[E-voting] E-voting experts call for revised security guidelines

Michael McMahon michael at hexmedia.com
Thu Oct 6 10:07:21 IST 2005

I think Internet voting for student elections is quite reasonable.

Internet voting on a large scale would be similar to postal
voting (on a large scale). The main issue, which is the loss of
secrecy, is the same.

In the context of student elections, sacrificing the secret ballot
is not really a major threat. IMO the threat of coercion and
vote buying is not significant, largely becauses the stakes
are a lot lower than for major public elections.

Come to think of it, a lot of elections at that level (like sports 
clubs, associations etc.)
would by show of hands, which is even less secret than postal/internet 

Of course, Internet voting has to solve the authentication problem.
But I would guess that Avi Rubin has thought about and solved that issue..

- Michael.

Craig Burton wrote:

> It's surprising Avi also seems to like Internet voting.  A renaissance 
> man.
> http://www.jhunewsletter.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/09/30/433c19833a818
> From Johns Hopkins University School Paper:
> */Agarwal attributed the success of the (Freshman Class) election to 
> aggressive advertising on campus, as well as to the implementation of 
> a simpler system of online voting that allows students to access the 
> voting Web site by entering their JHED IDs and passwords. /*
> */Under the guidance of Hopkins professor and electronic-voting expert 
> Avi Rubin, Agarwal contracted a software development and consulting 
> company called SmartLogic Solutions to design the new voting system, 
> accessible online at /**/http://vote.jhu.edu./**/ /*
> */The company was newly formed this summer by two Hopkins graduate 
> students, Yair Flicker and John Trupiano. Flicker, who graduated with 
> the Class of 2005, said that his own experiences with previous voting 
> systems designed by the BoE guided SmartLogic's choice of design. /*
> */"I personally have voted in some of BoE's previous voting systems 
> where I had to enter long numbers from my J-Card," Flicker said. "When 
> we designed the website, we wanted it to be as simple as possible for 
> students to use." /*
> */Flicker also said that the new voting system would avoid the 
> pitfalls of requiring students to enter information like birthdays, 
> which lead to the cancellation of last year's executive board and 
> Young Trustees elections due to possible fraud.  /*
> */Several freshman voters praised the new system's simplicity. "The 
> online system was very easy," said Rahul Agarwal, who added that the 
> class-wide e-mail directing freshman to the voting site was the most 
> effective form of advertisement./*
> Aengus Lawlor wrote:
>>A federally funded group of voting system experts called on the United
>>States' Election Assistance Commission, which oversees the nation's
>>state-run elections, to revamp its recommended process for evaluating the
>>security of electronic voting devices.
>>In comments published last week, the ten researchers that collectively make
>>up A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable and Transparent
>>Elections (ACCURATE) stated that current voting systems are not designed
>>with security in mind and current testing procedures mistakenly focus on
>>voting functionality, not system security. The center, funded by the
>>National Science Foundation in August, released the comments on the last day
>>of a public comment period held by the US Election Assistance Commission on
>>its Voluntary Voting System Guidelines.
>>Read the rest of the article here:
>>E-voting mailing list
>>E-voting at lists.stdlib.net
>E-voting mailing list
>E-voting at lists.stdlib.net

More information about the E-voting mailing list