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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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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.)
  • 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.

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"

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