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Old 31st July 2018, 05:03 AM   #121
Mongrel
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
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.
Presumably yes, it just seemed that the OP was primarily addressing the problem of "Why aren't we using phones to vote" with a dash of implied technophobia for good measure.

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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.
Maybe more voting stations or devices\booths within the stations or some sort of federal requirement for how many people can be processed per voting device or poll worker. Whenever I see US voting videos there's always mentions of hours long queues in some places. Are they the outliers or is that normal?
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Old 31st July 2018, 06:17 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
The people counting paper ballots can be bought too.
Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
And more cheaply, because most people can count, whereas people with serious computer expertise expect to charge a lot for their time.
Oh, sure. The problem is that you have to get more people involved and it only takes one person not bought to blow the whistle on the whole operation.



Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Whenever I see US voting videos there's always mentions of hours long queues in some places. Are they the outliers or is that normal?
I would guess outliers that happen when there is an unusually high interest in the election, like when Obama first ran. It could also be to lack of funding or even voter suppression attempts, depending on the area.
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Old 31st July 2018, 07:03 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Presumably yes, it just seemed that the OP was primarily addressing the problem of "Why aren't we using phones to vote" with a dash of implied technophobia for good measure.



Maybe more voting stations or devices\booths within the stations or some sort of federal requirement for how many people can be processed per voting device or poll worker. Whenever I see US voting videos there's always mentions of hours long queues in some places. Are they the outliers or is that normal?
I think they are outliers too. I've never seen a line longer than 10 minutes. I haven't always lived in the nicest areas either. Granted, I could be wrong and have just gotten lucky.

Colorado mails you your ballot ahead of time and you can just drop it in a box. There really is no excuse for waiting in line but I've seen folks doing it.

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Old 31st July 2018, 07:13 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Colorado mails you your ballot ahead of time and you can just drop it in a box.
That is not a bad plan so long as the person who puts it in the box is the one whose vote it is. (Probably with some provision for shut-ins who didn't/couldn't do the mail-in vote?)
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Old 31st July 2018, 07:43 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
That is not a bad plan so long as the person who puts it in the box is the one whose vote it is. (Probably with some provision for shut-ins who didn't/couldn't do the mail-in vote?)
I'm pretty sure every state as some sort of absentee ballot thing, actually, I think I could have mailed mine, the drop box was super convenient so I didn't really look into it. I'd bet the 14th amendment is seen as requiring absentee ballots. and nobody wants to disenfranchise military personnel.


Any rate, its no less secure than mail in ballots. There is an issue that since I'm not registered in a political party I got a ballot for the Dems and Reps and had to choose one for the primary. Sending in both invalidates both. I bet a lot of folks do that. If any one is curious, I voted GOP and tried to find the least trumpist candidate for each office. None of my candidates won.

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Old 31st July 2018, 08:09 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
The people counting paper ballots can be bought too.
Anything is possible. Election fraud has happened. But over the years the process has become pretty damn secure. There are election monitors. . From both parties and others. Lots of volunteers. Today, ballots are counted by computer multiple times and hand counted. Paper ballots provide an audit trail which can be checked and rechecked as many times as needed.
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Old 31st July 2018, 08:13 AM   #127
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Voting should be as easy as possible whilst maintaining good security and secrecy.
That being said, I think more important than trying to make a system flawless would be get an accurate assessment of the margin of error of a vote, and trigger an automatic new vote (not recount) when results are that close to one another.
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Old 31st July 2018, 10:18 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
I think they are outliers too. I've never seen a line longer than 10 minutes. I haven't always lived in the nicest areas either. Granted, I could be wrong and have just gotten lucky.
I have never waited more than about two people in front of me when I have voted (every election except a couple of Parish Council ones since 1991)
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Old 31st July 2018, 10:30 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
I have never waited more than about two people in front of me when I have voted (every election except a couple of Parish Council ones since 1991)
I was just thinking exactly the same and wondering if the typical number of voters per polling station might be significantly less in the UK than the US.

<edit> This suggests England has around 50,000 polling stations, so a little over a thousand voters per station on average. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32229745
<edit some more> And this (2004 figures) suggests the US equivalent is about 1200 voters per polling place so not much difference. https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1410/1410.8868.pdf

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Old 31st July 2018, 11:49 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
I was just thinking exactly the same and wondering if the typical number of voters per polling station might be significantly less in the UK than the US.

<edit> This suggests England has around 50,000 polling stations, so a little over a thousand voters per station on average. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32229745
<edit some more> And this (2004 figures) suggests the US equivalent is about 1200 voters per polling place so not much difference. https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1410/1410.8868.pdf
The problem is, voting in the U.S. is often controlled at the state level, which means that the election experience can vary significantly from place to place. It also means you have state politicians who deliberately reduce polling stations in areas where the majority of the voters favor the opposition. Generally, that means republican-controlled states reducing poling stations in areas with a high minority population.

In one county in Arizona (with a large immigrant community) there are 18 polling places for ~130,000 residents. So there the number is over 7000 people per polling station.

https://www.thenation.com/article/th...ng-rights-act/
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Old 31st July 2018, 11:59 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
The problem is, voting in the U.S. is often controlled at the state level, which means that the election experience can vary significantly from place to place. It also means you have state politicians who deliberately reduce polling stations in areas where the majority of the voters favor the opposition. Generally, that means republican-controlled states reducing poling stations in areas with a high minority population.

In one county in Arizona (with a large immigrant community) there are 18 polling places for ~130,000 residents. So there the number is over 7000 people per polling station.

https://www.thenation.com/article/th...ng-rights-act/
Yes, the independent boundary commission in the UK is vital.

And the fact that polling stations are all open 15 hours 07:00-22:00 for every election.
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Old 31st July 2018, 12:47 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
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.
Not if you offshore your hacking work.
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Old 1st August 2018, 04:03 PM   #133
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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
How important it is to "solve" paper ballot is a matter of opinion but there are some problems with it:
  • Paper ballot is an expensive way to conduct an election.
  • If you want the votes scrutinized properly then you can't afford to trust vote counting machines.
  • Voters are required to mail in a vote or queue up at a polling booth.
    (As others have pointed out, making booth attendance difficult has been used as a way to disenfranchise some classes of voters).
An electronic voting system using blockchain technology has the potential to address all of these problems. Suddenly voting can be as simple as downloading an app on your mobile phone and casting your vote with it.

We are not quite at that point yet. As long as the home computers/voting machines are malware free and software downloaded from official sites only (together with verification measures) the outcome should be at least as reliable as a paper ballot.

Unfortunately it can not be guaranteed that everybody will do the right thing. We can't even get voting machines that have the slightest bit of security in them. (Proprietary software/data - WTF???). Until this is properly addressed, the blockchain will have to wait awhile.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 03:44 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
An electronic voting system using blockchain technology has the potential to address all of these problems.
You keep saying this without explaining how that could possibly be true. Blockchain has the potential to address a single part of the problem, but presents others, like lack of a “paper” trail to verify what went into the blockchain is accurate. There are no controlled artifacts.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 05:16 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
How important it is to "solve" paper ballot is a matter of opinion but there are some problems with it:
  • Paper ballot is an expensive way to conduct an election.
  • If you want the votes scrutinized properly then you can't afford to trust vote counting machines.
  • Voters are required to mail in a vote or queue up at a polling booth.
    (As others have pointed out, making booth attendance difficult has been used as a way to disenfranchise some classes of voters).
An electronic voting system using blockchain technology has the potential to address all of these problems.
i) Expense. A paper ballot costs lots of money, certainly. How much more though would it cost to design and build and purchase and maintain the infrastructure needed to run such a system. I'm guessing a lot more than some boxes, printed voting slips, pencils and assorted staff.

The UKs most recent election cost a reported £140m ~£100m of which was staff costs.

Staff at a paper ballot here are mostly volunteers and they need to be able to count. Tech staff to maintain IT stuff cost considerably more to hire as they have a much more specialised skillset.

ii) Why use a counting machine? - just count the ballots by hand. Getting volunteers from various parties that have a stake in the election to do the counting is very cheap and very secure.

Also if you are arguing that a counting machine is "insecure" then how in all good conscience can you argue that a voting machine is secure? They are basically the same thing.

iii) This is not a problem. Open more polling stations and keep them open longer. Voters are being disenfranchised and not turning out to vote because the political system we use doesn't give them a meaningful choice for the majority. (see the other voting thread I started that this thread is split from) If you are given a choice between the lesser of 2 evils and one candidate according to all the polls is going to win by a landslide anyway, then you might be lots less motivated to go and vote, and making voting more convenient is unlikely to change that a great deal.
Say it's a phone app, then you have to download the app, using some of your data to do so, then you have to register in it, maybe you have to call support because it isn't working right on your phone, maybe you don't *have* a smartphone (poverty/technophobe/old), maybe you refuse to install govt apps on your phone because privacy reasons.... Voting online is not as simple as tap a button cast your vote.

Incumbent political parties using gerrymandering, adding extra hoops for classes who tend to vote against them to jump through, denying people the chance to vote using other dirty tricks etc is criminal, or if it isn't it dam well should be.

Quote:
Suddenly voting can be as simple as downloading an app on your mobile phone and casting your vote with it.
Suddenly influencing an election is as simple as hacking some data. you don't even need to leave your own home/country to do so and it's about the same amount of work to change 1 vote as it is 1million votes, and also about as untraceable.

Oh yeah and there is a lot at stake, so there's plenty of motivation to try to influence elections.

Paper votes have been used for a long time and just about every attack vector has been tried and defended against. Why fix something that isn't broken?
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Old 2nd August 2018, 05:18 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
We are not quite at that point yet. As long as the home computers/voting machines are malware free and software downloaded from official sites only (together with verification measures) the outcome should be at least as reliable as a paper ballot.
That's a pretty unrealistic conditional there, and I'm always surprised at how good social engineering is at getting people to do unwise things
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Old 2nd August 2018, 06:15 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
That's a pretty unrealistic conditional there, and I'm always surprised at how good social engineering is at getting people to do unwise things
You are too kind, that is a completely unrealistic conditional that any computer expert with even a passing familiarity of security issues in the real world would never even consider as a possibility.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 07:08 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
You are too kind, that is a completely unrealistic conditional that any computer expert with even a passing familiarity of security issues in the real world would never even consider as a possibility.


Thought I'd leave that declaration for the professionals, I just follow the sources that don't use too many big words.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 07:35 AM   #139
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Talking of sources, just seen this one;

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/0...acked_sms_2fa/

Two Factor authentication is good, doing it through SMS is not good.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 08:00 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
How important it is to "solve" paper ballot is a matter of opinion but there are some problems with it:
  • Paper ballot is an expensive way to conduct an election.
  • If you want the votes scrutinized properly then you can't afford to trust vote counting machines.
  • Voters are required to mail in a vote or queue up at a polling booth.
    (As others have pointed out, making booth attendance difficult has been used as a way to disenfranchise some classes of voters).
An electronic voting system using blockchain technology has the potential to address all of these problems. Suddenly voting can be as simple as downloading an app on your mobile phone and casting your vote with it.

We are not quite at that point yet. As long as the home computers/voting machines are malware free and software downloaded from official sites only (together with verification measures) the outcome should be at least as reliable as a paper ballot.

Unfortunately it can not be guaranteed that everybody will do the right thing. We can't even get voting machines that have the slightest bit of security in them. (Proprietary software/data - WTF???). Until this is properly addressed, the blockchain will have to wait awhile.
I donít know how many times or how many different people have asked this but it feels like a lot. How would such a system work and what does blockchain do for it that canít be accomplished other ways?
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Old 2nd August 2018, 08:42 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
I donít know how many times or how many different people have asked this but it feels like a lot. How would such a system work and what does blockchain do for it that canít be accomplished other ways?
Blockchain would be a legit way of encoding the voting data to make it unalterable once it is encoded, but that is all. There are so many other attack vectors, not to mention the problem of the inherent blackbox-ness of electronic voting, that it really doesn't matter if you use blockchain vs, like, an encrypted physical drive that is sneaker-netted from place to place.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 08:46 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
i

iii) This is not a problem. Open more polling stations and keep them open longer. Voters are being disenfranchised and not turning out to vote because the political system we use doesn't give them a meaningful choice for the majority. (see the other voting thread I started that this thread is split from) If you are given a choice between the lesser of 2 evils and one candidate according to all the polls is going to win by a landslide anyway, then you might be lots less motivated to go and vote, and making voting more convenient is unlikely to change that a great deal.
Say it's a phone app, then you have to download the app, using some of your data to do so, then you have to register in it, maybe you have to call support because it isn't working right on your phone, maybe you don't *have* a smartphone (poverty/technophobe/old), maybe you refuse to install govt apps on your phone because privacy reasons.... Voting online is not as simple as tap a button cast your vote.
Further to:

If the issue with voter disenfranchisement is that the people who control the voting system manipulate it to their partyís benefit why would an electronic system be better? If anything it would afford more opportunity for manipulation & dishonesty because it would open the door to doing it behind the scenes where people canít even see it occurring.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 09:00 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Blockchain would be a legit way of encoding the voting data to make it unalterable once it is encoded, but that is all. There are so many other attack vectors, not to mention the problem of the inherent blackbox-ness of electronic voting, that it really doesn't matter if you use blockchain vs, like, an encrypted physical drive that is sneaker-netted from place to place.
He hasnít come out and said it but I suspect what psionl0 is really interested in is the peer to peer public ledger, as he thinks that allows him to go and count to votes on his own. Even if you design the system so you can fully trust you have the real ledger is trusting the actual count is really an issue and can you accomplish the same thing other ways.

Regardless, the real issues seem to be are the votes real, are the votes what the person really selected, did everyoneís vote make it into the system, did everyone have a real opportunity to vote, etc seem like much bigger problems.

Finally I think the key thing to remember is that the people most likely to manipulate the vote are the people running the election, and they start off with master keys to bypass every protection you secure the system with.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 09:07 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
How important it is to "solve" paper ballot is a matter of opinion but there are some problems with it:

-Paper ballot is an expensive way to conduct an election.
Yes and no.

Yes, it costs money to built voter lists, print ballots, have them distributed, get scrutineers to review ballots, etc. But:
- MOST of those costs will still be required even if you went to an electronic ballot. (After all, you still need to build the voter list regardless of whether you use electronic voting or paper ballots. And even in an electronic system you still need paper ballots as a contingency for those who chose not to use electronic systems.)
- You may save money handing the electronic ballots but you spend a lot more trying to build a secure application for voting
- When you look at the entire cost of elections (political advertising, court challenges, etc.), the cost of actually handling the ballots is a small portion of the overall cost.
Quote:
-If you want the votes scrutinized properly then you can't afford to trust vote counting machines.
In systems that generate paper ballots (either vote on paper or an electronic system that provides a paper confirmation) you can count votes by hand.

Oh and by the way, how are you going to properly scrutinize electronic ballots if they've been inserted by a fraudulent program?

Quote:
-Voters are required to mail in a vote or queue up at a polling booth.
(As others have pointed out, making booth attendance difficult has been used as a way to disenfranchise some classes of voters).
So you're substituting the needed to mail a ballot or visit a polling booth with the need to (possibly) install software on your computer. Which of those would be more complex for my 80 year old parents to do?

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An electronic voting system using blockchain technology has the potential to address all of these problems. Suddenly voting can be as simple as downloading an app on your mobile phone and casting your vote with it.
Wow.... amazing. You actually gave an actual real idea of how the vote might actually be done! Hurrah!

Now, lets look at the problem with that, shall we? My 80 year old mother has a smart phone, but she has no idea how to install apps on it. Do you think she'll be capable of 1) knowing hot to identify a proper app (without falling for a scam) and installing your voting app before she casts her ballot? And how about my dad, who doesn't have a smart phone? (Granted, he has access to a home computer, but again he has no idea how to install software on it.)
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We are not quite at that point yet. As long as the home computers/voting machines are malware free and software downloaded from official sites only (together with verification measures) the outcome should be at least as reliable as a paper ballot.
At this point, you should look at your claims, and realize how totally and utterly you've failed.

We have had malware on computers for decades, and the problem is not going away any time soon. Certainly not in my or your lifetime. So any suggestion that has the phrase "as long as computers are malware free" should be seen as a non-starter.

And this is ignoring other issues. For example, the security challenges of correctly identifying who is a registered voter, another issue which you tend to gloss over.
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Unfortunately it can not be guaranteed that everybody will do the right thing. We can't even get voting machines that have the slightest bit of security in them. (Proprietary software/data - WTF???). Until this is properly addressed, the blockchain will have to wait awhile.
And since we will never be in a situation where "everybody will do the right thing" then blockchain will never ever be relevant to the voting process.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 09:13 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Now, lets look at the problem with that, shall we? My 80 year old mother has a smart phone, but she has no idea how to install apps on it. Do you think she'll be capable of 1) knowing hot to identify a proper app (without falling for a scam) and installing your voting app before she casts her ballot? And how about my dad, who doesn't have a smart phone? (Granted, he has access to a home computer, but again he has no idea how to install software on it.)
Every single technological advancement of any sort, of any kind, in any sphere of public life has always been answered with "But old people won't know how to do it."

At a certain point that can't be an excuse.

It's 2018. The "Internet" is not this new and scary domain that expecting to have a workman like functioning knowledge of us unreasonable.

And beside any change isn't going to just be a night and day finger snap. We're probably gonna several elections where some alternative/online form of voting is just another option, same as a mail in ballot is now.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 09:21 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It's 2018. The "Internet" is not this new and scary domain that expecting to have a workman like functioning knowledge of us unreasonable.
I think you over-estimate computer literacy in the US and are definitely over-estimating knowledge of computer-security in the US.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 09:29 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
I think you over-estimate computer literacy in the US and are definitely over-estimating knowledge of computer-security in the US.
I'm literally in my 22nd year of some form of IT Support. I personally guarantee you I do not.

I just don't care. There's a difference between making democracy easy and accessible and "I'm not going to vote until you hold my hand through every step of the process."

"Just get to any web capable device (which would still include things like libraries and schools and community centers which are already used as voting centers now and could easily have people on hand to assist people who needed help) for like... 5 minutes at some point in the voting time period" should be "accessible" enough for anyone.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 09:29 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by Ambrosia View Post
ii) Why use a counting machine? - just count the ballots by hand. Getting volunteers from various parties that have a stake in the election to do the counting is very cheap and very secure.
Minor point...

I think the reason they use voting machines in the U.S. is because their elections are quite... complex. I'm in Canada, and our voting is very simple: "Who do you want for your MP". (I think you're in the U.K., so its probably similar..) In the U.S., not only do you vote for president, you may also have to vote for your local congress critters (House and Senate). That adds complexity to the tallies. Using a voting machine might prevent delays in reporting the results. (That's just a guess anyways.)
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Paper votes have been used for a long time and just about every attack vector has been tried and defended against. Why fix something that isn't broken?
Because blockchain. BLOCKCHAIN!

I've started going door to door and asking people if they've accepted blockchain into their lives.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 09:34 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Every single technological advancement of any sort, of any kind, in any sphere of public life has always been answered with "But old people won't know how to do it."

At a certain point that can't be an excuse.

It's 2018. The "Internet" is not this new and scary domain that expecting to have a workman like functioning knowledge of us unreasonable.

And beside any change isn't going to just be a night and day finger snap. We're probably gonna several elections where some alternative/online form of voting is just another option, same as a mail in ballot is now.
And again, I can accept that one can produce a good anonymous electronic or online voting system. I can accept that one can produce an online voting system with traceability in case investigations are needed.

What I can't see is how one produces an online voting system where the votes are anonymous unless an investigation is warranted, whereupon the votes can be traced.

I really can't see how one can explain this to people who are not computer scientists.

It's very easy with paper ballots. You don't collate the data unless it's needed.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 09:45 AM   #150
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I believe we're at a fundamental difference between 'Computers can't do X' and 'I don't trust computers to do X.'

Again whether or not you personally trust a computer based system to do something is not something I can tell you you are wrong about, but the very idea that concepts like anonymity, auditing, non-repudiation, and confidentiality just aren't a thing that computers can do conceptually is just wrong.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 09:49 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I believe we're at a fundamental difference between 'Computers can't do X' and 'I don't trust computers to do X.'

Again whether or not you personally trust a computer based system to do something is not something I can tell you you are wrong about, but the very idea that concepts like anonymity, auditing, non-repudiation, and confidentiality just aren't a thing that computers can do conceptually is just wrong.
Okay, "conceptually," I just voted online; how can I verify that the recorded vote is the one I selected?
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Old 2nd August 2018, 09:53 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
Okay, "conceptually," I just voted online; how can I verify that the recorded vote is the one I selected?
I'm not going to sit here through some A+ level "How computers work" course with you. The same way you know your credit card payment really goes to Visa and your really watching a Netflix movie and not a knockoff.

I'm reminded of my grandfather who would never order anything online with a credit card because he didn't trust "the internet" but had no problem handing his credit to a waitress at the Sizzler who would take it into a back room out of his site and come back with it 10 minutes later.

You put your ballot into lockbox and some volunteer takes it away to be counted. How do you know they don't open the box, modify your vote, and put it back as soon as you walk out of the polling station?

At a certain point you just have to trust the system, not the systems method.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 09:58 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post

It's 2018. The "Internet" is not this new and scary domain that expecting to have a workman like functioning knowledge of us unreasonable.
You are half right. While the internet isnít new you should be WAY more scared of it now than when it actually was new.


Attacks and hackers are way more sophisticated now, and whatís worse most people have stopped caring. 20 years ago when doubleclick tracked what links and adds people clicked on there was outrage, now they freely carry around listening devices, put them in their home and could not care less if they have malware on their Phone/PC.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 10:01 AM   #154
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I guess I'm just having a hard time trying to figure out what the functional difference between:

"I write/punch my votes on a piece of paper, give it to a voting volunteer, and trust the system to not tamper/alter/lose my vote"

and

"I enter my vote into an electronic device and trust the system to no tamper/alter/lose it"

is to the degree people are having with it.

People are handwringing and pearl clutching over auditing but... prove to me you voted for who you voted for in the 2000 presidential election. Do you think those ballots still exist?

But I can see my pay stubs from 1997 on DFAS.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 10:03 AM   #155
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electronic voting machines should be a shell containing a monitor, touchscreen, printer, whatever else is needed - and an open slot on the bottom.

when its time to vote the polling places should receive a unit for each machine containing a locked sealed container that is both a lockbox for printed ballots and a pc-on-a-board that runs the machine. It should be running govt approved firmware, checked and certified before it is shipped, and there should be no writable storage on the device.

when each person votes it records all their votes for whatever is on the ballot. then at the end throws up a screen that says heres what you voted and <Is this correct? YES/NO> then if they hit yes prints out a paper copy into a protected glass area next to the screen that lines up <"Does this match? YES/NO?"> and if they hit yes to that sends the vote in and drops the paper into the lockbox. Any 'NO' on that second box pulls that machine from use until it is checked.

after voting is done all the PC/Lockbox units are pulled from the machines and sent back in and unsealed. the firmware on them is scanned and verified that it still matches factory spec. the paper copies are recorded which specific machine they came from and stored. a random selection of polling places or specific machines is drawn and a hand count of the paper records is verified against the database immediately. any requested database records can be verified by hand counts in the future as needed.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 10:04 AM   #156
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That's not electronic voting. That's paper voting with extra steps.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 10:11 AM   #157
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best of both worlds imo.

it gives you the speed of electronic voting. your counts are in pretty much the minute you close the polls. it gives you the ability to easily collect all your votes into an electronic database.

yet it still gives you a paper record, verified by the voter themselves to fall back on. that's what all these other plans lack. you can't hack paper in a box.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 10:15 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
That's a pretty unrealistic conditional there, and I'm always surprised at how good social engineering is at getting people to do unwise things
Who needs that? With the Equifax breach, there is no point of data that can't be faked well enough to have deep enough pockets to fund a massive voting fraud enterprise. The Russians wouldn't have to try to mold thought, they could just vote. And since it's in the secure blockchain, stripping out 143 million votes would be damn near impossible. And this doesn't even require any machine to be hacked.

And that is just one data breach.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 10:17 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I believe we're at a fundamental difference between 'Computers can't do X' and 'I don't trust computers to do X.'

Again whether or not you personally trust a computer based system to do something is not something I can tell you you are wrong about, but the very idea that concepts like anonymity, auditing, non-repudiation, and confidentiality just aren't a thing that computers can do conceptually is just wrong.
It's never been a question of whether a computer is capable of doing those things. It's always been a question of whether a computer can do those things securely.
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Old 2nd August 2018, 10:19 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Every single technological advancement of any sort, of any kind, in any sphere of public life has always been answered with "But old people won't know how to do it."

At a certain point that can't be an excuse.
Ummm... yes we can. Because the cost of adopting technology that a large segment of the population is not familiar with is not just a minor personal inconvenience to the user, its an issue that can cause control of the government to be given to politicians who have not been properly elected.

Old people don't understand facebook->they can't see the vacation photos their grandkids post

Old people don't understand electronic voting->control given over to someone who may end up crashing the economy, or repealing health care for millions.

And even the best, most competent computer users can never be 100% sure that a computer system they are using is 100% secure. People thought the Revenue Canada tax system was secure, until they found that the HeartBleed attack left dozens of people with their tax information secure. And that system was developed by professionals.
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And beside any change isn't going to just be a night and day finger snap. We're probably gonna several elections...
An election means you're appointing someone for ~4 years (depending on the position, or country). "Stealing" an election by hacking mean someone is fraudulently in power for a decade or more before they "get things right", and if they do anything wrong it can take years to undo the damages.

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...where some alternative/online form of voting is just another option, same as a mail in ballot is now.
Even if online voting is only one option among many, a security flaw in one item will reflect the results of the entire election.
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