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WA Election To Try Online Voting 304

Posted by Soulskill
from the opportunity-cost dept.
AuMatar writes "According to the Seattle Times, the King Conservation District is going to allow online voting to combat chronic low turnouts. You can already view the voting portal. As a citizen of WA seriously concerned with politics, anything that completely removes a paper trail like this scares me. Luckily, this is probably the least important election in the state. I wonder if anyone will hack the election so 300% of voters vote for Firefly or Stephen Colbert or something."
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WA Election To Try Online Voting

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  • by masterwit (1800118) * on Monday February 21, 2011 @05:09PM (#35271876) Journal

    From the article:

    When Washington, D.C., tested an open-source electronic voting system intended for armed-forces members last year, a team of University of Michigan computer scientists hacked in and altered votes.

    Each time a vote was cast, the hackers left a "calling card" on the screen, played the Michigan fight song and secretly changed the latest vote — until election officials shut down the site after two days.

    "This obviously doesn't go a long way in building public confidence," Election Trust Managing Partner John Bodin said of the incident. But that shouldn't tarnish a "trusted" industry leader like Scytl, he said.

    On another note:
    Here is a Berkeley paper that looked at a voting system by Scytl used in Florida: http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/~daw/papers/scytl-odbp.pdf [berkeley.edu]
    They we're mixed in their findings (jump to the conclusion if your just browsing...)

    I know fraud happens with paper, I know this saves money, but I'm still skeptical.

    From the FAQ after the second link in TFA:

    Q: How does the King CD eVoting platform provide end-to-end online balloting security?
    A: Secured by Scytl USA, this solution provides end-to-end security. Votes are encrypted and
    digitally signed by voters in the voters' voting devices (e.g., PCs) before they are cast. The private
    key to decrypt the votes is divided in shares which are distributed to the King CD Electoral Board
    (community stakeholders) before the election begins. The private key is destroyed in this process
    and do not exist during the election. At the end of the election, the King CD Electoral Board
    members have to meet to reconstruct the private key and decrypt the votes.

    Encryption is a good start... really I have mixed feelings about this too. Any thoughts on this encryption anyone? - I would love to hear from someone with industry experience.

  • Re:Rush said it best (Score:3, Informative)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday February 21, 2011 @05:45PM (#35272218)
    Governor Walker took it as a mandate because it is one of the things he
    campaigned
    on. And by the way, he is only doing this for public employees. Why should public employees be allowed to unionize?
    So, basically, politicians who want to do what the voters want are "fascists". You apparently think it is a good idea to use government money to slant elections in the favor of Democrats. I have news for you, we are already in real trouble. Our governments are spending more money than they are receiving in taxes. Public sector workers have better job security, better pay, and better benefits than private sector workers.
  • by hedwards (940851) on Monday February 21, 2011 @06:00PM (#35272364)

    You obviously don't know anything about the issue. The problem is that the King Conservation District is in a sort of legal loophole. It has to be funded by the conservation district rather than the state, and isn't ever on the normal ballots that are sent out. Consequently, there's only one polling place for the issue and it's hidden in a back corner of a library.

    Consequently, it's the only office I haven't had the chance to vote for since I gained the right well over a decade ago. This isn't about us being progressive or trying to get more voters per se, it's about the thoroughly undemocratic way in which the positions have been filled. In a county with a million or so eligible voters, the elections tend to draw only a few thousand voters in a typical election cycle.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin

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