[E-voting] Re: a new voting system

Michael McMahon michael at hexmedia.com
Wed May 23 18:34:19 IST 2007

Colm MacCarthaigh wrote:
> On Wed, May 23, 2007 at 03:03:04PM +0100, Joseph Kiniry wrote:
>>>> (as also is ClearSoftware's claim).
>>>> I don't see what the size of electronic components has to do with it.
>>> It has everything to do with it, it's basically the only reason why
>>> trustworthy electronic voting is unimplementable, it is incapable of
>>> human-level review.
>> Colm, I strongly disagree with this assertion, as do many expert  
>> computer scientists and cryptographers, if I am interpreting your  
>> statements correctly---by "trustworthy electronic voting," I presume  
>> you mean "trustworthy, verifiable elections operated via electronic  
>> voting."
> Well I regard unverifiable elections an untrustworthy, but I also regard
> secrecy as important and consider that part yof the trustworthiness is
> that the voter be able to safeguard the secrecy of their intentions
> also. I don't see how a voter, faced with an electronic machine, can
> verify that their vote is not being recorded in-secret. And I don't see
> how that can really change :/ 
Sorry, meant to add this point before I hit send ...

I know we've argued this point before, but even in the case of DREs I 
would argue that the
risk (of one's vote being disclosed) is not really any higher than with 
the present system.
Who is to know that cameras aren't hidden in the polling station? What 
about your finger-prints
being left behind on the ballot paper? Chain voting even? Certainly 
these risks are
qualitatively different from the risk of software deliberately recording 
voter's votes in sequence.
But if you think how it would work with the Irish system, it would need 
the connivance of
the voting staff, because they would have to record the voting sequence 
(which would be
illegal I think) and while not everybody would notice it, if you were 
looking out for it, you
would notice something strange going on.

- Michael.

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