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Old 28th July 2018, 04:19 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by jnelso99 View Post
There are some "do you need a blockchain?" flowcharts out there. They generally look like this:


Do you need a blockchain? -----> No.
Nice.
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Old 28th July 2018, 05:57 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
You are missing another point. The people need to understand and trust the process.
Yes. Exactly. I don't think it's acceptable to have a voting system where the voters are expected to take someone's word for it that the complex mechanism behind the system is secure.
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Old 28th July 2018, 06:55 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
You are missing another point. The people need to understand and trust the process.
I hear you.

It is unfortunate that a lot of misinformation gets put out by people who would rather try to make the other person look foolish than admit that there are gaps in their own knowledge.

Maybe when a blockchain puts Uber out of business we will get a better idea of what can and what can not be done with blockchain technology.
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Old 30th July 2018, 05:59 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
- How votes would be stored in the block chain.
- How voters could be identified on the blockchain but how they voted would not be available to others.
- How votes could be added to the blockchain without being corrupted in transit.
- Why we don't need a centralized store for the block chain or the nodes.
.
None of these actually requires a blockchain. Without more detail on your proposed system it’s impossible to determine if the blockchain based system is better.

Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post

When I that I could answer each of your objections, you adopted a new two-pronged strategy:
- You accused me of a "blockchain is wonderful" mentality to the exclusion of everything else.
- You repeatedly made lengthy posts about flaws in originating computers.
Most of the more experienced people here will have seen people who come in and say “I want to do X with [insert buzzword here], and when you question them why they want to do it that way they can only come up with vague handwaving. You’re inability to offer a detailed description of how and why you want to use blockchain is no doubt setting off alarm bells with many of failed projects imposed by non-technical senior managers or junior employees annoying everyone with poorly thought out proposals.
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You may not know how malware infested computers can be prevented from altering votes before they get "put out there" but that doesn't mean that it is impossible.

It has never been and will never be possible to come up with an un-hackable system because no one can think up all the possible exploits up front. In general, though there are some things that are impossible to fully protect because as soon as you give people access to it malware has access as well.
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Old 30th July 2018, 06:23 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Another facet is that, in a normal environment, old school pen and paper can be subverted but at only at an tiny volume. It's hard to do more than a couple of votes at a time.
If electronic voting is compromised the bad actors could alter thousands of votes at a time, more than enough to swing key seats\states.
One thing that is really important to remember is that the most likely party, by far, to manipulate election results is the government itself. Third party monitoring and validation of election results could be all but impossible with a fully electronic system.
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Old 30th July 2018, 06:24 AM   #86
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Hackers break into voting machines within 2 hours at Defcon

Nopety-nope-nope.

That old video I posted still holds true. The most secure system is the one that is the most transparent. You are never going to get that with electronic voting.
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Old 30th July 2018, 10:13 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Hackers break into voting machines within 2 hours at Defcon

Nopety-nope-nope.

That old video I posted still holds true. The most secure system is the one that is the most transparent. You are never going to get that with electronic voting.
At least, not as long as politicians and public servants are in charge of the specs. Get a team of the best experts in the world and you might see a different result.

Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Most of the more experienced people here will have seen people who come in and say “I want to do X with [insert buzzword here], and when you question them why they want to do it that way they can only come up with vague handwaving.
I think I will stick to my original claim and leave you to deal with your strawman arguments by yourself.
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Last edited by psionl0; 30th July 2018 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 30th July 2018, 10:55 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
At least, not as long as politicians and public servants are in charge of the specs. Get a team of the best experts in the world and you might see a different result.
Get the best team in the world, you can't design a computer system that is transparent when handling data. You can't see the bits being flipped.
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Old 30th July 2018, 11:43 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I would like to say that voting centres aren't run by cowboys who would allow substandard voting machines to be used and that the machines would be tamper proof. Unfortunately, the "hanging chad" fiasco shows this is not always necessarily so.

BTW I thought voting machines were already universal in the US.
Not at all. Paper ballots with machine counting are quite common, and, IMO more secure than electronic voting machines.
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Old 30th July 2018, 12:20 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Get the best team in the world, you can't design a computer system that is transparent when handling data. You can't see the bits being flipped.
Can you prove that or is this just something that is "obvious" to you?
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Old 30th July 2018, 12:32 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Can you prove that or is this just something that is "obvious" to you?
What storage device do you know of that allows you to see the current state of the actual bits stored? I'm not aware of any macroscopic abacus-based computer memory devices.
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Old 30th July 2018, 12:34 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
What storage device do you know of that allows you to see the current state of the actual bits stored? I'm not aware of any abacus-based computer memory devices.
Okay seriously data integrity is not some dark magic to computer users. There's entire fields dedicated to telling if data on a hard drive has been tampered with our modified.

This... frighteningly ignorant of how computers work. If you don't trust computer voting, fine but don't make up nonsense like this.
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Old 30th July 2018, 12:38 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
What storage device do you know of that allows you to see the current state of the actual bits stored? I'm not aware of any macroscopic abacus-based computer memory devices.
Your earlier arguments were quite reasonable but the quality of your arguments is now going downhill rapidly.
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Old 30th July 2018, 12:41 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay seriously data integrity is not some dark magic to computer users. There's entire fields dedicated to telling if data on a hard drive has been tampered with our modified.

This... frighteningly ignorant of how computers work. If you don't trust computer voting, fine but don't make up nonsense like this.
Ha. You're missing several steps of the conversation.

Fine, then you can go back to my earlier question of how you or, more importantly, your average poll worker can tell if a voting machine has been tampered with just by looking at it. Not just the final count, but the interface that adjust the final count when the user inputs their vote. And not only on-site, but before the machine reached the polling place.
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Old 30th July 2018, 12:43 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Your earlier arguments were quite reasonable but the quality of your arguments is now going downhill rapidly.
You've addressed none them. Better technology or better experts does not fix the transparency problem you keep ignoring. The point of "seeing bits flipping" has to do with being able to see that votes are being calculated correctly. If you can't see that happening, you can't trust the count is accurate.
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Old 30th July 2018, 12:47 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
You've addressed none them. Better technology or better experts does not fix the transparency problem you keep ignoring. The point of "seeing bits flipping" has to do with being able to see that votes are being calculated correctly. If you can't see that happening, you can't trust the count is accurate.
You're mistaking (or deliberately misconstruing) not understanding the process for "transparency."

This is beneath first year, hell High School, hell grade school level, computer theory. This a caveman smashing a radio trying to find the tiny singer inside level of understanding.

Computer storage is not magic that cannot be seen by the eyes of mortal men lest they turn to stone.
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Old 30th July 2018, 01:06 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Can you prove that or is this just something that is "obvious" to you?
The transparency requirements make it so.

You need to have a system that most voters can understand and cqn trust.

In addition, you need a system where fraud can be investigated, which means having the ability to trace votes to voters in exceptional circumstances, whilst preserving anonymity in normal situations.

With pencils and paper, this is straightforward - you keep the ballot papers with a unique ID , but ensure that nobody does the analysis to link the id to the voter, or even the ID to the vote.

With an electronic system, the link is there, and you need to trust that it's not hacked, which is far harder than controlling physical storage.
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Old 30th July 2018, 01:51 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
With an electronic system, the link is there, and you need to trust that it's not hacked, which is far harder than controlling physical storage.
And also hope that the supplier didn't install remote access software on the machines used to tabulate the results.
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Old 30th July 2018, 01:58 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
You're mistaking (or deliberately misconstruing) not understanding the process for "transparency."

This is beneath first year, hell High School, hell grade school level, computer theory. This a caveman smashing a radio trying to find the tiny singer inside level of understanding.

Computer storage is not magic that cannot be seen by the eyes of mortal men lest they turn to stone.
Funny story, you know what else is they teach you in high school? Reading comprehension, context, and the difference between metaphors and literal statements.

Now, I know how storage works. Do you know how to read a thread and draw meaning from it?

Let's put aside the ad-homs and discuss the topic, shall we?

*ahem*


Transparency is being able to quickly and easily verify that the vote being entered into the interface matches what is being added to the voting tally. With paper ballots, this is done by having two or more people, usually from different parties, present to verify that each voter only enters one ballot into the secure ballot box and that no one opens the box until it reaches the place where the votes are counted. Again, counted by two or more people.

When you add a voting machine into the mix, there is now a blackbox mechanism between the voter and their vote entering the secure storage mechanism (blockchain, or whatever). None of the poll workers present can quickly or easily verify that what the voter chose was entered into the storage mechanism or how many times. There is no way to verify that the machine has not been tampered without a thorough audit of the machine's code and, if you want to be really paranoid, the machine's hardware. This is neither quick nor easy and almost certainly beyond the capabilities of your average poll worker.

So, you might argue, we could simply produce completely secure, unhackable voting machines. That's great, but how do you verify that it is unhackable and how can you assure the machine is not be hacked once the machine has left the control of the person/people who verified it?

Let's be honest, it naive in the extreme to believe that a device can never be hacked, especially when there is a possibility that it is in the physical control of unknown people.
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Old 30th July 2018, 02:25 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Funny story, you know what else is they teach you in high school? Reading comprehension, context, and the difference between metaphors and literal statements.

Now, I know how storage works. Do you know how to read a thread and draw meaning from it?

Let's put aside the ad-homs and discuss the topic, shall we?

*ahem*


Transparency is being able to quickly and easily verify that the vote being entered into the interface matches what is being added to the voting tally. With paper ballots, this is done by having two or more people, usually from different parties, present to verify that each voter only enters one ballot into the secure ballot box and that no one opens the box until it reaches the place where the votes are counted. Again, counted by two or more people.

When you add a voting machine into the mix, there is now a blackbox mechanism between the voter and their vote entering the secure storage mechanism (blockchain, or whatever). None of the poll workers present can quickly or easily verify that what the voter chose was entered into the storage mechanism or how many times. There is no way to verify that the machine has not been tampered without a thorough audit of the machine's code and, if you want to be really paranoid, the machine's hardware. This is neither quick nor easy and almost certainly beyond the capabilities of your average poll worker.

So, you might argue, we could simply produce completely secure, unhackable voting machines. That's great, but how do you verify that it is unhackable and how can you assure the machine is not be hacked once the machine has left the control of the person/people who verified it?

Let's be honest, it naive in the extreme to believe that a device can never be hacked, especially when there is a possibility that it is in the physical control of unknown people.
Whether electronic voting machines can or can never be hacked is almost an irrelevant question. It is unreasonable to ask the electorate simply to 'trust' that they can't be.
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Old 30th July 2018, 02:35 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Whether electronic voting machines can or can never be hacked is almost an irrelevant question. It is unreasonable to ask the electorate simply to 'trust' that they can't be.
Well, that too.
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Old 30th July 2018, 03:18 PM   #102
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I think the biggest problem with electronic voting: You can't eat your ballot.

From: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opin...article727139/
...there have been some Canadians in previous elections who wanted to use their vote for protest. "They don't want to vote and they go and they take their ballot and they eat it," she said.

I mean, how are you doing to do that sort of thing if everything is electronic?
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Old 30th July 2018, 03:27 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
I think the biggest problem with electronic voting: You can't eat your ballot.

From: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opin...article727139/
...there have been some Canadians in previous elections who wanted to use their vote for protest. "They don't want to vote and they go and they take their ballot and they eat it," she said.

I mean, how are you doing to do that sort of thing if everything is electronic?
Oh, Canada.
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Old 30th July 2018, 03:39 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Well, that too.
I just said what you did with pith.
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Old 30th July 2018, 04:01 PM   #105
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Companies have admitted to installing remote access on their machines with the same password (abcde) for all their machines. At a hacking convention every brand of machine was hacked in less than a day. Security experts have testified that short of examining the source code of the machines there is no way to tell whether the result is authentic. Source code is propriety information and generally isn't allowed to be examined and audits are rarely conducted. When Georgia had some sketchy results and information was requested they deleted the data, and the backup data.

Maybe most electronic voting machines are fine, but why in the world would anyone just trust that when this concerns our elections.

Unless the source code can be independently verified and audits are allowed by any party at their own expense, electronic voting machines shouldn't be used at all.
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Old 30th July 2018, 05:28 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
Companies have admitted to installing remote access on their machines with the same password (abcde) for all their machines. At a hacking convention every brand of machine was hacked in less than a day. Security experts have testified that short of examining the source code of the machines there is no way to tell whether the result is authentic. Source code is propriety information and generally isn't allowed to be examined and audits are rarely conducted. When Georgia had some sketchy results and information was requested they deleted the data, and the backup data.
That is truly disgraceful but hardly surprising when politicians and public servants are in charge of the contracting process.

Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
Unless the source code can be independently verified and audits are allowed by any party at their own expense, electronic voting machines shouldn't be used at all.
Agreed.
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Old 30th July 2018, 05:31 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
Unless the source code can be independently verified and audits are allowed by any party at their own expense, electronic voting machines shouldn't be used at all.
And what happens after the voting machines leave the control of those who are capable of verifying and auditing them? Can we trust that they haven't been modified then?

No, we can't.
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Old 30th July 2018, 05:40 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I just said what you did with pith.
I wondered why it sounded familiar...
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Old 30th July 2018, 06:06 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
And what happens after the voting machines leave the control of those who are capable of verifying and auditing them? Can we trust that they haven't been modified then?

No, we can't.
People can tamper with paper ballots too. That's why there are multiple parties that watch and count them to minimize the risk of funny business. Why couldn't something similar be done with the electronic voting machines? Make remote access not possible on any machines. Let the source code be checked beforehand and once polls close have multiple parties watch or in some way secure the machines to make sure no modifications are done. If any party that analyzes the information thinks results have been tampered with they request the audit and that machine is checked. No system is perfect, but that would give me greater confidence in them
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Old 30th July 2018, 06:28 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
People can tamper with paper ballots too. That's why there are multiple parties that watch and count them to minimize the risk of funny business.
Totally true.

Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
Why couldn't something similar be done with the electronic voting machines? Make remote access not possible on any machines. Let the source code be checked beforehand and once polls close have multiple parties watch or in some way secure the machines to make sure no modifications are done. If any party that analyzes the information thinks results have been tampered with they request the audit and that machine is checked. No system is perfect, but that would give me greater confidence in them
Who's going to check it? And how do you know whoever that is isn't in someone's pocket? The average Joe can easily audit paper ballots. Not much expertise is required The same cannot be said about electronic voting. Only a handful of people are qualified to comb through thousands, maybe millions of lines of code.

The problem with electronic voting is trust. Not so much with the technology, but the people implementing it.
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Old 30th July 2018, 06:52 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
If any party that analyzes the information thinks results have been tampered with they request the audit and that machine is checked.
Okay, so, you find a tampered machine. Then what? The polls are closed. The election is over. All the votes cast on those machines are invalidated and thrown away?

Strategic tampering-and-get-caught could be just as effective of a strategy as straight up vote hacking.


Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Who's going to check it? And how do you know whoever that is isn't in someone's pocket?
You defeat that by having two people do the audit on every machine. Which, of course, compounds the problem of the scarcity of expertise. To make matters worse, you have to check each machine in person and then you don't know that the machine isn't tampered with after the auditors leave.

Things like blockchain are cool and all, but it doesn't solve the fundamental problems with electronic voting.

The online banking model might make it seem like you could pull off online voting, but it breaks down that when something malicious happens with online banking, there is a history and "paper" trail you can follow to make sure everything is correct.. There is no personal auditing of one's voting history that your vote counted the way you expected it to. Even if there was, what happens? Once the election has been certified, do you go back and re-open the election to recount that votes based on corrected history?
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Old 30th July 2018, 07:23 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Okay, so, you find a tampered machine. Then what? The polls are closed. The election is over. All the votes cast on those machines are invalidated and thrown away?

Strategic tampering-and-get-caught could be just as effective of a strategy as straight up vote hacking.



You defeat that by having two people do the audit on every machine. Which, of course, compounds the problem of the scarcity of expertise. To make matters worse, you have to check each machine in person and then you don't know that the machine isn't tampered with after the auditors leave.

Things like blockchain are cool and all, but it doesn't solve the fundamental problems with electronic voting.

The online banking model might make it seem like you could pull off online voting, but it breaks down that when something malicious happens with online banking, there is a history and "paper" trail you can follow to make sure everything is correct.. There is no personal auditing of one's voting history that your vote counted the way you expected it to. Even if there was, what happens? Once the election has been certified, do you go back and re-open the election to recount that votes based on corrected history?
Two people can be bought.

There was a time I thought we would all vote online. Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should.
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Old 30th July 2018, 09:13 PM   #113
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That's the trouble: Then what?
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Old 31st July 2018, 01:41 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
I think the biggest problem with electronic voting: You can't eat your ballot.

From: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opin...article727139/
...there have been some Canadians in previous elections who wanted to use their vote for protest. "They don't want to vote and they go and they take their ballot and they eat it," she said.

I mean, how are you doing to do that sort of thing if everything is electronic?
I've been known to do some rude doodles or write "They're all wankers" as a means to deliberately spoil my ballot. I'm of the opinion that while not voting can be a protest it's hard to differentiate between protest or laziness.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
That's the trouble: Then what?
Rein in the change for the sake of change. Identify what problems it's meant to solve and look at other ways to solve them
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Old 31st July 2018, 03:20 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Rein in the change for the sake of change. Identify what problems it's meant to solve and look at other ways to solve them
The OP was referring to online voting, not just electronic voting, which is way more vulnerable. However, I would presume that the problem it meant to solve is voter turnout/participation. A very worthwhile goal.

I think a better approach, instead of adding complexity and vulnerability to the voting system, would be to (1) declare a national holiday on voting day, (2) legally enforce a ...4? hour window employers must allow their employees off in order to vote, and (3) allow on-site voter registration with a provisional ballot. Remove the barriers to voting.
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Old 31st July 2018, 03:57 AM   #116
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It's all just too onerous compared with pencil and paper. It's like designing an uncheatable test for the JREF MDC.

Every voting machine's hardware and software would have to be checked and verified and then it would have to be treated like a piece of legal evidence with a full chain of custody not only up to the election but until it was clear no recount or other check was needed. And every step in the chain of custody of every machine needs at least two people from opposing parties. That's crazy, but that's what you need to be as good as pencil and paper.


Yes, you can make parts of the system completely unhackable but people just look for other vulnerabilities. Rather like cars with uncrackable keys, thinking that will end car theft is just hubris; car thieves become burglars and steal keys instead.
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Old 31st July 2018, 04:08 AM   #117
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MDC?
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Old 31st July 2018, 04:18 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
MDC?
Randi's Million Dollar Challenge for paranormal abilities.
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Old 31st July 2018, 04:26 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Two people can be bought.

There was a time I thought we would all vote online. Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should.
The people counting paper ballots can be bought too.
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Old 31st July 2018, 04:46 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
The people counting paper ballots can be bought too.
And more cheaply, because most people can count, whereas people with serious computer expertise expect to charge a lot for their time.

On the upside, since it's a task almost anyone could do, it's sufficiently easy to recruit unpaid volunteers to count pieces of paper that you can have lots of them checking each others work.
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