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Study: New Jersey e-Vote Experiment After Sandy a Disaster 77

TMB writes Al Jazeera reports on a Rutgers study about e-voting in New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy, and it is damning. It concludes that the middle of a natural disaster is the last time to try switching to a new voting method, especially one rife with such problems as e-voting. The table of contents includes such section headings as "Internet voting is not safe, should not be made legal, and should never be incorporated into emergency measures."
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Study: New Jersey e-Vote Experiment After Sandy a Disaster

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  • for organization executives, policy approvals, and stockholder proxy votes have been conducted without incident so far.

    A handful of problem cases are to be expected amidst this flood.

    I would doubt that the relative incidence of rigging paper-ballot elections is smaller.

    • Millions? Maybe you meant thousands? Maybe on second thought, hundreds or at least dozens? Well, American Idol anyway. Hmm maybe American Idol was by SMS, not internet.

      There is the IBM proxy, so that's one. I bet we could find two or three more. It might be safe to say "a few".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Captain Obvious Fucks You RIGHT in the ASS again.

  • by davydagger ( 2566757 ) on Sunday October 26, 2014 @03:14PM (#48235773)
    So basicly New Jersey fucked up implementation, because they made everything possible that could go wrong, go wrong, then complain about it going wrong, and blamed the idea for their gross incompetence....

    yep.
    • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Sunday October 26, 2014 @03:59PM (#48236059)

      and blamed the idea for their gross incompetence....

      I don't dispute that they may have been grossly incompetent. But that doesn't change the fact that the idea is fundamentally unsound, if for no other reason than that there are vastly too many things that could go wrong. (Among them, things that don't accidentally go wrong but which someone can make go wrong.)

      I agree with that line in the report, on all 3 counts:

      Internet voting is not safe, should not be made legal, and should never be incorporated into emergency measures.

      • by Rei ( 128717 )

        Among them, things that don't accidentally go wrong but which someone can make go wrong

        What exactly are you talking about - in good real-world systems - that is more silently corruptible than paper elections? E-voting even offers ways for users to confirm their vote on file with the electoral commission (without being able to prove their vote to others), something that regular paper voting does not.

        • What exactly are you talking about - in good real-world systems - that is more silently corruptible than paper elections?

          The very first thing is your assumption that there are any "good real-world systems". Security researchers have found all electronic voting systems to date to be woefully insecure, usually with little trouble. And there are documented instances of them being hacked, even in relatively small local elections.

          Solve that one first, and we can go from there. Until it is solved, there is no point in discussing it further.

  • Christie's quarantine has an asymptomatic nurse who tested negative for Ebola confined outside a Newark hospital in an unheated tent. She had to fight with them about letting her keep her iphone. Can she e-vote from inside the tent or will they take her absentee ballot?
  • Why does the summary link to an Al Jazeera article discussing domestic matters, especially when Al Jazeera themselves are just reporting on work that Rutgers did? Surely, NYTimes, WaPo and others are reporting on this as well, and would be more authoritative.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > Surely, NYTimes, WaPo and others are reporting on this as well, and would be more authoritative.

      Really? Do you think so?

      Just so that you know Newsweek once had -- and I don't think they stopped doing it -- two covers: one for inside the US and a different one for the international edition. Guess which one talked about pleasantries?

      So that you know, too, in certain conflicts in Middle East, I used to look for news from non-involved parties to get informed. Do the math.

      Just a piece of advice: (feel free

    • It certainly would be more authoritative if it weren't Al Jazeera. Names like "Al Jazeera" and "Al Gore" don't command much authority in the U.S.
      • Re:Al Jazeera? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday October 26, 2014 @05:13PM (#48236429) Journal

        I bet you think that's an intelligent comment.

        You're more likely to get good journalism out of Al Jazeera than you are out of any of the cable news outlets in the US today. I don't watch any of them, but was surprised to find that Al Jazeera was the most popular news outlet for people who invest money for a living, like money managers, stock brokers, etc. They might have all of the stations playing, but Al Jazeera will be the one with the sound up. The reason I was given? because they're the most unbiased.

        I was taken aback, but I guess it makes sense.

        • Oh I agree with you totally. I thought my snark was more obvious.
          • I'm sorry, I was responding to the guy above you who was concerned about Al Jazeera being a bunch of furriners.

        • You're more likely to get good journalism out of Al Jazeera than you are out of any of the cable news outlets in the US today.

          It's less of a surprise if you consider its pedigree. Al Jazeera took over many if not most of the staff of the Arabic BBC world service channel that was shut down by the BBC as a response to Saudi censorship demands.

          So, with that kind of heritage, it's not that surprising that they should be good at what they do.

          • Al Jazeera took over many if not most of the staff of the Arabic BBC world service channel that was shut down by the BBC as a response to Saudi censorship demands.

            That's a good point.

            Also, it's not that hard to be better at journalism than any of the US cable news outlets. There are several non-US sources that are more reliable, I have found.

  • The Internet is good for a lot of things; but don't try to pound nails with it.

    I'm sure eVoting can be made to work in the long run. OTOH, yeah, springing it on people in the middle of a disaster is probably not such a hot idea. Duh!

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday October 26, 2014 @05:05PM (#48236385) Journal

    Just look at the top three posts from Brad Friedman's blog (Brad is the foremost blogger on the topic of electronic voting and fair elections in the US):

    http://www.bradblog.com/ [bradblog.com]

    Here are the three headlines as of right now:

    Touch-Screen Votes Flip 'No' to 'Yes' on Abortion Amendment to State Constitution in TN

    E-Votes Flip D to R in Texas, R to D in Illinois: More Trouble With Touch-Screens (2014 Edition)

    and last but not least:

    Christie Says GOP Governors Need to Win in 2014 So They Can Control 'Voting Mechanisms' in 2016

    If your state has e-voting, your elections are a farce. You might as well not vote. There is overwhelming evidence that e-voting has already flipped major elections in the United States, which means e-voting machines that are currently being used, that have absolutely no paper verification, have nullified your rights as a citizen.

    • by davidwr ( 791652 )

      If your state has e-voting, your elections are a farce.

      Better to say "if your state has ONLY e-voting...".

      Some states give you the option of how to vote. Others require e-voting only if you are voting out-of-precinct (vs. most states that don't allow out-of-precinct voting at all) or if you are voting in "early voting."

      I know of one state in which "early voting" is done countywide and printing off paper ballots for each and every possible ballot in the county at every early-voting location would be a logistical nightmare in urban areas. In that state most urb

      • Some states give you the option of how to vote.

        Which is actually no option at all. You walk into a polling place and there's twenty touch-screen e-voting machines and a long line to a single paper ballot reader.

        I know of one state in which "early voting" is done countywide and printing off paper ballots for each and every possible ballot in the county at every early-voting location would be a logistical nightmare in urban areas.

        Somehow, paper ballots were used for centuries, but then became a "statistical

  • Here's something that can be used to replace traditional mail-in absentee ballots, which are themselves not-exactly-secure:

    The election authority publishes its public key widely, such as in local newspapers and on the back of voter-registration cards.

    For each voter wishing to vote absentee:

    The election authority generates a one-time pad for the voter as well as a public and private key for that voter good for just the election.
    The election authority encrypts the voter's private key with the one-time pad, si

  • Feature, not a bug.

    Just like everything about e-"voting".

  • On the news a few elections back I saw that Texas (home of NASA and at one time the voting-residence of at least one astronaut) allows astronauts to vote electronically from space. It was news because Texas passed a special law to make it possible for astronauts to vote without having to send paper ballots to the ISS and get them back in time to be counted.

    It may or may not use TCP/IP, but it is remote voting. I'm not sure if it's encrypted or not and if it is, I'm not sure if the voting authority has eno

  • Let me leave a part of the remarks of Senator Ron Wyden (D), Oregon here:

    Vote by Mail offers additional advantages that may not be readily apparent. For example, on Election Day in 2006, Tillamook County, Oregon, experienced a deluge of 13 inches of rain. Roads were closed, parts of the county became unreachable, and a State of emergency was declared. Even so, 70 percent of the voters in Tillamook County cast their ballots. Vote by Mail ensured that lack of access to polling places because of a natural disa

  • Has anyone managed to explain why e-voting always fails when the same technology can be used to run a network of online banking and ATM services, backed up with face-to-face tellers (yes they still exist!) to serve those who don't have online access?

    I haven't heard that banks are losing tons of money because it is all online and a lot more convenient for me than it was last century. Yes there are crooks but they are quickly detected and dealt with.

    If these systems can keep track of trillions of dollars of

  • My main bitch with online voting was/is vote-buying. This *could* be mostly solved by having it so that you can change your vote right up to closing time. That way, even if you sold your vote and voted in front of the vote-buyer, you could always go and change your vote later. Dispels any significant incentive to even try that rort.

    We first need to get an e-voting system in place that is trustworthy (and hence open/auditable).

  • There is a simple solution to many voting issues: paper and pen. Print paper ballots and hand out pens. Each party / candidate is listed with a circle next to the name. Mark that circle in any which way to give that person your vote. Then fold the ballot and stuff it into an envelope that can be sealed (simplest would be lick and stick). Put that envelope into a sealed ballot box. Voting stations can be placed in any building that is large enough to accommodate the expected turnout. The public, as long as n

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