[E-voting] Postal voting in the UK

David GLAUDE dglaude at poureva.be
Thu Oct 26 21:57:34 IST 2006

All the vendor pushing remote e-voting try or hope to introduce postal
voting or revive it in country where it is possible. That is the way for
them to introduce their stuff.

For that single reason I oppose postal voting... hopefully this is not
in use in Belgium (except for Belgian abroad).

Every other option should be put forward. Proxy-voting is the best
solution (= letting someone else you trust handle your vote for you).
This is what most blind people do in most country.

I do not believe in mobile voting station, but some country use that.


Dr J Pelan wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Oct 2006, Timothy Murphy wrote:
>> In any case, in my view it would be a mistake for ICTE to start 
>> attacking postal votes, which are essential in many cases if people are 
>> not to be dis-enfranchized.
> You have missed the point but I've changed the subject title and will try 
> to attempt to address the misconceptions raised.
> 0) We are talking about postal voting and remote e-voting in the UK which 
>    is not a concern for ICTE per se, but it is useful to discuss here from 
>    time to time as some of the campaign issues may overlap.
> 1) The original proposition was simply that technical knowledge was NOT 
>    required to understand or explain the risks associated with remote 
>    e-voting, precisely because some of the risks are identical to those 
>    already present with postal voting. As some of these postal voting 
>    risks have been realised and subsequently publicised in the media, the 
>    awareness of them has been raised in the minds of much of the UK 
>    public (or at least those that care).
> 2) Highlighting potential and real problems with postal voting (either 
>    directly or via analogy with remote e-voting) is not 'attacking' it.  
>    Seeking to reduce fraud and other discrepancies is a perfectly 
>    reasonable stance and is in keeping with society's norms.
>    One should not be content to hope to detect fraud after the fact. Not 
>    only can this not be guaranteed, it is costly and undermines the 
>    electoral system. Safe-guards should be present from the outset for the 
>    very same reason we lock our doors at night.
> 3) The key point you are forgetting is the notion of scale and risk. While 
>    postal voting is inherently risky, the potential damage can be limited 
>    by restricting its use to those that truly need it, like the rain 
>    averse wheelchair users you cite.
>    In England, postal voting is now available to everyone and so the 
>    potential for fraud, and the consequences of it, goes up by orders of 
>    magnitude. Similarly, it is proposed that remote e-voting be made 
>    available to all and so the risks are of a similar type *and* scale. It 
>    is perfectly reasonable to wish to reduce these by, once again, 
>    restoring the postal votes to those that genuinely need them.
> So, in summary, please do not equate any criticism of postal voting with a 
> desire to disenfranchise anyone. That is quite the opposite of what is 
> being sought.
> --
> John P.
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