numbers of people to vote.”
Cook has also said he seeks to get voter participation as close to 100% as possible by using smartphones.
“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.
What’s not being discussed with Cook’s dream of casting ballots with the tap of the screen is the disenfranchising of votes. Exactly how would this system verify identification? And what about cost? It’s much cheaper to obtain a state ID and show up to the polls than it is to purchase a new iPhone, or to pay for monthly internet access.
Cook joins other CEOs in railing against the new bill including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, and Delta CEO Ed Basitan, and Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey.
“I need to make it crystal clear that the final [Georgia] bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values,” Bastian said.
Coca-Cola’s Quincey told CNBC, “Let me get crystal clear and unequivocal. This legislation is unacceptable.”
While Cook wants to have control over our voting processes, he can’t be bothered to send a witness to testify in the upcoming antitrust hearing. The scheduled hearing is to discuss Google and Apple’s anticompetitive behavior. These hearings normally include Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Amazon.
According to Business Insider, “Both companies take a 30% cut from in-app purchases, according to their policies. Developers have long taken issue with the practice since they claim that the 30% fee gives Apple an unfair advantage in the market, as its own apps are exempt from paying the fee.”
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Arizona and Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar recently wrote a letter to Apple’s Cook that read:
“Dear Mr. Cook:
We write regarding Apple Inc.’s refusal to provide a witness to testify in a timely manner before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights at a hearing to examine the competition issues raised by app stores.
More than half of internet traffic comes through mobile phones, whose users rely on mobile applications to access online content and services—and the vast majority of mobile apps are downloaded from either Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. Apple’s power over the cost, distribution, and availability of mobile applications on the Apple devices used by millions of consumers raises serious competition issues that are of interest to the Subcommittee, consumers, and app developers. A full and fair examination of these issues before the Subcommittee requires Apple’s participation.
Apple has been aware for weeks that the Subcommittee was planning a hearing on this topic and was engaged in discussions with our staff regarding who would testify on Apple’s behalf. Yet a little more than two weeks [16 days] before the planned hearing, Apple abruptly declared that it would not provide any witness to testify at a hearing in April.
Earlier this year, Apple provided witnesses to testify before the North Dakota Senate and the Arizona House of Representatives to oppose state bills that would regulate the very same conduct that the Subcommittee intends to explore. You testified before the House Antitrust Subcommittee regarding these same issues last year. And on the exact day Apple informed the Subcommittee that it would not provide a witness for an April hearing, the New York Times released a podcast interview in which you discuss competition issues relating to Apple’s App Store, including Apple’s pending litigation with Epic Games.“
“Finally, your staff has noted ongoing litigation as the reason for not providing a witness this month. Many other representatives of companies, both inside and outside of the technology sector, have testified before Congress in similar circumstances, and your staff was aware of the ongoing litigation when they were initially working with us to provide a witness. Apple’s sudden change in course to refuse to provide a witness to testify before the Subcommittee on app store competition issues in April, when the company is clearly willing to discuss them in other public forums, is unacceptable.
We strongly urge Apple to reconsider its position and to provide a witness to testify before the Subcommittee in a timely manner.
Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.”
A spokesperson for Klobuchar said Google has agreed to testify at the subcommittee hearing, according to Reuters.
You’ll remember that earlier this year the alternative social media platform Parler was removed from Google, Amazon and Apple. When asked about this decision, Cook told Fox News’ Chris Wallace: We looked at the incitement to violence that was on there. We don’t consider that free speech and incitement to violence has an intersection.”
Cook told Wallace that if Parler had agreed to “play by the rules” and moderate users’ speech on the platform, Parler would be welcomed back to Apple. “We’ve only suspended them,” Cook stated. “If they get their moderation together they would be back on there.”
Cook said he believes Apple’s mission should be to “solve some of the world’s biggest problems,” and that doesn’t stop at moderating free speech. He wants control over elections and your individual votes.
This is a technocratic take over of all of the rights and freedoms Americans now have. While Big Tech leaders continue to deny any bias against conservative voices and conservative values, their actions are to the contrary.
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