[E-voting] Abstention - an accuracy issue?

Fergal Daly fergal at esatclear.ie
Fri Mar 19 10:51:42 GMT 2004


On Fri, Mar 19, 2004 at 10:31:59AM -0000, Casey, Dermot (GE Consumer Finance) wrote:
> While on the subject of abstention....
> 
> If you want to abstain then don't bother going to the polling station.
> 
> <begin short rant>
...
> <end short rant>

1 - It is undemocratic to force someone to choose a number 1 preference if
they disagree with all of the choices (more relevant in a presidential
election or a referendum than a general election). So there must be an
option to not express a preference.

2 - To avoid coercion, all voting options must be available in secrecy.

This is what we currently have. This is not what we will get with the
proposed system.

Do you disagree with 1 or 2? Or do you disagree that 1 and 2 together
implies "we need an abstain/none of the above button"?

Whether abstention needs to be mentioned in the submission depends on
whether accuracy means "accurately recording the wishes of the eligible
voters" or "accurately recording the expressed preferences of those who
actually used the machines". I think it must be the latter as the former is
not at all practical. If secrecy was one of thing the commission was looking
at then maybe you could slip it in there,

F




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