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Politics Technology

Is New York City Ready For Digital Voting? 93

Posted by Soulskill
from the only-if-they-can-do-it-from-a-cab dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Turnout for local elections in New York City was 33.7 percent in 2010, according to Fair Vote. And while some apps and startups are looking to resurrect turnouts in future elections, most candidates still couldn't tell you how they work or why they might be necessary. Benjamin Kallos is a candidate for New York City Council's fifth district, which includes the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, and has his sights on modernizing the electoral process. He's campaigning on a high-tech platform that he says aims to deepen technology's role in promoting transparency, inclusion, and accountability within pockets of New York City's voting pool that remain largely disengaged."
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Is New York City Ready For Digital Voting?

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Friday August 09, 2013 @03:13PM (#44524021)

    If you're too lazy to vote - no, I don't care about your opinion.

    (Can't make it to your polling place? I'll bet you can find some time in the months leading up to the election to vote absentee. Don't have transportation to go vote? There are a dozen different programs and thousands of volunteers who will help. GOML!)

    • by gl4ss (559668) on Friday August 09, 2013 @03:18PM (#44524069) Homepage Journal

      ..just move the voting to sundays, like every other sensible western nation does it.

      digital remote voting, which enables vote selling and coercion? fuck that. it goes against every basic principle of being able to vote what you want no matter what your employer or even spouse tells you.

      • by OzPeter (195038)

        ..just move the voting to sundays, like every other sensible western nation does it.

        Some sensible nations do it on Saturdays!

        Anyway there is a movement to try and change this in the US: Why Tuesday? [whytuesday.org]

        Also there are things like this: Bill would let Californians vote on Saturday [sacbee.com]

        • ..just move the voting to sundays, like every other sensible western nation does it.

          Some sensible nations do it on Saturdays!

          That would lower turnout not increase it. People can be convinced to leave their jobs to go stand in line for a few hours, but giving up their weekend time? Fuck that.

      • I am voting electronically this year in the Norwegian election. If somebody is stupid enough to give me money for voting for a certain party, then let them. I can vote as many times as I want, and it is only the last vote that counts. If I want to be even more evil, I can vote by paper as well, and let the guy paying money to see me vote on the net be there until the end. The paper vote superseded the electronic one.
        • I am voting electronically this year in the Norwegian election. If somebody is stupid enough to give me money for voting for a certain party, then let them. I can vote as many times as I want, and it is only the last vote that counts. If I want to be even more evil, I can vote by paper as well, and let the guy paying money to see me vote on the net be there until the end. The paper vote superseded the electronic one.

          That implies you guys don't have a secret ballot. After all, how would they know which vote to cancel on the subsequent electronic votes? Or worse, they're even able to match up your paper ballot to your electronic vote to know to cancel your electronic vote. Which necessarily implies that if somebody is coercing you to vote a certain way, all they need to do is bribe someone in government that has access to that information, to verify that you actually voted the way you were supposed to.

          Of course, that'

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What about people who are logical enough to see that their individual vote has no statistical significance and thus is a waste of their time?

      "But it should be a privilege to vote! You're throwing away the rights given to you by democracy!"

      I'm well aware of that, but I'm a realist, and am not going to do something that has no tangible personal benefit.

    • I am not to lazy to vote. I am just not a big enough hypocrite to vote for any of the options available. Wasting my time and gas to drive down the the polling place, and write in Peewee Herman just doesn't seem worth it.
      Take for example the election (Non electronic) that be had her not long ago. Here are the options:
      Corrupt bastards who will do roughly what they were already doing. lots of scandals. Economy here isn't terrible.
      Incompetents who will form the opposition, and would be an unmitigated disast
  • by ardmhacha (192482) on Friday August 09, 2013 @03:14PM (#44524029)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_law_of_headlines [wikipedia.org]

    "Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    For digital "voting" to even be considered, the city needs to provide every person over 18 with a functional computer and dependable connection.

  • by intermodal (534361) on Friday August 09, 2013 @03:15PM (#44524045) Homepage Journal

    Most Americans are barely capable of making an informed vote, much less being "ready for digital voting".

    That's why we're $17 trillion in debt and running a massive defecit.

  • No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gweihir (88907) on Friday August 09, 2013 @03:19PM (#44524077)

    But since digital voting is all about easy, traceless election-fraud, it will be used nonetheless.

  • Do not want (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Potential voters who can't be bothered to show up at the polling station on the correct day, and maybe stand in line for an unknown amount of time don't deserve to have a vote. It's just a commodity that is ripe for manipulation anyway ("we have a deal just for you").

    And that's not even going into the well-known security problems of e-voting.

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday August 09, 2013 @03:22PM (#44524117)

    Anyone who thinks that new technology for voting will improve transparency, inclusion, and accountability has not been keeping up with the news. Or bothered to search the EFF web site.

    Or is his platform, "Oh, never mind the past! We'll get it right *this* time!"

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday August 09, 2013 @03:23PM (#44524133) Journal
    The electoral process must not only be fair, but also it should be very visibly fair. Otherwise the losing side will always accuse the other side of "fixing" elections. So the switch to e-voting requires the much harder work of persuading people that it is trustworthy. Other technical challenges are also very difficult. The voter should be able to verify that his/her vote is cast correctly and counted correctly. At the same time no one else, even with the cooperation of the voter, should be able to connect the vote cast to the voter. Voter not being able to prove how he/she voted is a fundamental requirement, without it people would buy/sell votes with confidence.
    • And may never be. 'BBV' was a common tag on Slashdot for years, and with good reason: There will always be major obstacles to auditing the machines even after you open source the software. Mountains worth of logic still reside within the ICs and there is no way to just pop the hood and see what logic gates affect which bits of output.

      IMO, the closest thing anyone has gotten to a properly verifiable computerized voting system is one where the ballots are printed out with the voters' choices in easily readabl

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I keep seeing many Americans complaining online how their government keeps ruining their country. I wonder if many of those complainers actually voted seeing that turnout percentage. Are the complainers just silent minority? Do majority of Americans actually love how things are or why don't they go to vote? And those who vote, why they always vote the same shit with a different arsehole?

  • Although personally against the idea, I've often wondered how our elections would turn out if everybody was required by law to vote. Would the current patterns be re-enforced? Or would a radically different political landscape come about?

  • Undo Gerrymandering? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NReitzel (77941) on Friday August 09, 2013 @03:43PM (#44524307) Homepage

    If some very bright person could figure out how to under gerrymandering of precincts, I'd vote for them on that principle alone.

    Nobody likes that idea, though, because it threatens all the little fiefdoms established in congress and state legislatures, and might result in the end of millions of dollars of corporate bribes, er, contributions.

    To Congressdorks: Remember Arab Spring. It can happen here.

    • To Congressdorks: Remember Arab Spring. It can happen here.

      Really? The way Occupy Wall Street succeeded? One important characteristic of Arab spring is having a few leaders, self-appointed mostly, who are recognized by many followers. These leaders represent their followers by proxy and leaders accumulate followers. In OWS you had All-Chiefs-and-no-Indians problem. The congress critters know it. They are not scared. The NRA has stood by them election after election, turning out votes repeatedly. That is the kind of track record you have to rake up if you want to be

    • If some very bright person could figure out how to under gerrymandering of precincts, I'd vote for them on that principle alone.

      Gerrymandering is only a tool, not good or bad. It can be used to make sure that minorities are given a voice in proportion to their numbers, and it can be used to make sure that minorities are completely silenced. Let me guess. White middle class male. Am I right?

  • A union thug or employer looking over your shoulder to make sure you vote the right guys in. Or a husband that will force his wife to vote for his candidate under threat of violence.

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday August 09, 2013 @03:51PM (#44524391) Homepage Journal

    The only way to be as sure as possible that every cast was both cast and recorded correctly will be to have a verifiable paper trail.

    Whether a piece of paper is spit out to the voter after voting and stored in a secured box or is actually used to cast the vote, without a verifiable paper trail the means to rig elections go up exponentially.

    • You don't want "a barcode" or something on the paper to represent your vote, since that can't be read (easily) by humans. We only get to vote every few years. If it's too much trouble to count those votes or if it's absolutely vital "for democracy" that we know the result of the elections the second the election closes, we have something wrong in our democracy. Cast votes in a non-tech way that each civilian can verify if he or she can read. Count the votes afterwards, have them recount by someone else. Kee
  • Somehow the extra word 'Digital" was added to that question.

  • Electronic voting is not secure and can never be made secure.

    I won't rehash all my arguments here; if you're interested read the "dskoll" comments on this LWN article [lwn.net].

  • Of course New York City is ready for digital voting! Think of the opportunities for even greater voter fraud and intimidation.
  • Aside from the headline, I don't see a single mention of electronic voting in the summary, the article, or the candidate's website. Somebody at Motherboard just thought "digital voting" sounded more exciting then "digital campaigning".

  • The 2013 mayoral race won by "Hitler Did Nothing Wrong" in a landslide.
  • by guanxi (216397) on Friday August 09, 2013 @06:06PM (#44526131)

    Perhaps people have noticed some recent news about surveillance and tracking, by government and business, of people's computer use.

    That's how people want to submit their secret ballots?

  • With digital voting it is really easy to sell your vote, or to force someone (like members in a family) to vote in a certain way. Since who's to stop coercion when nobody is around?
  • Because if there is one thing you can accept as God's own truth, the Internet is secure, and no fraud is possible.

    Let's roll out the e-vote!

  • Pitch the idea as a cheaper way to use the 8 zilllion languages of NYC.

  • Politicians would like nothing better than to rig elections in their favor. And the easiest way to do that is to have the elections conducted over the Internet.

    We're already in the process of losing our democracy to socialists and communists in the federal government. We don't need to accelerate the process by going digital.

  • Digital voting == voting with one's digits. Typically the center, longest one. Just ask any cab driver.

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