[nSLUG] Evoting Rant

Doooh Head doooh_head at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 17 20:27:45 ADT 2012

> 1. There is no possible audit trail. Paper-based systems contain many 
> checks and balances.

I'm afraid this is where ignorance starts to take over.  Not of ignorant people, but of people who don't know any of the details involved in evoting, of which I am no expert.  This is a common mistake that people assume.  You assume that the only "kind" of audit trail available, is by paper.  Most reputable evoting systems have a way to prove to a "voter" that their vote was actually cast, and for Auditors of the evoting process, this is one of his/her tasks to verify of the system.  I cannot speak too much for Cytle's system, as I am unfamiliar with it but I have been told that as a voter you are given some sort of large encrypted number after you vote, that, if you enter it into a website, that they point you at, will "verify" that your ballot was cast.  Sounds kind of hoaky to me.  With Intelivote's system, an Auditor (only) can verify anyone's ballot, BUT doesn't indicate how the ballot was cast, just that it was successfull, or not.  You can see where the ballot was cast from (IP address), general location of said IP, date, time, etc.  Every step of the evoting process is documented and traceable.

> 2. There is no possibility of any kind of recount. With paper-based 
> systems, every single ballot can be reassessed.

Again, totally incorrect.  You would think, that in an evoting election, that some kind of simple accumulator is used to "count" the votes, that would be incorrect.  All "ballots" go into a "ballot box", just in the same way as a paper voting system.  Then a separate process "extracts" those ballots and counts them.  The only difference is that its all "electronic" in form.  That ballot box can be encrypted and extracted for safe-keeping as necessary, just like a paper-based ballot box.  The biggest difference there is that no one can just "walk off" with the ballot box, as has happened here in Canada, before.

> 3. There is no secure way of distributing the necessary usernames and 
> passwords to voters. Snail mail is too easily compromised.

Well, who knows what our future holds in the realm of personal identification on the internet.  Whenever that gets figured out, you can bet it would be incorporated into any evoting app.  Until then, its snail mail. You just need to be able to use a variety of additional means to verify the voter, thats all.

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