[E-voting] reply to Thomas Greene
mmcgaley at cs.nuim.ie
Wed Oct 25 10:08:11 IST 2006
Michael McMahon wrote:
> I sent them a response as well.
Me too :)
Dear Mr Greene,
I was disappointed by your article "Irish e-voting emerges from the
crypt" in the Register today. For one thing, you seem to misunderstand
what we "activists" want when we call for a paper record. As far as I am
aware, everyone who is calling for mandatory paper records intends that
they be _the_ official record of votes cast. Any discrepancy between
electronic and paper ballots is easily resolved - paper takes precedence.
You also agree with an Taoiseach's statement that "the anti-electronic
voting campaign group in the Netherlands physically hacked into a
machine to demonstrate security flaws. If one hacked into a ballot box
one could do that too". Please explain to me how a ballot box can be
undetectably altered so that a ballot cast into it would be changed by
the time it hit the bottom of the box.
I agree that no voting system can be better than the security
arrangments that are integral to it. A badly designed e-voting system
which incorporated paper ballots could be worse than anything we've seen
yet. However, the best security arrangments in the world will not make
paperless e-voting safe. As with any other computer system you could
name, you can only consider it safe and reliable if you can audit it
(independently of the system's own claims about itself), and currently
the only way you can audit a secret-ballot election is with paper
ballots verified by individual voters.
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