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Canada Considering Online Voting In Elections 324

Posted by timothy
from the no-more-polls-here-in-canada-south dept.
ehud42 writes "Slashdot readers generally agree that voting machines such as those from Diebold are a bad idea. Well, what about online voting? That is what the Vancouver Sun is reporting. Given that voter turnout in our most recent election was the worst on record, Elections Canada is kicking around the idea of allowing voters to register online, update registration information online, and maybe even vote online."
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Canada Considering Online Voting In Elections

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  • by Jeian (409916) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:59PM (#28500313)

    ...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      .... security issues aside, I don't see how you could prevent vote buying once you take away the confidentiality of a person's vote.

    • Jeian said it all.
    • Now the voters will actually represent what the public really thinks. Actually going and voting is so insecure any hack can show up and say he is somebody else. The 80 yr old guy that does the "security" check is a joke. Much less secure than say... online banking. If I showed up at a bank and got a similar "security" check I would already have cleaned out all your accounts. It is going to encourage Canadians out in the boons and young folks to vote. F U C K Y E S

      We need a system in place to boot governmen

      • Obviously you have never actually dealt with the bank's consumer facing 'security' measures. It's perfectly possible to go in and clear out other people's accounts, simply by claiming you're them.

        The entire consumer-facing security system of banks is generally smoke and mirrors.

      • by Virak (897071)

        Insecure voting isn't being able to change a vote or two and be a slight annoyance. It's being able to change tens or hundreds of thousands or more and actually affect the results. And doing that in real life requires a lot more resources and it's a lot harder to avoid getting noticed doing it.

        We need a system in place to boot governments that are not representing the public (like the one we currently have) with regards to policy, quickly and efficiently.

        Perhaps, but this isn't it.

        • by DirtyCanuck (1529753) on Sunday June 28, 2009 @12:11AM (#28500855)

          Canadians hand count all votes before the nights end. We have preserved one of the cleanest examples of democratic election on the planet.

          Sorry to break the news to everybody but online voting in one form or another is the future.

          So logically Canada would be the perfect country to adopt online voting because we are small (population) and have done so well in the past. What better a voting system to do comparison to then the Canadian. If we can't pull it off well then.......

          • by Virak (897071) on Sunday June 28, 2009 @12:28AM (#28500955) Homepage

            I'm quite Canadian myself, which is why I'm especially worried about this. You seem to be failing to grasp the simple fact online voting is fundamentally different from the current system, and has serious problems that are (at best) hard to fix, and no amount of shouting "CANADA FUCK YEAH" is going to make them go away.

            • "CANADA FUCK YEAH" are you quoting yourself? Certainly not me.

              Some people whether disabled or simply out "in the boons" have a hard time voting.
              To put into perspective:
              We have 33,696,000 million people and 9,984,670 km2 of land. How can it be expected by everybody to adhere to the current voting format when it only accommodates people who live in a short distance of voting stations (cities) which is not representative with regards to the rest of the population.

              I think some people are worried what would happ

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Virak (897071)

                I may not be quoting you, but I'm certainly paraphrasing you. You're going on and on about how awesome and perfect Canada is and how there's no way such an incredible country could have even the slightest trouble with this in every post of yours and completely ignoring both the potential and inevitable problems of online voting.

                I can only hope that if they go through with this, whatever solution they come up with is more effective than just mindless nationalism.

                • I hope no "mindless" nationalists light off fireworks at your nursing home this Wednesday. I forgot that praising working democracy was nationalism? In fact I suggested how to make it better: Make voting available to all Canadians.

              • How can it be expected by everybody to adhere to the current voting format when it only accommodates people who live in a short distance of voting stations (cities) which is not representative with regards to the rest of the population.

                80% Of Canada's population is urban. So city oriented is pretty representative. Most of those who aren't urban probably live in small towns as well.

                And if Canada's voting system is so awesome, why can't they do what India does and make sure there's a voting booth available even if only one person lives in the area?

              • by TarrVetus (597895)

                I think some people are worried what would happen if EVERY voice was heard.

                I think that's putting words in people's mouths in place of logically retorting to the points of dissenting arguments. Just because they don't think online voting is a good idea doesn't mean they're pro-oppression--it just means they don't agree.

    • by reporter (666905) on Sunday June 28, 2009 @12:36AM (#28501011) Homepage
      The article by the "Vancouver Sun" does not mention anything about a paper trail. Yet, a paper trail is vital to ensuring that the votes can be counted in a re-count if someone disputes the count generated by an electronic voting machine.

      The silliness of the electronic voting machine -- and, also, online voting -- is that these contraptions are intended to (1) protect a voter from his own stupidity and (2) protect a voter from his own laziness. Frankly, why should we care if a voter is too stupid or too lazy to vote?

      This entire electronic voting craze began after some voters in Florida could not follow simple instructions (on the voting ballot) in the American presidential election of 2000. Because they lacked the intelligence to follow simple instructions, they created ballots that were ambiguous.

      These instructions are not rocket science. They are written so that a child in 8th grade can understand them. If a voter lacks even the intelligence to follow simple instructions, he likely lacks the intelligence to comprehend foreign policy and domestic policy. The loss of his vote is not a loss to democracy. An uninformed vote by an idiot would actually damage our democracy.

      The other issue is the lazy voter. This online voting proposal mentioned by the "Vancouver Sun" is supposed to cater to him. Well, if a voter is too lazy to vote, then he is likely too lazy to make an effort to understand foreign policy and domestic policy. The loss of his vote is not a loss to democracy.

      The bottom line is that paper ballots work just fine. We should continue to use them. Forget the electronic voting machines and online voting. They are far less safe and less reliable than mere paper ballots.

      Let's keep the paper ballots.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I think this could work, as long as they make it very VERY secure and accurate.

    On the other hand, If you're too lazy to get off your butt and vote, I wouldn't mind it if your voice wasn't heard in my country. The problem isn't that its too hard to vote, its that people need to realize how important it is that they vote.

    • by Skapare (16644)

      Is there any track record of the government making anything having to do with the internet secure short of keeping everyone out?

      • by QuoteMstr (55051)

        Is there any track record of the anyone making anything having to do with the internet secure short of keeping everyone out? I don't see any reason to suspect government is necessarily worse than everyone at security.

        This "government is bad at everything" meme has to die.

    • by eltaco (1311561)

      heh!

      let me tell you about europe, specifically germany.
      we don't have the idiotic two party system of the states or britain. hell, jump the 5% and you're in.

      we all know politicians lie when they open their mouths. but nowadays, it seems, they aren't even trying to appear in the light of being the representatives of the people. more bs followed by even more bs. kill civil rights, kill social benefits, 'let the rich eat em all!'.

      couple weeks back we had the european election here in germany. I really wanted to

  • by V50 (248015) * on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:02PM (#28500343) Journal

    DO NOT WANT

    • by Looce (1062620) * on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:33PM (#28500565) Journal

      Do not want.

      Diebold concerns aside, online voting can be so severely tampered with that it's not even funny.

      Concerns of forced voting come first to mind, i.e. someone coercing you into voting a certain way. But a lot of things can go wrong, specific to computer networking and technology itself:
      * A Trojan horse can be planted on a system and activated soon after the voting period starts, calling the election servers and registering a vote on the owner's behalf. This would be subject to reverse-engineering the election process as it goes through on a real host with Wireshark, but feasible with good auto-update code on the Trojan horse.
      * An intermediary host meddling with data. This can be a router, WiFi hotspot with hacked firmware, or even an ISP. Mitigated with the use of HTTPS, but users must not bypass warnings of bad certificates!
      * (If the election is validated by name) Brute-forcing names and hoping to hit a Canadian citizen's name.
      * (If the election is validated by GeoIP) Using a Canadian host as a proxy.
      * Other countries' nationals could rig the election (see the comment below about 4chan rigging the election [slashdot.org]) if validation is not performed or performed incorrectly.

      So, yeah. It might work. But it has to be foolproof as much as possible. Maybe send each citizen a card with an online access code? But the non-technological means of tampering with a person's vote will still apply, i.e. coercing them by one way or another, or even the lure of financial gain: "here, pay you 20 bucks to vote for Mr. X"... which is a way for the system to become corrupted.

      So again: Do not want.

      • Maybe send each citizen a card with an online access code? But the non-technological means of tampering with a person's vote will still apply, i.e. coercing them by one way or another, or even the lure of financial gain: "here, pay you 20 bucks to vote for Mr. X"... which is a way for the system to become corrupted.

        So again: Do not want.

        Posting out voting codes would break the secret ballot, as codes are linked to people (even if promises were made to destroy the link data after the poll).

        But this problem could be avoided by having people choose their own voting code card from thousands displayed on tables when they attend a polling station for their next regular vote. Then there's no way to connect a code to a person.

        But as you pointed out, the problem of making it easy to sell your vote remains, disenfranchising the poor. But the pr

        • by vux984 (928602) on Sunday June 28, 2009 @01:10AM (#28501225)

          But the problem may be manageable in countries that are sufficiently rich and have sufficiently strong democratic traditions.

          I disagree. In practice the elections in Canada would not really be adversely affected by online voting provided reasonable precautions were in place now. But sooner or later we'll have our own Ahmadinejad ... or Bush v Gore ... and it'll explode in our faces.

          Voting and elections in general are the fundamental expression of democracy, they should always be run low-tech, readily available to the public for scrutiny by the parties, and manual recount.

          Remember, an election is essentially a peaceful overthrowing of the government, and the installation of a replacement. The governments role in the process should really be to facilitate the public conducting the election as at arms length as is practical.

      • by QuoteMstr (55051)

        Mitigated with the use of HTTPS, but users must not bypass warnings of bad certificates!

        On a somewhat related note, does anyone else think users should be trained to disregard padlock icons in web pages pages and pay attention only to browser UI?

        Often, I'll see a bank with an unencrypted homepage that has a login box. Submitting the form goes to an SSL-encrypted page, but the user has no way of knowing that. For all he knows, he could be looking at a phishing site. (And before you tell him to look at the UR

    • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:45PM (#28500663)

      DO NOT WANT

      And as a Canadian let me say that the reason that "voter turnout in our most recent election was the worst on record" was because THE CANDIDATES SUCKED. I almost voted for the Communist just because I didn't know him and therefore didn't want to punch him in the face.

      And then there's the fact that you have to vote for the party and not the person, so if I hate Harper but like the local Conservative I'm screwed. So, to cast a vote I feel good about, both the local guy and the party leader have to be good. Two good politicians? This never happens.

      Online voting won't fix a bunch of broken parties, it'll just make tech-savvy people ignore online voting just like they ignore real voting. Let's face it, it's damn easy to vote. If you can be arsed to get to the polling site, that's the hardest part. After that it's having your name checked off and marking an X. If you catch it outside the rush it's faster than popping over to the 7-11 for a Big Gulp. Seriously, if people are too lazy or indifferent for that, then anything with a more complex authentication strategy than an online "BRING BACK CANCELLED SHOW X!" petition is going to be too much work too.

      • Just asking... How about a "None of the above" vote.. That can win.

        If none of the above wins - the current office holder stays but a new vote is taken with new candidates. The process continues until someone is voted in.

        Oh and online voting in America - DO NOT WANT EITHER.

      • by clarkkent09 (1104833) * on Sunday June 28, 2009 @01:16AM (#28501259)
        Except that not voting is not a protest against having bad candidates, not voting is simply saying you guys (i.e the rest of the electorate) go ahead and pick someone, I'll go with whoever you pick. There must have been one that is at least slightly less bad than the others, and that's the one you should be voting for.

        That does assume that you at least have a good idea who the candidates are and what policies they represent. I'd be in favor of making voting harder, such as you have to write in a name of the candidate you are voting for or something like that, and write an essay on why you are voting for them (just kidding about the essay...). If you can't write your candidate's name then you're not fit to vote. What purpose is served by people voting by checking a random box cause they have no clue about any of the candidates anyway and they are just voting because you are "supposed to", or maybe voting for one whose name seems a bit more familiar than the others. I bet a lot more people do than than we think, or dare admit.

        In any case, I do agree with your point that making voting slightly easier will not make much difference and its not worth the risk. It won't be that much easier anyway, you still have to register online and deal with remembering passwords and dozen authentication questions and all that.
  • All your ballot are belong to us!

  • by basementman (1475159) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:04PM (#28500359) Homepage
    4chan would rig it and have 7 billion people write in pedobear. Then they would convince a member to have his name legally registered as such and get plastic surgery to become a bear. Child porn, warez, and weird porn would be not only legalized, but taught in school and subsidized. Sad part is I think my oh so humorous prediction would be fairly accurate.
  • by grasshoppa (657393)

    The kicker of all this electronic voting is that is easy. It really is, it's a damn simple problem to solve. Even online voting.

    It's fucked up constantly by the processes we all abhor, and there should be a lesson in there for us. But electronic voting is actually a very simple problem to solve.

    • It's so easy lots of people will be voting often ... all day long. In the mean time lots of other people won't have any idea how to get around the "You have already voted" pop-up they get on their first try.

    • by MrMista_B (891430)

      Alright, genius, if it's so simple for you, then how exactly do you solve the problem of fraud?

      • Whoa there buddy; I meant it's easy to reimplement our current voting practices electronically.

        I didn't say I'd solve all the problems inherent in the current system. BUT, it could be done. Hell, we've already done it. Two factor authentication anyone?

        • by AnyoneEB (574727)

          The main problem with online voting is the same as the problem with any other type of absentee ballot [wikipedia.org]: fraud and intimidation [wikipedia.org] which a secret ballot [wikipedia.org] is intended to reduce. That said, Oregon [wikipedia.org] does do all absentee. Perhaps the issues with a non-secret ballot are overblown. In a previous thread on this topic, another Slashdotter suggested allowing people to change their vote up until the last minute in order to make intimidation more difficult.

          Secrecy once the vote has been entered is another, probably easier, p

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by patro (104336)

      The kicker of all this electronic voting is that is easy. It really is, it's a damn simple problem to solve. Even online voting.

      It's fucked up constantly by the processes we all abhor, and there should be a lesson in there for us. But electronic voting is actually a very simple problem to solve.

      Technically maybe. But voter coercion is a hard problem. You can't check remotely whether the vote was forced while you can easily control it in the voting booth.

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:06PM (#28500389)

    Voting must be anonymous and private. If you allow online voting, then nothing prevents someone from standing over your shoulder and paying you $50 to vote the way he wants. Yes, absentee ballots have the same problem, which is why I think Oregon's all-mail voting system is terribly dangerous. This vulnerability isn't theoretical: the scenario I describe actually happened throughout the 19th century and led to some very crooked elections. It's why we switched to a secret ballot in the 1880s. Let's not forget our history here.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This vulnerability is already present now, as you said, with absentee ballots. Yet there has not been noticeable voter coercion or vote buying as a result. If someone really wanted to buy/bully a voter, why not buy/bully them into voting by mail? Wouldn't the same deterrents (whatever they may be) against mail voting crime also work against electronic voting crime?

      • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:24PM (#28500513)

        I think there's still some cultural inertia against this kind of vote manipulation, but the taboo against it will slowly weaken. I think we'll start seeing more of it in closely-contested races where it's easier to hide.

        Party strategy wonks would have to be stupid not to consider the possibility, and considering that questionable tactics like gerrymandering and voter suppression are the norm today, I don't see why clandestine vote-buying might not be slowly added to the toolbox. Also, the problem isn't limited to vote-buying. What about a boss of a company requiring his employees vote a certain way? (Or for you conservative folk, what about a union boss doing the same thing?) What about a spouse demanding that his or her partner vote a certain way? As soon as you can verify a vote, you can coerce somebody else's vote.

        And yes, vote manipulation is a problem with conventional absentee ballots: that's why, until recently, you had to provide a good reason to get an absentee ballot. Only recently have states started sending them out to anyone who asks. When you limit the total number of absentee ballots, you limit the total potential for fraud.

        Even in states that do offer unrestricted absentee ballots, going to a polling place is still the cultural norm. That's why vote-by-mail is so dangerous: it substantially increases the total
        number of votes vulnerable to this attack.

    • by icebike (68054)

      Some Counties in Washington State use All Mail voting.

      Ballots mailed out.
      Sent back in un-numbered un-signed inner envelope which is inside of a bar coded and signed outer envelope.
      You mail it back in, or take it to ballot drop off places.

      Its still a secret ballot. As secret as you want it to be. No one knows what you voted unless you let them stand there and watch.

      Secrecy is always by choice.

      An enforced secret ballot (in the voting booth) hasn't exactly forestalled vote buying, or tomb-stoning.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BitterOak (537666)

        Some Counties in Washington State use All Mail voting.

        Ballots mailed out. Sent back in un-numbered un-signed inner envelope which is inside of a bar coded and signed outer envelope. You mail it back in, or take it to ballot drop off places.

        Its still a secret ballot. As secret as you want it to be. No one knows what you voted unless you let them stand there and watch.

        Secrecy is always by choice.

        An enforced secret ballot (in the voting booth) hasn't exactly forestalled vote buying, or tomb-stoning.

        One of the chief reasons for secret ballot is to prevent voter intimidation, so your boss or union leader doesn't coerce you to vote for their candidate or risk losing your job. If ballot secrecy is optional, what's to stop your boss from insisting that you opt out of secrecy and vote his/her way?

        • by icebike (68054)

          Jail is a pretty good deterrent.

          • by chebucto (992517) *

            If they can coerce you to vote the way they want, it follows that the can coerce you not to rat them out.

        • by MachDelta (704883)

          Lie to them?

        • If ballot secrecy is optional, what's to stop your boss from insisting that you opt out of secrecy and vote his/her way?

          What exactly stops him/her from requiring that you snap a picture of your ballot with your phone?
          And what stops you from documenting the voting fraud with a voice recording?

      • by hedwards (940851)
        Actually, all counties in Washington state use all mail voting. I do believe that there is a vote in person option for disabilities, but that's it.

        We just switched over completely a while back, I think the next election might be the first all mail vote here.
      • by jmorris42 (1458) * <`jmorris' `at' `beau.org'> on Sunday June 28, 2009 @02:00PM (#28505503)

        > An enforced secret ballot (in the voting booth) hasn't exactly forestalled vote buying, or tomb-stoning.

        If the secret ballot isn't enforced it is almost useless as a protection. And voting in person in a booth can in theory prevent both problems whether mechanical or paper votes are cast. Online voting is an open invitation to both problems exploding into major problems because the fraud isn't even possible to stop in theory.

        Work it through. If non-secret voting isn't considered the normal way of voting anyone opting to vote in secret has something to hide. And as long as large numbers aren't voting in secret there are large numbers of votes available for purchase.

        The problems with our current system are solvable.

        1. Make absentee voting rare enough that it won't be likely to be abusable by making the process more difficult.

        2. Get serious about checking photo ID and purging the registration rolls by cross linking databases to get rid of duplicate registrations and dead people.

        As for low turnout I don't see a problem. For years I have held the position that if you aren't willing to invest the time to be up to speed on the basic issues and candidates the best service you can render the Republic is to stay the hell out of a voting booth.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      You can solve this problem with Backwards Votes. Here's how it works:

      You have to register once (only once) in a controlled location, where somebody makes sure you're not videoing it and there's nobody watching over your shoulder.

      When you register, you decide (or the system randomly decides and tells you) whether your vote should be a Forward Vote or an Backwards Vote. Only you know whether your vote is Forward Vote or a Backwards Vote, and it will never be shown to you when you go to vote online, or a
      • by QuoteMstr (55051)

        That works, but only when there are two candidates. More generally, you're talking about having people remember a function f and a parameter a such that f(a, apparent-vote) -> real-vote. You can define an f that will work with multiple candidates, sure, but people will forget a. You can't tell them what it is, and if you make them show up in person to get a new a, that's just as convenient as casting a vote on the spot anyway.

        Besides, if a is totally random, an attacker wouldn't change anything by forcin

  • by kabloom (755503) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:12PM (#28500425) Homepage

    In any election that lets people vote from anywhere, votes can be coerced with a gun, and people can show their actual vote to whatever corrupt mafioso wants to force their vote. These things are not possible (or at least they're more difficult) if the only places to vote are properly run, properly secure polling places.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by weicco (645927)

      This internet voting would be absolutely fabulous! I could make sure that my wife votes correctly and not some socialist hippie party. I think we need this in Finland too!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Onymous Coward (97719)

      I suspect the reality in a first world country is that you can't do this to the tune of enough votes without being far too obvious.

  • by Alethes (533985) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:17PM (#28500453)

    Allowing people to vote online isn't going to solve the turnout problem as long as we have a federal election every couple of years. Canada has had something like four federal elections in the last five years, which is pretty ridiculous. The voters are tired of it, and they're demonstrating that by not bothering to vote. I'm not saying this is the best way to demonstrate disgust, but the ability to vote online isn't going to fix the real problem.

  • marblecake also the game
  • Problem is the internet is worldwide medium. Accounts can be hacked or spoofed. Also the votes must be verified by hand. How are they gonna do that when it's all electronic with no paper trail?

    It won't work. American public won't trust it and won't be for a very long time. Nothing is hacker-proof, I don't care how hard they tried to make it cracker-proof.. It won't happen.

  • while in general this seems like a poor idea, for many reasons that will be posted by others, by pushing
    forward a good online voting system, many other benefits could arise, such as:

    - longer voting periods than one day - like a week or even a month to lock in a vote

    - verification that your real vote has been received and counted while voting is still possible,
    possibly reducing some voter fraud types

    - different voting methods than the simple, single vote, winner take all

    - better support for va

  • by Xaximus (1361711) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:23PM (#28500503)
    Why make it:

    1) easier for the apathetic (and likely uninformed) to vote?

    2) easier to hack an election?

    No good reason. It's just a stupid idea all around.

  • If it is online, it can be hacked and the data can be faked. Epic FAIL in the offing.

    The problem of low voter turnout has to do with the nature of Canadian politics. The facts, for our dear American cousins south of the border who don't know what's going on with their single biggest trading partner:

    It's a multiparty parliamentary system. There are two dominant parties, the Conservatives and Liberals, a very siginficant local collection of politics call the Bloc (from Quebec, and includes hardcore separa

  • by Renraku (518261)

    I would rather it take actual effort to vote. That includes driving out to a centralized location, with other people, etc.

    Because its much easier to get dumb people all riled up to vote one way if all they have to do is click a mouse button. Whereas they have to take action and maybe an hour of their day to go and vote the current way.

    • by Phurge (1112105)
      I think the reverse will happen - all the crazy loonies will be the only ones motivated to vote. After all, how else do you explain 8 years of George Bush?
  • This is not really news, at least not for myself. I have produced a short report in 2002 with the issues related to e-voting for the GOC and I even suggested minimum requirements, so they were already looking at this back then.

    Not much have changed since at probably not much will change in the future with regards to the issues. I guess they will simply go forward with it to save money when it will be politically acceptable.

  • There's no problem here so nothing needs to be changed. The reason that turnout was low (by Canadian standards - still good by American standards) was that few people saw the election as likely to change anything. And it isn't as if it is hard to vote in Canada. There are lots of convenient polling places and there is no significant wait. You can be in and out in less than five minutes. If voting is that easy and people still don't bother, they don't care. Let the people who are paying attention to the ca

  • Okay, so the financial network systems are pretty well trusted. I wonder if we could use those as a means of voting? Let's say we transfer $1 to or from an external account which automatically transfers that same amount back. The account designated would be the candidate being voted for... well, no... that would eliminate "write-ins" wouldn't it.

    The problem with online voting, which I seek to resolve in my mind, would be an effective way to track your vote and later prove your vote in the event of a reco

  • If your voter turnout is low, instead of the epic fail that is electronic voting, why not legislate and make voting compulsory?
  • by whereiswaldo (459052) on Sunday June 28, 2009 @12:20AM (#28500903) Journal

    Think about how online tax returns are handled.

    • by RobinH (124750) on Sunday June 28, 2009 @12:38PM (#28504707) Homepage

      This analogy is incorrect for the same reason that the analogy between online banking and voting is invalid. With banking, both you and your bank maintain a separate record of transactions, and you can be certain at the end of the month whether the bank has the same record of transactions as you. This is because the bank (and the tax department) actually maintain a link between you and your account. However, a voting system simply cannot maintain a link between the voter and vote cast. Therefore, there's no way for a voter to be sure that their vote was counted, unless they fundamentally trust the system as a whole. The only way for people to trust the system is for it to be transparent, and online voting is about the least transparent system I can think of. There are too many things in the technology stack between your screen and the server for you to be sure that the vote is recorded the way you think it is.

  • Canadian voting machines currently come in two types: "Number 2" and "HB". There has been some talk about how "Number 2" style voting machines producing inaccurate results, but nobody has been able to prove that yet.

    Canadian elections are a very simple matter. Voters head off to their local polling station, usually a school or community centre, request a ballot or ballots from the elections officer who is usually accompanied by an observer from each of the major parties trying to make sure that nothing

    • by jjohnson (62583)

      I don't disagree that voting in Canada works reasonably well, but the old #2 machine is still prone to manipulation. I was in Montreal during the 1995 referendum, and voted in the riding of Outrement. In that riding and several others that were dominated by English speakers (who were expected to vote overwhelmingly
      "No", meaning against separation), the "Yes" scrutineers were exceptionally strict across the board, for both yes and no votes. When you're talking about pencil marks on paper, pushing a very s

  • you've been able to vote via post for years. explain who this is any less secure?
  • Elections Canada is kicking around the idea of allowing voters to register online, update registration information online, and maybe even vote online.

    Being able to register online or update your registration information online, if it is well-implemented, would be great. Already, Elections Ontario lets you check if you are on their register of electors [elections.on.ca]. Being able to easily correct that information or update it online would be great.
    However, actually registering to vote is not something that most Cana

  • As the events in Iran show, hand-counted vote != fair vote.

    I think, the older I get, I just come to the realization that the vote is really more about the appearance of actually having a say in your government. The vote in Iran was probably rigged. The 2004 U.S. election showed significant voting irregularity in several counties in New Mexico and Florida, in the case of the latter the bunk counties were apparently running the same type of machine (optical scanning). It's pretty well accepted nowadays

    • by jjohnson (62583)

      You've done a fine job rationalizing not getting off your ass to vote or actually do anything that matters, yet still reserving the right to moan about how shitty things are.

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