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The Internet Politics Technology

Norway Scraps Online Voting 139

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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  • by gb ( 8474 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @03:01PM (#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 ?

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

    by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @03:09PM (#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".
  • Re:What logic! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FaxeTheCat ( 1394763 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @03:10PM (#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.
  • by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @03:10PM (#47335255) Homepage

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

    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.

  • Re:Wait, trials? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2014 @03:34PM (#47335499)

    I thought I saw Euro-Slashdotters criticizing the US for still having physical ballots

    You seem to have thought wrong. All the criticism I've seen is Europeans asking why the US finds it necessary to invest in mechanical ("hanging chads") and electronic ("whoops it voted for the other guy", "whoops we got hacked") voting machines when we're doing just fine with pencil, paper and humans counting. Europe (The EU27) just had European elections where the entire ballot was almost entirely done with people scratching graphite onto dried wood pulp. Somehow, we managed.

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

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @08:18PM (#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.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis