[E-voting] UK shelves plans for e-voting trials

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Fri Sep 9 18:19:13 IST 2005

Brian O'Byrne wrote:

>This problem goes away if and only if you fully trust the program that 
>is running on the voting machine. Unfortunately there is no test you 
>can perform while voting that will give you that trust.
>This problem can go all the way down to the operating system. 
It can go below the OS to the BIOS or firmware or hardware.  There is no 
way to get a guaranteed clean bill of health for any machine, with my 
current understanding. In the USA there is technology embedded in 
machines that has the capacity to contact satellites--yet supposedly 
there was nothing "connectable" on the equipment.  Far more can be done 
that what is generally appreciated, and technology advances more rapidly 
than the awareness and ability of watchdogs to attempt to keep things 
under control.

>The worst thing about these to problems is not that they are possible, 
>but that they are undetectable and unquantifiable. If you could come 
>up with a proof that these problems could affect no more than x% of 
>the vote then we could bring the technology back into the picture and 
>compare it with the accuracy of other technologies. 
One of the biggest problems is that e-voting fraud can be used to affect 
an entire election by manipulating a very tiny percent of the vote.  
Have a look at Bob Fleischer's paper here: 

and also see Ron Crane's suggestions for improvements here: 

You only need to change a small number of votes to throw a close race.  
In Ireland there are even more devious ways of doing this (e.g., by 
tampering with #2 votes rather than #1s).

No increase in turnout or convenience is worth jeopardizing the 
integrity of our elections.


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