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The Internet Politics Technology

Norway Scraps Online Voting 139

Posted by Soulskill
from the will-now-elect-officials-through-online-petitions-instead dept.
An anonymous reader sends news that Norway will no longer experiment with online voting: [T]he trials have ended because, said the government, voters' fears about their votes becoming public could undermine democratic processes. Political controversy and the fact that the trials did not boost turnout also led to the experiment ending. In a statement, Norway's Office of Modernisation said it was ending the experiments following discussions in the nation's parliament about efforts to update voting systems. The statement said although there was "broad political desire" to let people vote via the net, the poor results from the last two experiments had convinced the government to stop spending money on more trials. ... A report looking into the success of the 2013 trial said about 70,000 Norwegians took the chance to cast an e-vote. This represented about 38% of all the 250,000 people across 12 towns and cities who were eligible to vote online. However, it said, there was no evidence that the trial led to a rise in the overall number of people voting nor that it mobilised new groups, such as young people, to vote.
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Norway Scraps Online Voting

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  • What logic! (Score:4, Funny)

    by AaronLS (1804210) on Friday June 27, 2014 @01:58PM (#47335151)

    What logic is this? We found that although nearly a third of mathematicians used electronic calculators when they were invented, the electronic calculators did not encourage previously non-mathematicians to be mathematicians, so we threw them all away.

    • Re:What logic! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:09PM (#47335243)
      No, more a matter of "we found no evidence that this new idea actually improved things, so we decided it wasn't worth spending more money experimenting with it".
      • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:16PM (#47335317) Homepage Journal

        Evidence-based governance is completely foreign to us Americans, you'll have to understand if some of us can't quite understand it.

        • Re:What logic! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by mysidia (191772) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:34PM (#47335487)

          Evidence-based governance is completely foreign to us Americans, you'll have to understand if some of us can't quite understand it.

          It's not that I don't agree with evidence-based government. It's that I cannot agree with their conclusion that online voting cannot encourage greater overall turnout.

          The fact that 38% of the people took a chance to e-Vote, strongly suggests that much of the population was happier casting their vote electronically, and 62% were either skeptical, unaware, or lacked the ability.

          Extremely good results, arguing strongly in favor of e-Voting, I would say.

          • Well, it could just be politics, one or more political parties always benefits from lower turnouts in elections, and they could be in control and looking after their own interests. As I indicated, I'm American, and not Norwegian, and don't presume to know the nuance of the situation.

          • Re:What logic! (Score:4, Informative)

            by FaxeTheCat (1394763) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:39PM (#47335551)
            The problem was that the overall turnout did not increase. So 38% of those who would have voted anyway chose to do it electronically. As developing and maintaining a complex system that is used every second year would be quite expensive, along with privacy issues etc., making it a little more convenent to vote is just not a good enough reason. At least not at this time.
            • The problem was that the overall turnout did not increase.

              Why is "higher turnout" a goal? Is their any evidence that countries with high voter turnout are better governed? Low voter turnout should mean that most people are generally satisfied with the government, and most political choices are closely clustered around the consensus opinion. Or it could mean that people feel the system is corrupted and their vote doesn't matter. In the latter case, changing the method of voting won't fix the problem.

              • Re:What logic! (Score:4, Interesting)

                by FaxeTheCat (1394763) on Friday June 27, 2014 @03:13PM (#47335843)
                The goal of this test was to test technology and to check if easier access to voting would increase turnout.
                If you test somethig for a specific purpose, then surely accepting the outcome cannot be a problem?

                As for the reason for the low turnout, that is a mixed issue. At least we can now assume that access to voting facilities is not one of the problems. As for the country in question, a few reasons may be a generally high standard of living combined with no major fundamental differences between the political blocks. (I live in that country, and my family all vote.)
                • by mysidia (191772)

                  As for the reason for the low turnout, that is a mixed issue. At least we can now assume that access to voting facilities is not one of the problems.

                  No... it's not really safe to assume that. First of all.... they have 3.6 million registered voters, and only 250,000 were ever eligible to cast votes electronically; secondly, failure to find evidence of a change in overall voter turnout does not mean that it does not exist.

                  Perhaps access to voting facilities was also a problem with their e-Voting tr

                  • Perhaps access to voting facilities was also a problem with their e-Voting trials. In order to cast a vote electronically; voters needed to receive a polling card.
                    The ability to receive the card through the mail on a timely basis and follow the instructions would be necessary to participate.

                    All voters in Norway receive a voting card in the mail, and I can assure you that the norwegian mail system is very reliable as well as the cards being sent out well in advance of the election.
                    Regarding the learning curve... Norwegians have been able to file the tax returns electronically for a number of years, and in 2012, approx 75 % of those who filed did it electronically. Also we have one of the worlds highest use of electronic banking (I have been physically to a bank exactly once during the last te

              • Is their any evidence that countries with high voter turnout are better governed?

                You could compare countries with compulsory voting [wikipedia.org] with their neighbors.

            • Re:What logic! (Score:4, Interesting)

              by znrt (2424692) on Friday June 27, 2014 @03:18PM (#47335875)

              this could be it. i was involved in this experiment as a developer. i'd say that besides some specific flaws the experiment was a success. i do now know for sure and first hand that secure, private and verifiable evoting over inet is feasible, because we did it, never mind any particular quirks. i have to say i was never really sure, now i am. is it a priority? probably not. it is definitely an improvement and a good tool but for me there are many other issues that would need to be tackled first if democracy is to be taken seriously, voting electronically or on paper being just secondary. i can't help but also applaud the iniciative of those norse politicians who made this experiment possible, however i'm absolutely not confident in that opting out now accounts for minding that very same priorities.

            • by Rei (128717)

              So electronic voting is expensive but paper voting is cheap? Could you explain that logic?

              The fewer people who go to polling stations, the fewer stations you need (at least in areas of at least moderate population density where driving distance would become a factor if there were fewer). There's an awfully lot of overhead behind polling stations, both before, during, and after the election.

              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                There's an awfully lot of overhead behind polling stations, both before, during, and after the election.

                There is? There's a little bit of equipment used every year, a fair number of boxes and a whole bunch of paper but not a truly epic amount, if we're honest (compare tax time, although I suppose there's a lot less paper in that of late) and aren't most of the employees volunteers?

                • by Rei (128717)

                  I searched for figures and found that for the 2000 election alone, municipalities alone are estimated to have spent $1B on voting (not counting the registration side). Yes, I don't think that's an insignificant sum. Yes, I think software could be way, way cheaper.

                  • by drinkypoo (153816)

                    Well, it certainly is a piece of money, but I think the $967 million America spent on fourth of July fireworks in 2012 speaks to the fact that it's not really that much. If we can blow that much every year on reminding ourselves how much freedom we have, I think we can spend that much actually voting for it. Also, if you just eliminate voter registration, and let anyone vote who seems to be able to vote, you'll still probably cut down on vote manipulation if you count illegal disenfranchisement, and you won

              • "There's an awfully lot of overhead behind polling stations" - Not so much. Around here polling stations are some folding tables in a church hall or school gym. We use paper ballots and cardboard ballot boxes. Total cost = pennies per voter.
                • by Luckyo (1726890)

                  That's standard in all Nordics. Additionally people staffing the stations are mostly volunteers. Here in Finland for example, you find mostly elderly (former) political/democratic activists who find its their duty to show up and ensure country is democratic with some younger people with similar goals also in the mix.

                  As a result, most of the cost is logistics and paper trail. Pretty much everything else, such as buildings used, equipment used and so on is reused.

                • by mysidia (191772)

                  We use paper ballots and cardboard ballot boxes. Total cost = pennies per voter.

                  Paper is expensive.... software should be thousandths of a penny per voter.

            • by Entropius (188861)

              How is doing electronic voting any more complex to maintain and develop than setting up polling places, screwing around with ballots, etc.?

              • It adds complexity, as it will be in addition to the manual voting system.
                There are no problems with keeping only the manual system, while it is impossible in the forseeable future to use only electronic voting.
                • by mysidia (191772)

                  while it is impossible in the forseeable future to use only electronic voting.

                  Impossible? How come?

                  Do what they did in the U.S. buy some computers and set them up as electronic voting kiosks.

                  Better still...... no special software needed, just a bootable read-only CF card with ChromeOS and a slightly customized config file; when the voter steps in, they power on the machine which immediately loads the Norway internet voting website.

                  • Impossible? How come?

                    It is not a technical issue, it is much more a political issue. Moving to an all electronic voting systyem has not even been discussed. Getting political and public acceptance for it would tale a long time.

                  • So we set up electronic voting kiosks. In what way is this better than machine-counted paper ballots? In what way is this superior to vote-by-mail for disabled voters who may not have easy net access? What happens if the voting machines lose power or connectivity? What happens if something goes wrong on the website? Paper has this very great advantage that it can be used in almost all conditions, and in difficult circumstances can be stored for later counting.

          • by GNious (953874)

            It's that I cannot agree with their conclusion that online voting cannot encourage greater overall turnout.

            They didn't conclude it CANNOT - they concluded it DID NOT.

            It may still be that it can, but they are disinclined to throw further money at it, at this point, given the absence of increased turnout.

            • by mysidia (191772)

              They didn't conclude it CANNOT - they concluded it DID NOT.

              No. Their report said they didn't find definitive evidence that it increased voter turnout. It didn't really say to what lengths they went through to try to find evidence of increased turnout.

              And their bar was high.... it's not as if Norway suffers from low overall voter turnout.

              The fact is... electronic voting should save trees, time, and transportation costs for many people.

              If the software is adding costs... one should begin to ques

              • One necessary requirement to be placed on the software is security. This is expensive, for a variety of reasons. Low-priced software will likely be hackable or manipulable, and the confidence in the vote will be compromised.

          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            Note that your argument is the same as the argument of creationists: "I cannot agree that conclusion I prepared doesn't match the facts on the ground".

      • by AaronLS (1804210)

        38% of voters considered it an improvement if they opted for that method over the other(that's not to assume their outcome experience was better). Probably in Netflix's beginning their subscriber base was only people who already watched movies, and simply found it more convenient. They may not have initially turned non-movie watchers into movie watchers. Obviously that wasn't Netflix's goal metric, but the point being that the preference 38% people showed could be an indicator that it could me marketable

        • Re:What logic! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by arth1 (260657) on Friday June 27, 2014 @07:18PM (#47337837) Homepage Journal

          User satisfaction isn't the goal. A fair democracy is.
          And internet based voting comes with some quite serious problems in that regard. In particular, someone can observe and force family members to vote a certain way..

          Unless the advantages more than make up for the disadvantages, cancelling the trials is the proper thing to do to protect the fairness and privacy of the voting system.

          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            This is in fact one of the biggest problems of online voting. It's very difficult to force someone to vote a certain way at a polling station, as there is no way to check what the other person voted for.

            It's very easy to check what the other person voted for in electronic voting process. That makes intimidation, bribing and so on viable tools for collecting votes.

            • by rtb61 (674572)

              If it all is about voter turnout then simply make voting compulsory. This has two advantages, it force the government to ensure voting is fully accessible so that they can send out the fines for failure to do so and secondly in terms of a sound society it reinforces the importance of voting, not a right but the core responsibility of any citizen of a democracy, do not vote and you deserve to pay a fine.

              • by Luckyo (1726890)

                We people of Nordics have a long standing tradition of freedom of choice, and compulsory voting would not resonate well with population.

                • by rtb61 (674572)

                  You can choose to abridge your responsibility and pay the fine, it would be a token fine just slightly more annoying than making the effort to vote.

                  • by Luckyo (1726890)

                    This is a very anglo mentality, that is quite alien to us.

                    • by arth1 (260657)

                      Indeed. Rights and duties have nothing to do with money, and aren't commodities to be bought and sold, or avoided if you're rich. The millionaire in the neighborhood is expected to pick litter during a "dugnad" and not buy his way out of it, and the poor man is expected to have the same right to vote (or not) as the rich man.

    • Re:What logic! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FaxeTheCat (1394763) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:10PM (#47335249)
      To put it simple: There is a cost with no benefit.

      The cost is real money, and the benefit would be increased turnout. Without an increased turnout, there is no benefit. The fact that some people who (most likely) are already voters use the online voting is not a reason to spend a lot of money on the system.

      The fact that voters have no way of verifying that the vote is anonymous also contribute to the decision.

      As most people live within a 10 minute walk form the polling stations, adding electronic voting is not really important at all.
      • Re:What logic! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mlts (1038732) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:19PM (#47335345)

        Another problem with electronic voting is the complexity. Paper ballots are simple. A mark or a hole punched through some wood pulp.

        With electronic voting, there are so many vulnerabilities. From voting machines that will change one's vote to Kodos before it even gets registered on the machine, to votes being switched in transit, there are no real ways to actually protect that info from a determined, well-heeled intruder. Paper trails are still forgable, but we have had thousands of years dealing with paper, and it requires a definite physical presence to alter results.

        This isn't to say it cannot be done, but it would require a cryptographic infrastructure from a dedicated smart card that the voter has, to cryptography at every link (so votes added/subtracted from a county would be detected)... and all this assuming the hardware maker didn't add their backdoors.

        Maybe NYC is right... time to go back to mechanical voting machines or at least pen and pencil.

        • There's also the political issues with voting machines. There was a video of a guy exploiting a touch screen vulnerability to show Obama votes getting changed to Romney here. Basically, with some touch screens, the edge of the screen is odd, or using the edge of your finger produces odd results. My phone, for example, will often register a touch in the center-right of the keyboard if I try to hit backspace--which is in the lower-right corner of the fucking screen--if I graze the edge of the screen. SO

          • There's also the political issues with voting machines

            Just to clear this one up: In the Norwegian tests, there were no dedicated voting machines. The voters used their own computers, voting from home. Using dedicated voting machines instead of paper was never an option.

            • by znrt (2424692)

              Just to clear this one up: In the Norwegian tests, there were no dedicated voting machines. The voters used their own computers, voting from home. Using dedicated voting machines instead of paper was never an option.

              you are wrong or lying. there was a "virtual" voting machine implementation. it was not used, like a bunch of other funny stuff, but it always was an option, that's the reason it was fucking implemented in the first place. you can look it up in the sourcecode since it is public. who the fuck are you anyway spilling all this bullshit?

            • OP mentioned voting machines that change peoples' votes.
        • From voting machines

          There are no voting machines involved, as the online voting was done from the voters own PC. There is already systems in place in Norway to ensure user authentication (used for filign tax returns etc...), so any issue would be with the central systems. In its simplest form, it is a question of trust.

        • by RobinH (124750)
          Electronic voting (i.e. voting machines) has its own set of serious issues, but this is about Online voting (i.e. from a home/office computer) which adds way more problems than just electronic voting, not the least of which is vote-selling. How might an employer treat two employees differently if one of them could prove that he/she voted the way the boss liked? What about a spouse? Why not just sell it to the highest bidder?
          • by Rei (128717)

            not the least of which is vote-selling

            1. Proof of vote is completely different from online voting. You can have online systems without proof of vote. You can have paper systems with proof of vote.
            2. Proveable vote selling already exists. Very few polling places ban cell phones with cameras.
            3. Systems can and in fact already do exist to allow a voter to prove to themselves that they voted for a particular candidate but not to others. Approaches include things allowing voters to cast "test votes" or "dummy vo

            • by arth1 (260657)

              2. Proveable vote selling already exists. Very few polling places ban cell phones with cameras.

              That is not an issue in the system Norway uses, with manually marked paper ballots in an envelope. You can take as many pictures and movies as you like within the secrecy of the voting booth, but not outside it in the election locale.
              Nothing prevents you from filling out two ballots, and film just doing one of them. What goes in the urn, no one can say.

              • by Rei (128717)

                That was just an example. Let's pick another one - say, absentee voting? Does Norway allow that, and if so, how do they prevent vote buying with absentee votes?

                • by Cochonou (576531)
                  I don't know how they do it in Norway, but I can tell you how they do it in France: you cannot mail a ballot. You need to designate a proxy to vote for you on election day. This proxy can only collect a very limited number of mandates. This prevents vote buying on any significant scale...
                • In South Africa, absentee ballots have to be applied for ahead of time, an electoral commission officer accompanied by one or more party representatives goes to the person, gives them the ballot paper and retrieves it in sealed double envelopes as soon as the person is done with it.

                  It is labour intensive, but it prevents trouble from happening.

                • by arth1 (260657)

                  That was just an example. Let's pick another one - say, absentee voting? Does Norway allow that, and if so, how do they prevent vote buying with absentee votes?

                  The same way as they do with the general election. Absentee votes have to be cast in an embassy, consulate or military facility that has a secluded voting booth and a sealed urn.
                  It's fairly safe because it is low tech.

                  • by Rei (128717)

                    And as for the urn, in both cases, the person can't take a *video* showing which one they're placing in the urn, why?

                    • by arth1 (260657)

                      Because filming in (or outside) the election locale would violate (a) the voters' expectation of privacy, and (b) right to confidential voting. Including whether you voted or not..

                      If you're thinking that there's no right to privacy in public, that's generally not the case outside the US. In most public law countries, a person's reasonable expectation of privacy trumps anyone's right to record, be it photographs, filming, or note taking. And the right to vote in secrecy is an inalienable right, which tru

      • by znrt (2424692)

        The fact that voters have no way of verifying that the vote is anonymous also contribute to the decision.

        paper voters have no way of verifying that either, you are simply talking nonsense.

        by the way increased turnout is not at all the benefit, you not only do know nothing about the system, you fail to grasp what democracy is about. if turnout is a matter of comfort or marketing, democracy is worth a crap.

        the central aspect about evoting is that it can drastically improve the technical capacity of governments to submit stuff for question. turnout is a totally different issue which should depend on the quality o

        • paper voters have no way of verifying that either, you are simply talking nonsense.

          When I vote, I pick a list for the party I vote for, and put it (unmarked) into the ballot box where it is mixed with a significant number of other similar lists. There is no way to track exactly what piece of paper I put in that box. So my vote is anonymous.

          by the way increased turnout is not at all the benefit, you not only do know nothing about the system, you fail to grasp what democracy is about. if turnout is a matter of comfort or marketing, democracy is worth a crap.

          The aim of this test was to measure if there would be an increased turnout. By the design criterium, the test was no success. As I did not create the design cirteria for the test, I can hardly be blamed if the test used irrelevant criteria?

          • by znrt (2424692)

            paper voters have no way of verifying that either, you are simply talking nonsense.

            When I vote, I pick a list for the party I vote for, and put it (unmarked) into the ballot box where it is mixed with a significant number of other similar lists. There is no way to track exactly what piece of paper I put in that box. So my vote is anonymous.

            you wish. you have no way to verify it you are actually have privacy while picking, or if your envelope is not traceable. sure this example is extreme, the point is that it equally applies to electronic voting. in neither case absolute certainty is possible. specific and documented procedures were in place in the evoting experiment to guarrantee voter privacy and anonimity, and they are public. you are welcome to study and challenge them. or else ... so what is your point?

            The aim of this test was to measure if there would be an increased turnout. By the design criterium, the test was no success. As I did not create the design cirteria for the test, I can hardly be blamed if the test used irrelevant criteria?

            sorry, i'm really far fom angry, just baffled. who told you that? this was the first time (not really, we're actually talking about the second run of the same experiment, the first was in 2011, but on a smaller scale) that full evoting over the wild wild web was attempted on binding elections ever, with privacy, anonymity and verifiability. the real test was if this was at all possible and practical with present technology. i turns out it is. it's complex, it has issues, there's a lot of room for improvemen

        • the central aspect about evoting is that it can drastically improve the technical capacity of governments to submit stuff for question.

          Thank you - this is a key, often overlooked aspect. I find E-voting on regular elections to really be more of a "pilot stage" on the road to true democracy. Or, what I think is an important difference, toward true representative (liquid) direct democracy, wherein you can choose someone (or multiple people, for different types of issues) to vote for you (and they can forward

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        There is one severe issue with online voting. It doesn't occur in a controlled environment. As a result, it's possible to check what other person actually voted for. This enables tactics like voter intimidation and bribery, something that is not viable at polling stations, because at polling station you can say you voted for one politician, and actually have voted for another.

        There is no way for anyone check. Voting is anonymous. All it takes to check who you voted for electronically is to sit next to you a

        • by Rei (128717)

          There is one severe issue with online voting. It doesn't occur in a controlled environment. As a result, it's possible to check what other person actually voted for.

          In Straw-Man Voting Systems internet voting software, you're absolutely right!

          Meanwhile, in the non-straw-man case, this is a well recognized problem with dozens of easy solutions which anyone spending 15 seconds thinking about the problem could solve. For example, Estonia lets people vote as many times as they want, either in person or on the c

          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            You don't need to hold the person hostage. You just need to take away their electronic id card for the rest of the day.

            This isn't a strawman. This is a real threat, and something that has significant history of happening in the past with democracy. Please stop pretending that "doing stuff with computers is always better" and actually study the history behind the issue.

            • by Rei (128717)

              In Estonia, if your card is taken from you can call in immediately and invalidate its signatures and have the right to contest any fraudulent use of it. There's also discussion about allowing for alternative / backup / temporary ID cards in the future. And of course, an ID card is hardly the only approach one can take for an internet voting system, Estonia just wanted to tie voting into their system.

              Nor am I "pretending that doing stuff with computers is always better". I'm simply pointing out that most pe

              • by Luckyo (1726890)

                You simply have poor or no understanding of history of democracy then. Look it up. Intimidation of voters was very common in the past, and those aren't some "thought up" methods. Those are the methods that were put to practice with great effect in the past.

                For example, you are a daughter in a patriachal family. Your father tells you who to vote, and then takes your card away from you. If you call in your card missing, you face extreme problems inside your own family.

                The current system on the other hand allo

    • by MacTO (1161105)

      Calculators didn't present the risk of undermining mathematics. (Some people suggested that calculators would reduce people's proficiency at arithmetic, but it calculators didn't create invalid results.) Electronic voting does run the risk of undermining democracy. Even if the systems were secure with respect to voter privacy and vote tampering, the mere suspicion could influence people not to vote to change their vote or the question the results of an election.

      • by kyrsjo (2420192)

        I think the strongest argument against home-PC-voting is that secrecy of the vote is not protected, as someone (husband/wife/boss/religious leader/...) could force you to vote against your own conviction.

        • Likewise with mail-in voting. It should be rare, and you should have to request it prior to every election. It should never be the default (or, as is the case in several States the only) option.
          • by kyrsjo (2420192)

            Exactly - they are equivalent except for the ease-of-use. And voting in Norway is already pretty easy (source: I am a citizen) - you have voting booths at basically every primary school during election day with quite short queues, and you can pre-vote a lot of places (which was my preference a couple of times - go to the booth in the corner of the university canteen). They also come around to hospitals, retirement homes etc. so that even if you're stuck in bed, they bring the ballot box to you.

            Where is mail

    • by AaronLS (1804210)

      These are all valid points. I was not implying that mathematics is anything like voting, nor was I presenting an opinion for or against online voting, nor was I trying to imply that online voting is the same caliber of breakthrough as the electronic calculator.

      I was merely poking fun at the logic/reasoning presented in the summary of why they considered it a failure. You can list 1000 valid reasons why online voting is a bad idea, that doesn't change the humor of the particular logic presented in the summa

  • by gb (8474) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:01PM (#47335177) Homepage

    So, given a reasonably small country with a population relatively well concentrated into population centres and good connectivity, turnout for voting does not seem to be strongly limited by access to polls.... yes, well, perhaps the solution is not addressing the real problem ?

  • by RobinH (124750) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:10PM (#47335255) Homepage

    I'm surprised there isn't more concern about the serious and fundamental problems with online voting [contactandcoil.com].

    That blog post makes two points, one about vote selling and one about security. I don't see how any online voting system could ever stop you from being able to sell your vote, and that was one of the major reasons for a secret ballot. That pretty much makes online-voting a non-starter right there.

    • by amaurea (2900163)

      I agree with your concerns about selling your vote. But I do think it's possible to design a system that makes vote-selling worthless, though it would be less convenient than normal online voting, and would still involve some physical visits to the voting booth, just not as often. Basically, every N years you would visit the voting locales in person and draw any number of random numbers on slips of paper or similar. You choose one of these random numbers and copy it to a new slip of paper which you put in a

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Sounds complicated. Just finished a provincial election here, and paper voting makes things so much simpler. Walk 5 minutes down the road to the nearest school. Present voter registration card and ID, or proof of address (bank statement, etc.) and ID, get your ballot, fill it out, drop it in the box, walk home. It would probably be at least as complicated to do it online, and I still would feel less assured that my vote was being counted correctly. Total time to vote by paper was like 15 minutes.
  • Negative Vote Button (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tippe (1136385) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:25PM (#47335413)

    I bet you they could have improved voter turnout if they had introduced a negative vote button, like the "Thumbs Down" button on youtube. Sometimes you just don't know who to vote for, but would be glad to use your vote as a form of protest, and to send a well-deserved message to some cretinous politician or political party.

  • No matter how easy you make something, Lazy people will still be lazy.

  • A smart move (Score:4, Informative)

    by Albanach (527650) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:57PM (#47335729) Homepage

    Over a decade ago, there was a GNU project [gnu.org] for internet voting. With no financial incentive, the driving force was a belief that there would be a benefit in making voting easier. The project was abandoned after they realized how difficult creating a secure, reliable and anonymous internet voting system actually is.

    The founder of the project quotes Bruce Schneier as saying, "a secure Internet voting system is theoretically possible, but it would be the first secure networked application ever created in the history of computers."

    Of course, if someone here wants to show their credentials and explain why Schneier is wrong, I'm sure many of us would love to hear their reasoning.

  • Give the state of today's technology, no form of electronic voting can be considered reasonably safe, accurate or secure.

    It may be easy to find fault with their reasoning, but its hard to criticize the outcome.
    • by Rei (128717)

      Given the state of today's technology, no form of electronic banking can be considered reasonably safe, accurate or secure.

      So should banks all shut down their online banking services?

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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