Digital engagement is important to voters
- By Aleida Fernandez
- Dec 10, 2015
Digital government services are becoming an increasingly important issue for voters on both sides of the aisle, according to the second round of findings from Adobe's Digital Government Survey.
In the national online survey, 75 percent of respondents said they were more likely to support political candidates who want to invest in digital tools, and nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would feel more positively toward government if it adopted additional online tools.
Maybe that's because 78 percent of respondents said it's frustrating to interact with government representatives in person or on the phone. More than half said they would rather sit in traffic than call the IRS.
In the initial findings released in Oct. 2015, Adobe reported that of the more than 1,000 survey respondents, 90 percent said interacting with the government online saves time and energy. Ninety-five percent of respondents also said they interact with the government online more than or as much as they did last year.
Brian Paget, technical director at Adobe Public Sector, said that for citizens, a better digital government boils down to convenience.
"Citizens expect digital convenience based on their interactions with companies -- their mobile company, their cable company or their favorite clothing store," he told FCW. "And those expectations extend to their interactions with government."
Paget said the survey results show an increasing demand for digital interactions. That is especially true for millennials, who said the creation of mobile-friendly websites and apps should be among the government's top three investment priorities.
The launches of the U.S. Digital Service at the Office of Management and Budget and 18F at the General Services Administration indicate that the Obama administration is interested in offering better functioning and more usable government websites, Paget said, adding that all signs point to higher government technology standards.
However, "the current state of digital government services shows that there is still a long way to go to meet citizens' expectations," he said.
According to the survey, security is one area in need of improvement. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they were concerned about the security of their information when they conduct government transactions online. And recent high-profile data breaches are only increasing those concerns.
For Paget and the respondents, however, the answer is relatively straightforward. "Modernizing government IT systems is the best way to ensure data is protected by the best means available," he said.
Correction:This article was updated to reflect the actual release dates of Adobe's survey results, and Brian Paget's job title.
Aleida Fernandez is an FCW editorial fellow.