This latest failure is frustrating for us to watch. Our careers have largely been about developing technology that allows more people to participate in the way we finance, support and elect candidates for public office. Together, we’ve done things that transformed elections, but we now need that work to carry into transforming government.
Government should be as participatory and as interactive with its citizens as our political process is. A digital candidate will never be able to become a digital president if he can’t bring the innovation that helped him win election into the Oval Office to help him govern.
HealthCare.gov needs to be fixed. We believe that in a few days it will be. As Mr. Obama said last week after the government shutdown ended, “There’s no good reason why we can’t govern responsibly, despite our differences, without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis.” There’s no good reason we can’t code responsibly, either. We must find a fix to the federal procurement process that spares the government’s technology projects from the self-inflicted wounds of signing big contracts whose terms repeatedly and spectacularly go unmet.