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PistolSteve Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:41 PM
Original message
Electronic voting can work!
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 01:50 PM by PistolSteve
I have seen a lot of people absolutely against electronic voting, no matter what. Yes, the whole DIEBOLD thing is HORRIBLE, absolutely terrible, but I really believe electronic voting, if done right, is the way to go. It makes voting easy and is very beneficial for the handicapped.

Here's my idea (that has likely been suggested numerous times, but, oh well..)

An electronic voting maching that has a touch screen. You touch/click the people who you want to vote for, what referendums, etc... and then two reciepts drop down in two seperate boxes (with a plexiglass screen for you to see).

You can only pick one box to open (but you get to choose). Once you select the box the machine does something to the reciept to 'void' it. Perhaps a spray, hole punch, UV light... The box opens up and allows you to take the reciept with you.

You would also have the ability to void both reciepts if a mistake had been made.

The other box releases the remaining voting reciept into a central (secure) container inside the voting machine.

Like it should be, votes are counted manually. The good thing is that human error can be reduced by COMPARING the physical reciepts to the electronic information each machine provides.

Not only would it make voting easier, but voting information could be used more efficiently because it is electronic.

The last idea I had (but haven't thought about much, so feel free to dispute it), would be the ability to check your reciept online to make sure your vote counted (remember your name isn't tied to the reciept). The online database would be made of the official vote count (not vice-versa), so if hacked, it wouldn't really matter.

Ok, I'm done.
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bullimiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. electronic voting would have worked flawlessly if you didnt have criminals
running it.

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Megahurtz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Exactly.
So that's why it doesn't work. :thumbsdown:
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PistolSteve Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. It wouldn't matter who was running it...
A paper ballot would be the one that counts, not the electronic data.
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doublethink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. Democracy is too important to hand over to computers.
Sorry IMHO your wrong. Ease of 'life' doesn't always need to have it's place in our society. Paper Ballots every election cycle isn't much to ask for in securing your rights, freedoms and government by the people etc... etc... Too many other possible flaws in your argument .... just another quagmire. Peace. :hi:
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PistolSteve Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Did you read my post? PAPER BALLOTS ARE USED!
My system DOES USE PAPER BALLOTS! In fact, you can see your ballot with the names of who you voted for before it is deposited into the 'safe'. The electronic part pretty much is used to print the names on paper, give you a reciept, and to verify against HUMAN ERROR. A human vote count of the ballots would be official, this system just makes everything more accurate.

:)
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. That was never at issue. But rather, work in whose favour?
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 02:30 PM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
It's just that human nature, historically most notably in relation to US elections, cannot be trusted to see to it that the machines work in the interests of the common weal, rather than in favour a particular candidate or party. And apparently they are crucially vulnerable in innumerable ways, even accidentally.

Nor is the question of "human error" at issue; but rather human malfeasance on the party of the polling officials.
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MallRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
4. "Receipts" are meaningless. The actual, physical ballot must be paper.
What are the chances that every voter will be able to produce their receipt for a recount?

I, too, don't have an issue with using a touchscreen computer to GENERATE a voter-verified paper ballot, one which the voter can personally drop into a ballot box for counting later.

But when you have computers COUNTING votes, that's when you're screwed.
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PistolSteve Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Computers AREN'T counting the votes
The official count comes from a hand count of the paper ballots - the computer is used to VERIFY against human error.

It also provides great voting data and helps the disabled all still using paper ballots (like a big printer that deposits verified ballots)
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meldroc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. This doesn't protect the secret ballot, opening the door to vote buying and...
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 02:59 PM by meldroc
Ballots used to be cast openly in the 19th century, so this became a serious problem. The Australian Secret Ballot was invented to put a stop to this.

Ron Rivest (cryptographer, security guru, the R in RSA) came up with a system that addresses these concerns, called the ThreeBallot system.

http://theory.lcs.mit.edu/~rivest/Rivest-TheThreeBallot...

In a nutshell, it's designed to be used as an optical scan system, but there's no reason why you can't use a friendly touchscreen system that simply prints out ballots in the ThreeBallot way instead...

Basically, instead of casting one ballot, you cast three. To vote for a candidate, you fill the bubble for that candidate on two of the ballots, and it doesn't matter which two. You also have to vote against everyone else, to do that, you fill in the bubble on one of the ballots. In short, you can vote for one guy, but produce a ballot that makes it look like you voted for the other guy. The scanner at the ballot box will reject your ballots unless they're filled out just like this. When you submit your ballots, all three of them are printed with completely random serial numbers, which are hidden from you. You get to pick one of your three ballots, and the one you pick gets copied, and you get the copy, with the serial number, which you can take home with you, as all three of your ballots go in the box. Like I said, having a copy of one of the three ballots in your hand doesn't enable you to prove to vote buyers or extorters that you voted a certain way.

Once the election's over and tabulation begins, all the ballots are scanned and put on a web site like the OP suggested. This means that not just the county can tabulate the ballots, EVERYONE CAN. Not only that, you can look up your ballot using the serial number on the copy you took home, so you can make sure that ballot was counted correctly. You also get a list of the people who voted, though names are not associated with ballots, that way you can make sure your dead grandmother didn't vote a la Chicago.

Pretty clever - 100% transparent, but still preserves the secret ballot. There are still a few potential security issues even with this - you still have to have physical security for the ballot boxes, and poll watchers should be physically present during tabulation. There are also some potential attacks specific to this protocol that can be made by a bad guy who has access to the ballots before counting. But it does make election fraud significantly harder.

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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
8. They can figure out my bank balance to the penny every day
There is no reason you can have a system that can accurately count votes.
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yella_dawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
11. A similar system has been in use around the world for years.
the machine is sealed inside a secure box with only the input device accessible. The screen is visible through the glass front. It prints a two-part receipt. You verify the printed receipt, then drop one copy in a standard ballot box as any paper ballot system. The primary advantages are accuracy and speed. Otherwise, there is no difference from other paper ballot systems. Oddly enough, this is a US system that is used world-wide, but not in the US.

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