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Kaspersky Says Lack of Digital Voting Will Be Democracy's Downfall 388

Posted by samzenpus
from the vote-online-or-die dept.
hapworth writes "Eugene Kaspersky, founder and CEO of cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, has warned that one of the greatest cyber threats facing the world is the lack of effective online voting systems, claiming that unless young people can vote online they won't bother at all and the whole democratic system will collapse. Not everyone is buying that theory, however (and there's reason to suspect Kaspersky has a vested interest in online voting, which may need his firm's cybersecurity products). As producer James Lambie writes, 'Ultimately, the digital native's disenchantment with voting is based less on a lack of suitable technology and more on disillusionment with the craven and anemic political choices they are presented with.'"
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Kaspersky Says Lack of Digital Voting Will Be Democracy's Downfall

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:23PM (#40405399)

    People are jiggering electronic voting machines, online polls get stuffed more than a dimestore pornstar, contentious elections are par for the course every four years.

    Seems like digital voting is eroding democracy more than anything else, Kapersky.

    • by IAmR007 (2539972) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:35PM (#40405519)
      Electronic doesn't necessarily mean insecure. Public key cryptography with keys in voter cards is a possibility. Encrypt the vote with your public key and the government's public key, then sign. You could then check that your vote was counted and counted correctly either online with a cheap smartcard reader or at a library if you don't have a reader. The keys would be signed to verify identity and could also include a photo.

      The reason current electronic voting machines are insecure is that they have no electronic security whatsoever, not inherently because they're electronic.
      • by Pi1grim (1956208) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:50PM (#40405661)

        Estonia is a shining example of that. They have implemented online voting with smartcards and system is even more tamper-proof, than pen-and-paper voting, as a person can re-vote any number of times he/she wants to and only the last one will count.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by IAmR007 (2539972)
          You could also potentially separate the vote tallying and voter tracking by generating unique random IDs. This would allow the public to check the government's results via methods similar to bitcoin.
        • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @08:02PM (#40405799)

          >>>as a person can re-vote any number of times he/she wants to and only the last one will count.

          This is what we should have for our House of Representatives. We will keep the same politicians, in order to have their meetings and craft the bills, but when it comes to the final passage, it will be decided by the People online. That way stupid stuff like TARP will not pass (almost 80% of Americans were against it). The Senate would still function normally, with politicians voting "aye" or "nay", so as to block any bad bills the People's House might pass.

          • by rednip (186217) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {pinder}> on Thursday June 21, 2012 @10:20PM (#40406885) Journal
            The reason why TARP passed was because without it we would have fallen into the Great Depression II. The real trouble is that the many of the same people who foam at the mouth about TARP are also somehow think that softening the already weak banking regulations more would work as a stimulus. The simple fact is that the Republican House that was elected in the 2010 has worked hard to keep banks 'too big to fail'. Sure to a lessor extent the Dems are also to blame, but I'd argue that it's just political Darwinism, where only the well financed survive.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by msauve (701917)
              So, instead of considering those who save their money, and would prosper in a recession, we reward those who are in debt, by paying off those debts with inflationary policies.

              You don't have kids, do you? Rewarding bad behavior only results in more bad behavior.
              • by tbannist (230135)

                Most of the people with school age children have large debts (mortgage). It may be in the parent's best interests to have those debts paid off with inflationary policies.

                Also holding debt isn't "bad behavior", (excluding stupid housing choices) it's often a wise decision. In the case of a mortgage, you pay off the principal of the debt and while you live in the house allowing the wise investor to accumulate wealth at a faster pace than he would if he were renting and trying to save up for a house.

                Life's

          • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:48AM (#40407799)
            They'd do what they do already: not pass anything we wanted to pass, shovel through the stuff we don't want to pass via loopholes, political tricks, misinformation, and waiting until the fewest possible people are watching.

            Furthermore, if we can't manage to vote twice every year between about 5 candidates (or 2 if you ignore the primaries, which most people do), what makes you think we'll be able to handle voting many more times a year?

            Lastly, I think of myself as better informed and smarter than the average voter, and I don't know if TARP was a good idea or a bad idea. I know most other voters were stronger in their convictions about it than I was, I don't think that means anything though.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Estonia is a shining example of that. They have implemented online voting with smartcards and system is even more tamper-proof, than pen-and-paper voting, as a person can re-vote any number of times he/she wants to and only the last one will count.

          So, they need an ID to vote? (The smartcard)

          Racists.

          • by Kreigaffe (765218) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @11:08PM (#40407191)

            This is modded funny, but should be modded insightful.

            This is America. Anything that makes it harder to commit election fraud gets colored as disenfranchisement and racist.

            Police aren't allowed at polling places because minorities are scared of them. Meanwhile, the Black Panthers can stand outside polling places with clubs and not a thing is done about it.

            Welcome to America.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by FearTheDonut (2665569)
              It's the same law which allows some rather obnoxious Tea Party members stand outside polling places shouting about their concerns. Yes, this is America - those laws work for both sides.
      • by mea_culpa (145339) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @08:57PM (#40406305)

        See Bitcoin and the number of large scale breaches for an example of what can go wrong. No matter how secure the 'vote' is, it all breaks down when what ever human interfacing component that handles the 'vote' gets compromised.
        Something as simple as voting should adhere to the KISS principle as much as possible and remain as transparent and non-digital as possible.

        I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.
          - Stalin

      • by gwolf (26339) <gwolf AT gwolf DOT org> on Thursday June 21, 2012 @09:20PM (#40406523) Homepage

        A very important factor in a democracy is the secret of the vote. If I can prove my vote was cast for a given option, then the gate is open for parties buying it â" Or punishing me for voting according to my will.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        IMO, anybody who can't be bothered to go to the polls shouldn't be voting anyway. I'm completely against online voting.

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday June 21, 2012 @08:29PM (#40406057)

      Hey, my mother was a dimestore pornstar, you insensitive clod!

    • by flyneye (84093)

      Not that democracy is worth saving, but,beside the point, let Kapersky secure online polls and impress us first.He sounds like a bombastic dirthead about to nosedive. I notice viruses run rampant about the internet, isn't he supposed to have something to do with eliminating that? Two faced f**k probably sponsors virii.
      I'd be checkin' into that, real closely if it turns out he is profiteering. My magic 8 ball says, drink a beer.

  • Honestly.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anrego (830717) * on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:23PM (#40405401)

    Good!

    I’ve always hated this push to get people to go out and vote. That’s not what’s important. The message that should be going out is to educate yourself enough to make an actual decision, THEN vote! Going into a booth (or online) and selecting a random choice because MTV told you it’s your duty to vote is only going to make things worse.

    If someone won’t vote unless they can do it in less than 10 seconds... their opinion is probably worth very little, and would rather not have it diluting the already thin pool.

    • Re:Honestly.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:44PM (#40405609)

      >>>selecting a random choice because MTV told you itâ(TM)s your duty to vote is only going to make things worse.

      What's actually making it worse is that most of these people just vote on name recognition. Which is why existing politicians win again-and-again. I know I did that when I was 18, just voting for the name I knew. (I'm wiser now.) There ought to be some basic test like: "Please identify the first president of the United States: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison." If you fail to answer correctly your vote doesn't count, because you obviously don't care enough to learn your own country's history, and don't care about the current president either.

      • by kanto (1851816) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:57PM (#40405749)

        There ought to be some basic test like: "Please identify the first president of the United States: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison." If you fail to answer correctly your vote doesn't count, because you obviously don't care enough to learn your own country's history, and don't care about the current president either.

        Or you don't care about playing Leisure Suit Larry.

      • Re:Honestly.. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cloricus (691063) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @08:06PM (#40405845)

        I prefer something productive like widely shown moderated public debates like we have in Australia. This could be the basis of an enforced voting question to ensure the voter at least bothered to skim an hours TV. We get away without the voter question as several million of our population watch the shows and discuss it after with those who didn't.

        Our two successful formats are 'the worm' and 'Qanda'.

        • In the worm a panel of the countries best media journalists ask targeted policy questions of the two contending political leaders and an audience (either right/left or swing only) controls an opinion graph that is shown to the TV audience in real time.
        • For Qanda a balanced audience including undecided voters and online viewers may ask literally any question and a moderator enforces either a reasonable answer or an admission of some type. The audience and moderator ensure facts are kept forfront so very little spin survives the process without embarrasment.
        • QandA is a fantastic format. It somehow gets the perfect mix of political interrogation and causal commentary with a bit of relaxed humour all rolled into one. It generally paints an accurate picture of of the subject matter at hand within an hour's easy viewing.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DeSigna (522207)

          Our politics are a bit more modest than the media gala that goes on in the US. There's no parades or huge rallies, just old dudes talking and occasionally going on a shopping centre tour kissing babies and shaking hands.

          What I find interesting is how our mandatory voting affects the polls. We have a lot more swinging voters than hardline idealists and since they're forced to vote, the attitude is they might as well make (at least) a semi-informed decision. I just wish election campaigns weren't epic sledgin

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And that's exactly the path I don't want to go down again.

        It is inevitable that your suggestion would be abused to discriminate against people. You may mean well, but your idea is a mistake.

        Is it possible people will vote based on shallow reasons? Absolutely, but I prefer that kind of individual decision to yours which will lead to institutional corruption.

        You may have nobility in your mind, but noble virtues are all too often exploited. Which doesn't mean we should never act nobly, but when it's been d

      • Re:Honestly.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by psiclops (1011105) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @08:36PM (#40406119)

        if only a certain type of people (in this instance those who care about US history) are allowed to vote then you are no longer representing all of the people, which would be un-democratic.

        Secondly caring about history and current political matters are two very different things. in Australia even some of the the most politicaly active people may not know the first prime minister - because it's not really relevant, and not really taught in schools.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Second that opinion. I've always hated the stoopid motor-voter registration where they enroll voters when they attain or renew their drivers license. You should have to make the effort to GO somewhere and enroll.

      That said, in the US voting no longer matters anyway. We have Mitrock Obomney who enacted mandatory healthcare in MA and nationwide and now he's totally against it. Except in MA.

    • by jmorris42 (1458) *

      Preach!

      I'd love to see 90% turnout... assuming they were mostly clueful. But I'd be just as happy with 10% turnout assuming they were almost all clueful. We need to find a way to stop idiots from voting. But I can't think of any that wouldn't be abused by whoever was in power at the time to create an even worse situation.

      • by psiclops (1011105)

        if you exclude idiots from voting then they are not fairly represented.

        • by jmorris42 (1458) *

          > if you exclude idiots from voting then they are not fairly represented.

          And this is a problem how? Democracy is a stupid idea, which is why we here in America were given a Republic. If we could keep it.... we failed.

    • by jd (1658)

      That requires having the tools necessary to reason and analyze the arguments. Those sorts of skills require education far in advance of anything provided at High School and often in advance of much that is provided even in undergraduate university courses. Teaching the necessary skills to actually comprehend society, the effects and limits of government, and how politicians seek to manipulate your inner fears - that's a 3-4 year program in itself.

      Not that I would oppose such a program, or making it mandator

    • Re:Honestly.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sir_Sri (199544) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:57PM (#40405739)

      True, but you shouldn't introduce artificial barriers to voting. The US for example has gotten rid of tests to qualify for voting precisely because it disenfranchised certain voters.

      Besides, the electorate at large can't really make educated decisions about policy. They try, but ultimately the best you can do is set the tone for the type of politician you want to represent you, not have a perfect mesh of policy ideas.

      When people are young they tend to be fixated on certain issues, pot legalization, the environment, cost of education that sort of thing. Not that those issues aren't important, but they don't exist in a vacuum, and as you get older and spend more time being aware of the broader scope of government (as an insurance system, as a source of stable investment through bonds, as a regulator of various things and so on) you realize more about how you need to vote as a broader ideological vote than a specific issue vote, and you get more worried about not the other guy, or the one who will hit 3 of the 5 things you like rather than the one who will only do 2 of the 5 kind of thing.

      But in the end, the vast majority of the electorate wouldn't recognize a liquidity trap even if they were in one, and aren't capable of understanding how to vote about the issue because of that. Governments are necessarily large complex operations, and you end up trading off wacky things like individual health care mandates against military bases in swing districts or missile defence for aid against assad in syria. The public as a whole are never really going to grasp tradeoffs like that, and certainly not 4 or 5 years worth of potential future tradeoffs at a time.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by geminidomino (614729)

        True, but you shouldn't introduce artificial barriers to voting. The US for example has gotten rid of tests to qualify for voting precisely because it disenfranchised certain voters.

        And traded it for the current system that effectively disenfranchises any voter who can't afford his own personal lobbyists.

        Go go two-party clusterfuck.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Velex (120469)

        The US for example has gotten rid of tests to qualify for voting precisely because it disenfranchised certain voters.

        Maybe those voters need to be disenfranchised. For a long time I've seriously believed that the 19th Amendment needs to be revisited. When I was young and idealistic, I didn't think so. I've encountered too many living stereotypes, people who put themselves in bad situations just because thanks to their gender or skin color, there's always going to be some white male clamoring to pull them back out of their own crap.

        I didn't choose my gender. I didn't choose my skin color. I am sick of being judged b

        • by Sir_Sri (199544)

          did you seriously suggest women should be denied the right to vote? brilliant.

          I was making reference to Jim Crow laws that prevented blacks from voting by coming with with arbitrarily hard tests for blacks so that they couldn't possibly pass. Those were overturned in the 1960's in the US with voter's rights act and civil rights act. The 19th amendment (and, admittedly, I'm not an american so I could simply be wrong in assuming you are, was what granted women the right to vote).

    • The only reason places like MTV tell people to vote is this:

      People who watch MTV might subscribe to a liberal philosophy for example and vote Democrat. Democratic committee sees this and pays MTV. They then say vote when what they really mean is,"We want you to vote democratic!"

      This isn't an endorsement for Dems or Reps, just a big dose of reality. If everyone voted, it doesn't make the world a better place other than the guys in charge being scared if they tried to remove voting from us. That is
    • by msauve (701917)
      "The message that should be going out is to educate yourself enough to make an actual decision, THEN vote!"

      This. +10. Making it easier for people to vote only makes it so those who aren't willing to expend the effort to make an informed choice, pollute the waters. People complain about all the money in politics - well, the only reason it's there is because political advertising works to convince the ignorant to vote based on shallow marketing, not knowledge or understanding. If someone won't take the initi
  • by Balial (39889) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:24PM (#40405413) Homepage

    In Australia getting to the polls on voting day is mandatory. You're fined otherwise. This really gets people to vote. Digital only leads to vulnerabilities.

    • by Anrego (830717) * on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:27PM (#40405435)

      Ugh.

      I'd rather a small turnout of people making an actual decision.

      Voting isn't what's important. Having an opinion is. 100% voter turnout isn't worth much if 70% of that turnout picked randomly.

      Unless they figure a good way to validate that someone is making a serious choice (and force them to do so), all this does is dilute the already very thin pool of educated voters.

      • by macraig (621737) <mark...a...craig@@@gmail...com> on Thursday June 21, 2012 @08:02PM (#40405793)

        Voting isn't what's important. Having an informed opinion is.

        There, fixed that for you. And exactly how do you propose that people get informed, when 90% of what they read and see and hear is mis-information?

        • The most important things they see are definitely real. Like for example, the price of Gas and Groceries. And the job situation. Can't hide any of those for very long.
          • by macraig (621737)

            But those are the problems; of course those are obvious; there's no mis-information potential there, really (well, unless you count global warming). The mis-information abounds concerning WHO exactly is capable of coordinating a resolution of those problems. EVERY candidate will claim he can resolve them, but are any of them telling the truth and not embellishing the heck out of their own abilities? Quite often it's the case that NONE of them can actually resolve the problems, and we truly are voting for

            • And you'd listen to them and figure out, based on the present information, and historic record, who is more likely to be correct. If none of them can resolve the problems, then I guess we will just have to wait until people are adequately motivated to find a a solution.
    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>In Australia getting to the polls on voting day is mandatory. You're fined otherwise

      So much for pro-choice.
      If I don't want to vote, I shouldn't have to vote, anymore than I have to exercise my right of free speech (i.e. I can choose to remain silent during a police encounter). A right is only a right if you are free to choose all options. Else you're just a serf being compelled by a master (the politicians).

      • by sconeu (64226)

        I agree with you. However, under the Aussie rules, I guess the best option would be to go and turn in a blank ballot.

        Unless you want to fight the law in court (can you do that in Oz?).

      • by psiclops (1011105)

        you're not forced to vote, you're forced to go to the voting booth with a ballot.
        what you do with that is still your choice.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:33PM (#40405489)

    Do you think the current crop of politicians WANT people to be engaged and empowered to pick their governments?

  • Excuses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skelly33 (891182) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:36PM (#40405525)
    I say stop making excuses for and pandering to "young people". If they can't integrate with the "real world" IRL then they can just starve to death in their pathetic little digital corners. There are plenty of things in life that require one to get off one's own ass - voting is one of them.
    • I say stop making excuses for and pandering to "young people". If they can't integrate with the "real world" IRL then they can just starve to death in their pathetic little digital corners. There are plenty of things in life that require one to get off one's own ass - voting is one of them.

      Like!

    • by psiclops (1011105)

      Digital solutions are part of the real world.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974)

    >>>unless young people can vote online they won't bother at all and the whole democratic system will collapse

    Ron Paul seems to be doing alright, and his support is mostly young people. He now has close to 300 delegates thanks to young people willing to drive to the caucuses, stand-around for hours one end, & vote.

  • Stats disagree (Score:5, Informative)

    by cappp (1822388) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:40PM (#40405573)
    The official stats seem to disagree, or at least suggest that there's more to consider than just age/membership in a wired generation.

    Consider for instance the breakdown in voting participation over the last 4 presidential elections [census.gov] (.pdf warning) - voter participation of those between 18 and 34 (what I would consider to be the net generation) has increased, in many cases markedly. Consider for instance that 18 to 20 year olds in 1996 had a 31.2% rate, 2000 saw a 28.4, 2004 had a 41% and 2008 had 41%. Similarly 21 to 24 saw 33.4, 35.4, 42.5, and 46.6. Similarly overall participation [census.gov] has increased across the board - 50.3% in 2000 to 57.1 in 2008.

    If anything one could argue that the rise of the internet has increased participation through the development of targeted demographic outreach like that popularly attributed to Obama's campaign success. Combine that with the ready stream of polarising online news, politicised communities, and use of social media and you've got a recipe for maximum outreach with minimum investment.
    • Consider for instance the breakdown in voting participation over the last 4 presidential elections (.pdf warning) - voter participation of those between 18 and 34 (what I would consider to be the net generation) has increased, in many cases markedly.

      [...]

      If anything one could argue that the rise of the internet has increased participation through the development of targeted demographic outreach like that popularly attributed to Obama's campaign success.

      Yeah, look, there's been lots of studies of other thing

      • Re:Stats disagree (Score:4, Informative)

        by deapbluesea (1842210) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @09:03PM (#40406345)

        Taking four data points and not controlling for any other contributing factor you can say lots of things, but nothing meaningful.

        Sorry, I don't think I'm understanding you. The assertion is: "voter participation of those between 18 and 34 (what I would consider to be the net generation) has increased, in many cases markedly". The numbers then show that the voter participation among those age groups has increased. What "controlling for any other contributing factor" is needed to reach the conclusion that the thesis is correct based on the data?

        If you're referring to the next paragraph, he clearly starts with "One could argue". Not even remotely the same as claiming statistical correlation of any kind, just another thesis presented based on the (successful) validation of the original thesis.

    • by jmerlin (1010641)
      If you call it a "success." I witnessed Obama's campaign and then listened to the man for one minute and was instantly motivated to get up and go vote for anyone else, literally, ANYONE else, even Palin. Maybe "this guy is SO terrible, you should vote against him" is a better motivation than "hey look, I'm embracing technology while wearing a big smile on my face, never mind half of what I'm saying is contradicting my own actions in office!"
  • It's like unless it's easy and set up just for them they refuse to do it

    I uses to walk 2 miles to the video rental store to get a VHS tape. Kids whine if something is not available in 2 seconds on their cheap service if choice

    • by JustNiz (692889)

      VHS? you were lucky.
      We were so poor our entire family lived in a brown paper bag in the middle of the road. All 58 of us. We used to eat coal for breakfast and work 28 hour days, as well as do a 50 mile delivery round every morning in bare feet because we couldnt afford shoes. But we were happy. I miss the good old days.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:57PM (#40405735)

    vote online = vote the bosses way at work or get fired.

    That is may be a worst case but on line voteing opens up that kind of abuse.

    • by w_dragon (1802458)
      Mod up please
      Digital voting is voting that can be done with a gun to your head. It's voting that can be directly paid for. Much as I can't imagine having to do banking offline, I can't think of any good way to move voting online.
    • by Dare nMc (468959)

      Not a new vector, I think every state in the USA allows mail in ballots. Any boss that could make you vote at work in a e system could today force you to request a absentee ballot, and turn it over.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:57PM (#40405743) Homepage

    ...digital voting will be democracy's downfall.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:57PM (#40405745)

    This is from a company that is Russian, and by coincidence discovers the US might be at fault for Flame just as there is a tug-of-war between ICANN and a Russian/Chinese backed UN body for control of the Internet.

    If anyone has any clue at all, electronic voting is just ripe for being hacked. Look at what the Black Box voting site reported, from monkeys hacking voting booths, to standard keys that fit any RV fitting the locks on the voting computer. Without a solid paper component, it is a heck of a lot easier to forge results in a way that is completely detectable. At least with hanging chads, someone somewhere had to hold up pieces of paper and say they were not usable. Just being electronic means that a country's elections can be completely compromised by a foreign body.

    Hmm... I'm sure there are plenty of countries who don't like the US who would love to influence elections. Making voting electronic just means the hack will be untraceable. I'm sure advocating E-voting would help lots in this department.

    Hell with e-voting. We need paper trails, as what was shown with the voting machine stories.

  • by macraig (621737) <mark...a...craig@@@gmail...com> on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:57PM (#40405751)

    This sounds suspiciously like preliminary marketing buzz for a new Kaspersky Labs software venture: create perception of a problem so they can then leap in and solve it. As irredeemably cynical as I am about human motives, behavior, and so-called intelligence, even I don't believe that a lack of e-voting will be a significant deterrent to people voting. The proximal cause of most people not voting, as demonstrated time and time again, is disillusionment with the whole process and the mediocre - at best - results... "why bother when my vote doesn't count and I have no idea who the 'better man' actually is?"

  • I have voted in every election I could right up until the BC-STV vote of 2009 when it became really clear that the people enjoyed vote splitting. I did some research and realized that every single vote I had ever participated in the worst candidate won (in my opinion) because of the first past the post (FPTP) system and vote splitting. I'm fairly confident in my assertion because of how there were usually 2 strong liberal candidates vs 1 awful conservative candidate who would win in every election despite

    • As producer James Lambie writes, 'Ultimately, the digital native's disenchantment with voting is based less on a lack of suitable technology and more on disillusionment with the craven and anemic political choices they are presented with.'"

      Actually, the two are closely linked. As Duverger's Law [wikipedia.org] tells us, the reason there are few choices is because our plurality voting system favors a two-party system. Because preferential systems like Instant Runoff and Condorcet work best with electronic ballots, suitable

  • How to Vote (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Caerdwyn (829058) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:59PM (#40405777) Journal

    Which candidate promises to give me more tax money taken from other people?

    a) BreadAndCircuses-crat
    b) CircusesAndBread-lican
    c) CrankyOldCoot-itarian (never happen)

    Votes are bought and sold every day. How do you think the US deficit got as high as it has? Greek foreign debt? Spanish public debt? Voters, when offered a chance to tax anyone except themselves, do so.

    • by bky1701 (979071)
      Which is why the people with the most money pay the least taxes proportionately? Which is why the battle cry of the last congressional election was "cut all the programs and spending!" without a word about the, you know, reasonable answer when you already have one of the lowest social expenditures per capita of western countries, raise taxes? Not seeing it. I think you are either A or C on your list, rather than actually someone expressing original thought. At the very least, you're overlooking the fact it
  • Disclaimer: I am biased and no longer trust Kaspersky.

    They should know that computers are merely tools and that they are a tool that is poorly suited to free and democratic voting. This is a simple conclusion to come to, and something that I'd expect a well-bred security company to understand. You don't utilize a hammer to drill holes. I'm sure you could compromise in some situations, but it won't be a pleasant experience.
  • unless young people can vote online they won't bother at all and the whole democratic system will collapse

    first, the democratic system has already collapsed. that's the past. second, there are not enough informed voters to make a significant amount of votes matter. all people, let alone young people, let along young people in the US, need complete and accurate information, and to understand that information, to make an informed choice. the lack of informed choice among all peoples of earth, not just the US, is the greatest threat to democracy. giving uninformed voters more access and encouraging it is not a val

  • I want to go back to voting with punch cards. It's cheap, simple (unless you're a retiree in West Palm Beach), there are less opportunities for shenanigans, and there's an archive to go back to for a recount rather than "oops, district 733 crashed; they don't count this year".
  • and the whole democratic system will collapse

    "Collapsed" is the only condition in which any "democratic system" was ever allowed to exist.

  • The first time the votes are tallied, and in a write-in landslide, "7337 H4X0R" wins, we'll go to "Show your face at the poll, show ID, and mark your vote on paper" a lot faster than you'd have ever believed Congress could move.

    This will probably happen the first time there's Internet voting. Definitely by the second.

  • Can it fall down any more? Nothing visible, so far has it sunk!

  • A cyber-security executive wants elections supervisors to go down a path that would require heavily investing in cyber-security.

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @09:45PM (#40406673)
    It will be through digital voting fraud that democracy will suffer its worst blows. There are two good reasons. Any group who cheats their way into power can close the door behind them and make it so that only they can cheat. The best you could hope for after that is a better cheater or a revolution; neither being that great for democracy. The second reason is that any group who cheats will probably be a combination of unpopular, slimeballs, and absolute disbelievers in democracy.

    But the worst part of all this is that while wrapping themselves in a false blanket of having a mandate of the people the cheaters will have no worries about public opinion as that only matters if the public can say, vote you out of office. Normally it is when the government forgets that they are there at our pleasure that we kick the bums out; but post cheating they will just get worse and worse.

    But if we could get viable digital voting we would be able to remove much of the power that we handed over to "representatives" in the days of the horse and buggy when the levers of government were so very far away.

    The only digital voting that I would trust is where you make your selections and out pops a piece of paper with your choices. You can then check your paper to verify that the computer got it right. The final count would rest with the paper. But the advantage of the computer would be that it could allow much more complicated voting such as ordering candidates or voting on dozens of referendums or piece by piece on a budget while enforcing rules such as you can't vote for two people at once. This would then result in an instant tally seconds after the election ends but then people would count the paper ballots to verify the computer results with the paper ballots being the final authority.

    The only hope is that when the first cheaters get caught that they are small in power (say a state) and that it sets an example for how not to trust electronic voting.
  • From TFA:

    "[T]he lack of well-established online voting systems is a real threat to democratic nations of the Western world," Kaspersky said in a recent interview with the BBC. He stated that the generational divide between ever-more-digitized youth and their parents will increase to the point where "the whole democratic system could collapse" because "if there's no online voting system, these kids won't physically go anywhere to vote, they just won't, they'll refuse."

    Forget about democracy, the biggest thre

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @11:07PM (#40407187)

    Kaspersky Says Lack of Digital Voting Will Be Democracy's Downfall

    Good thing the US is a Republic and not a democracy, then.

  • by jeff4747 (256583) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:12AM (#40407511)

    Why?

    Vote buying.

    Right now, if someone "buys" my vote, they have no idea if I actually followed through. Which means vote buying doesn't occur.

    With online voting, they can watch over your shoulder and pay you after you've voted for their preferred candidate.

    No need for expensive campaigns, just hand out cash to enough voters to get elected.

  • by Casandro (751346) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:48AM (#40407803)

    Electronic Voting cannot be democratic as it doesn't conform to the minimal standards.

    So far nobody has proposed an electronic voting system which can be proven to not be manipulated by anybody. If you need a degree in math to understand how the security works, it may be suitable for an election in the maths department of an university, but it is not suitable for the general population.

    The pen an paper system can be checked by everybody, not just specialists who might fear for their job if they became politically active.

  • by Tom (822) on Friday June 22, 2012 @03:50AM (#40408787) Homepage Journal

    The problem with online voting is not and never has been a technical challenge. That part is - in theory - easy to solve and workable protocols have been around for at least 20 years.

    The problem that no software will ever solve is that online voting can not protect your vote against tampering. All the bad guy needs is to stand behind you when you put down your vote and shoot your family if it is not the one he likes. Something he can't easily do in poll booth.

    Yes, the same problem exists with absentee votes, but they have always been a small enough number to not matter, plus there is the time delay you can use to inform authorities.

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