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TIA: How Internet Voting CAN Work

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 02:53 AM
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TIA: How Internet Voting CAN Work

TIA writes:

"I propose a national voting system in which votes are entered on a PC by three observers. The votes MUST BE POSTED IN FULL PUBLIC VIEW BY USER ID CODE at the precinct. Individual ballot data records are uploaded to the Internet periodically." /

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LAGC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 03:20 AM
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1. No matter what system, elections are only as trustworthy as the poll workers administering them.
Edited on Mon Aug-23-10 03:25 AM by LAGC
Last time I was working as a poll worker at a local precinct during the Idaho May primaries, we spent a good portion of our idle-time pondering just how "easy" it would be for unethical poll workers to commit election fraud by stuffing the ballot boxes and faking signatures of registered voters. Since the ballots are anonymous, there's no way to verify which ones belongs to whom, and even if you had some way of doing so, presumably those who didn't bother to vote wouldn't check to notice their name being used. All you would need is just four like-minded poll workers who agreed on politics (and who weren't afraid of the potential legal consequences if they were caught!) to conspire to game the system. Really, it was quite scary when we thought about it. For while we were all ethical and trustworthy, it wouldn't be hard to imagine four determined conspirators managing to get assigned to the same precinct together. Really, to help minimize the potential for abuse, I think all poll workers should have to be chosen at random from the population just like they are for jury duty, instead of how it works now: an all-volunteer force that leaves itself more vulnerable to such a conspiracy and potential fraud being perpetrated.

But even with an electronic/Internet voting scheme at polling places, you'd still have this problem. A few unethical poll workers could really go hogwild submitting dozens of electronic ballots, potentially changing the outcome of a race. The only way anyone would know is if "voter turnout" was unexpectedly higher at certain precincts, but that's not proof, just suspicion. As it is now, we just have to hope that the fear of someone with loose lips bragging about it or informing on the other conspirators would be enough to keep people honest.
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 04:46 AM
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2. Or, as I said in one of my stickies: EVMs don't steal elections, people do.
I probably should have said, "Repubs do."
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 06:54 PM
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3. That's not Internet voting! TIA is most likely just trying to get attention by calling it that.
Edited on Mon Aug-23-10 06:57 PM by Bill Bored
And unless the ballots are counted by hand, I don't see how this system would be much safer than the current ones.

A little history (as in HOW QUICKLY THEY FORGET):

A system of verifying central tabulation via the Internet with observers on the ground at each precinct was proposed FIVE years ago by Dr. Juan Jover and the DNC, implemented by the Iowa Democratic Party in their caucuses, and proposed several times in federal legislation by Congressman Rush Holt.

As far as the rest of the scheme, if entering votes in a spreadsheet with observers and giving voters COPIES of their ballots violates ballot secrecy, it won't fly. You can't allow voters to take unencrypted ballots with them when they leave the polls because of the potential for vote selling!

And you can't depend on spreadsheet software alone to do precinct-level tabulation or even recording of votes, since it can too easily be altered without the data entry folks knowing it, as soon as the entries scroll off the screen for example! Perhaps the spreadsheets can serve as a data entry point for the HCPB results at each precinct, but I don't know if this is what TIA has in mind. :shrug:
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