[E-voting] Re: terrorism and electronic elections

Michael McMahon michael at hexmedia.com
Thu Jul 14 10:07:10 IST 2005

Aengus Lawlor wrote:
> On Wednesday, July 13, 2005 9:51 PM [EDT],
> David GLAUDE <dglaude at poureva.be> wrote:
>>I am totally against "pre-printed serial numbers on the back".
>>Obvious all paper ballot must be identical with no way to distinguish
>>one from another for secrecy reason... this is obvious to me but seems
>>to be non obvious in UK(?) where such number are stamped on the paper
>>ballot and next to the name of the voter.
> Irish ballot papers don't have printed serial numbers. They were ruled
> unconstitutional sometime in the 70s

Just to be clear. What was ruled unconstitutional, was serial numbers
plus counterfoils which would have made it possible to identify
the voter from the counterfoil (presumably as an anti-fraud measure).

The pre-printed serial numbers I was talking about are no different
from the pre-printed numbers which we currently use. They cannot
be used to identify the voter and whether they are actually different
on each ballot paper is not that important IMO.

There would have to be a unique printed number on the front though.
I know some people don't like that idea, but the bottom line is
that (unlike the counterfoil idea) the threat to secrecy is pretty low.
No electronic voting system can give a 100% guarantee of secrecy.
For that matter, paper based election systems can't give a 100% guarantee either.


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