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Americans only: are you in favor of or opposed to online voting

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by Jonathan Bailey, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    in public elections?

    What is your party also?

    I favor the availability of online ballot casting for at least voting citizens under the following special circumstances if not to the general registered voter public:

    1. in military
    2. elderly
    3. disabled
    4. low-income
    5. invalid
    6. in hospital
    7. in mental institution
    8. in traveling occupations as trainman, truck driver, ship captain and airline pilot
    9. college students away from home
    10. those on jury duty


    Online voting:

    -saves money
    -saves paper and postage stamps
    -saves energy, keeps gas-burning cars off the road
    -saves time
    -saves resources
    -saves the planet from pollution
    -saves the infrastructure from congestion
    -is a super incentive for many American citizens to
    even vote if this method were made available
     
  2. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    Anything that can go wrong, will.

    Putin.jpeg
     
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  3. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    Well, nothing in this world is perfect.

    I do feel the widespread availability for online voting would be for the greater good of the American people.

    We trust computer technology with our own money in our banks. Why not trust it for carrying out the

    democratic process as a tool? The best IT security people would be guarding the government's networks

    from evil wrongdoers. Voting data for elections online would be heavily encrypted through virtual private networks.

    What kind of online security do you think all the various government agencies have already? How do they keep social

    security or Medicare applications secure online? Direct deposit transactions from the US Treasury?
     
  4. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    Shouldn't digitize voting. It's already too easy to cheat the system.
     
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  5. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    Why only Americans? This is a valid question regardless of where you’re from and non-Americans might have valid insights. Anyway, on-line voting is one route we could vote in your elections. ;)

    Deployed military and other working abroad need a method to vote but that would in itself raise even more questions than normal about ensuring a secure and reliable internet connect.

    The elderly, disabled, invalid and generally low-income are less likely to have access to suitable digital infrastructure or the desire and ability to make use of it. You would risk disenfranchising many.

    Things like hospital stays or jury duty are going to be relatively rare so wouldn’t necessarily justify the costs of setting up secure on-line voting when viable alternatives already exist.

    Are people committed to a mental institution allowed to vote anyway?

    On the benefits, I’d question whether it would save money, especially at the outset given the investment that would be necessary to develop a suitable system (I don’t believe anything suitable for national elections exists). The issues due to travel could be resolved by having more polling places so that most voters have them in walking distance, which could also be a justification to reduce postal voting to those who specifically need it. I personally think there is a befit to actually going to vote in person as it increases the focus and attention on the importance of what you’re doing. It also remains the best environment to validate the identity of voters and the general security of the system.

    I think there is a bigger question in the US around how elections are managed, from districting and registration through to the actual voting and counting. While there is extensive political interference in all of that, I don’t think you’re ever going to improve things and the first step needs to be the establishment of a truly independent electoral commission, which could then properly look in to a decide on this kind of question. Even if on-line voting were the right choice, in part or entirely, I wouldn’t be confident of it being properly implemented within the current political environment.
     
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  6. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Maybe. Public confidence in the voting method matters, so its got to involve a solution that everybody trusts not just individuals. You'd need a way to verify later, instantly, that your vote was what you had put down and that it could not have been changed. This would have to be airtight, so that if your vote had been changed you could prove it somehow and get it corrected, sue somebody or send somebody to criminal court. This could be possible, but it is not likely that the government people would get it right. They might undermine a system if they thought it was too secure. Look at how crooked they make the district voting lines.
     
  7. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    My town has had online voting for one municipal election so far (I think). It seemed to work okay, AFAICT. The logistics and stakes of a federal election are different, though, so I'm not sure how much that experience translates.

    I do think it's important not to make the voting online only, though. You still need some eay for people without internet connections to vote.
     
  8. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I think its great that you can vote online. I think though that also there is one thing that could be improved and its the ability to prove even years later that what you voted for is what is on the record. Maybe some kind of block chain technology could accomplish this. This would make online voting better than paper instead of merely easier.
     
  9. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Why would that be better? I want my vote to be secret.
     
  10. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I'm completely against it. All it takes is a single look at online services and associated software to know it's a very very bad idea.
     
  11. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    I'm not saying that the old-fashioned methods be replaced by digital voting entirely but that digital voting be added as a viable option: an incentive for more people to vote. Some people just want digital convenience. A downloadable date/time-stamped digital PDF copy of your on-line ballot could be made as a voting record. Of course a hard copy could be printed of this. Most people now have smartphones and/or access to the Internet, even the homeless.

    I'm only concerned about American voting because I'm an American. I don't want to meddle into how other nations should handle their elections.
     
  12. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I agree about secrecy. It would need to be something which was secret unless you presented your secret key which would then unseal the data for your vote. I'll think about the implementation, but I think its doable. Two ledgers: one on public blockchain for the voting process and one chosen by you the voter. There would be five pieces of information per vote with only two of them on the public ledger: the vote and a digital signature on the voting ledger, then a secret key kept by you, a number kept by you which is also duplicated on your chosen ledger either personal or some other secondary notarized resource. The idea is to store the vote in a blockchain ledger along with the digital signature which only your secret key can decrypt into the number. Then at any time you (and only you) can check the ledger to make sure your vote was properly recorded. If not you could then produce your information which could show that your vote was changed. Without your secret information your identity and your vote could be impossible to correlate, but you'll still be able to prove how you have voted.
     
    #12 Brickjectivity, Sep 17, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  13. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    Then registered voter would have an online account with a portal. When you mail in your absentee ballot, somebody knows how you voted anyway.The electronic data could be kept secret using a sort of encryption key.
     
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  14. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    Do you do online banking? Do you trust your money to it?

    Here:

    Keeping Votes Secure - Mobile Voting Project

    The decentralized nature of blockchain technology, both in regards to data ownership and storage, is a powerful security measure in resisting large-scale attacks and tampering.
     
    #14 Jonathan Bailey, Sep 17, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  15. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    No, when I mail in my vote it is in a separate envelope. They can verify my signature, but the ballot itself is within a plain envelope that I do not write on. It is put with the other envelopes and opened and counted after the polls close.
     
  16. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    I am not so sure if the security technology is there yet.
     
  17. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    The current voting system can be corrupted as well. Remember the Florida hanging chads? There's no chads in digital.
     
  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    One of the reasons for having a secret ballot is to help guard against voter coercion: someone may try to bribe or threaten a voter to get them to vote a particular way, but there's no way for the coercer to actually verify that the coercion worked.

    It sounds like in your system, this protection would be lost: the coercer could just make the voter hand over their secret key, which would let the coercer bring up how that person actually voted.
     
  19. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    True, however in this system you could also throw away your secret key to confound such coercion.
     
  20. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    That was not corruption. That was a design flaw.
     
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