Sunday, July 9, 2017

My Take on Electronic Voting

Nowadays there is much public debate about electronic voting. The major protagonists seem to be election officials who hope that electronic voting systems can improve their ability to conduct and administer elections more efficiently and computer scientists, information technologists, and election activists who are skeptical about the viability of using such systems (electronic voting skeptics) for functions critical to the operation of a democracy. 
We need to understand the perspectives of both the electronic voting skeptics who have been active in the debate, to help them understand what the electronic voting skeptics are saying and why they are saying it, and to appreciate some of the questions about electronic voting technologies that worry many technologists.
Different perspectives play out in the consideration of election fraud. Authorities, or supporters of electronic voting may say that an election fraud, or the appearance of fraud or impropriety, only need to undermine public confidence in elections. But opponents of such voting, and perhaps many computer scientists, will presume that a vulnerability is significant until shown otherwise. Thus, election officials are insist that the integrity of an election has not been breached until some evidence is produced to the contrary. This difference in perspective should be kept in mind while designing the methodology of electronic voting. Also, voters hardly get chances to vote often and thus have little opportunity to develop experience or familiarity with the system.

My suggestion: Have simple paper trail of each vote. Provide a box (each) for every candidate, where the voter is to drop such trails. Where a recount is necessary, these trails can be used.

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