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

Craig Burton caburt at alphalink.com.au
Mon Sep 12 02:39:42 IST 2005

If the government apparently legislates to not support expats, that's a 
pity.  In other countries this is being hotly debated; there has been 
some news about Ghana allowing its expats to vote since they contribute 
so much money to its economy.  Obviously it's not a direct comparison 
for lots of reasons, one of the key ones being that in new democracies 
(such as Ghana, E.Europe) voters behave differently and seem to want to 
participate more.

I'm sure postal remote voting enfranchises many living _within_ Ireland 
who can't attend polls.  Compare the current situation to the census : 
it doesn't matter who is staying with you nor how far they are from 
their constituency, they get to submit a private, sensitive, anonymous 
document via hand-collection, to the gov't.  OTOH if you aren't at home 
or can't get your postal ballot from your postbox, you can't vote.  I 
don't know if you have an out-of-constituency facility at polling 
stations in Ireland, this would help.  I still think convenience is an 
over generalisation.

Aengus Lawlor wrote:

>On Saturday, September 10, 2005 6:23 PM [EDT],
>Craig Burton <caburt at alphalink.com.au> wrote:
>>>Thank you for this metered argument.  This post is getting pretty
>>>long but I think illustrations help.
>>>>So your assertions that remote voting must be provided and that
>>>improving turnout is irrelevant simply don't stack up against the
>>>goal of an election.
>>>Perhaps I don't convey the urgency of my opening idea well enough.
>>>The gov't has to make voting available to all eligible voters.  It
>>>doesn't have to be easy, but it has to be possible.  If voters can
>>>attend a polling station, they should.  If they can't, it's not
>>>their fault voting is impossible, the gov't has to provide other
>>>channels.  If the new channels are weaker than attendance voting
>>>then we have to try to estimate the increased side effects and
>>>adjust our margin of error appropriately.
>I think you should bear in mind that the primary focus of this list is the
>situation in Ireland, where the Constitution explicitly says that "all
>citizens" are entitled to vote, but where the not insubstantial number of
>Irish citizens who don't live in Ireland are explicitly excluded from
>registering to vote by the laws that supposedly enact the principles layed
>out in the constitution.
>Whatever about the rights and wrongs of that issue, it certainly
>demonstrates that no Irish Government will be under any legal, never mind
>moral compunction, to introduce remote voting of any kind, purely for the
>convenience of the voters.
>E-voting mailing list
>E-voting at lists.stdlib.net
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