Critical Flaws of Secret Ballot Voting

Political Persecution (i.e. in the work place, social groups, etc.)

In developed countries this has been significantly reduced to the level that this is no longer a valid argument for continuing secret balloting

Frequency of Voting

Voting by paper ballot does cost significant amounts of money and takes time which has previously justified voting once every 4 or 5 years.

Cost effective open voting on the internet (full legal names, exactly like current congress members vote today) allows a wide range of voting frequencies (so somewhere in the middle of: ‘every day’ to ‘once every 5 years’, simply depends on the weight and impact of the issues)

Depth of Voting

Paper voting is very ‘one-dimensional’.  It provides extremely minimal information or functionality in relation to the costs involved for a computerized society.

Electronic voting and comments (all under full legal names, with history of voting and comments for all to read) has unlimited functionality for those those who choose to participate at a higher level.

3) Significant amounts of private money could be redirected to direct investments at all levels rather than to lobbyists and on campaigning

Note About the Current Electronic Voting Systems
We are completely against SECRET ballot electronic voting.
No system can be 100% safeguarded against tampering, neither Closed Source, nor Open Source. While vote tampering even with paper ballots is a real issue it becomes a
magnified issue in electronic voting due to: 1) the larger numbers of votes that can be tampered with, and, 2) a paper trail that can be eliminated or written over
(i.e. electronic shredding)

However to be more specific, we are re-posting a comment to an article on the Estonian Public Broadcasting News website entitled: “On-line Voting Touted as More Secure than Paper Ballots”, from January 17, 2011, by an IT specialist who dives deep into the technical aspects of why an electronic voting system can never be secured –

“Nice marketing gimmick Mr. Martens, but E-voting can not be implemented correctly. E-voting has nearby uncountable functional deficiencies, insufficient technical and organizational shortcomings. According to prevailing legal opinion, online voting is not suitable for the election of parliamentary bodies. The voter can not check whether his voice is stored unchanged. It is conceivable that a malicious software, while the voter indicates his choice correctly, but saves a different choice. The ballot must be in principle publicly verifiable. This is true for the secret delivery of the vote and the counting of votes. On E-voting, voting and results analysis takes place within the unit and are not verifiable. Because the votes are only electronically stored in the device (or on the server), it is not subsequently possible to verify the election result. Any manipulation of electronically stored votes must therefore remain undetected. Neither election officers nor the voters nor election monitors can check whether the election is in terms of installed software, approved, with an unmanipulated software version. Additionally, there are no mandatory guidelines to program the software and verify the correct configuration for a particular vote. Furthermoe, an all-in exclusion for online elections are likely to be a potential denial of service attacks that currently can not be curbed on the internet. Prof. Peter Purgathofer (Technical University Vienna) brings it straight to the point: “That’s why e-voting as a development that destroys the transparency and that is provably insecure and allows manipulation of the system without arousing suspicion and without a trace, is something that we should not do.” Elections in a democracy are a Single Point of Failure. A single point of failure is a point at which you attack a system and can completely nullify it. If we manage to overturn the election in a democracy, to subvert the elections to undermine the electoral system to change, manipulate, we annul the democracy. Sure, retail Fraud is on the paper election feasible, but difficult. In e-voting, it becomes quite easy, for the following reason: In IT Security, we speak of a really good system as a trust-no-one (TNO) system, a term from Steve Gibson, one of the major security gurus, the great old security men. So, who says “trust no one!” and what is the essence of “trust no one? The essence of “trust no one ” is Transparency at the core. Now e-voting, contrary to this idea, is a theoretical and mathematical background of cryptography, by the science of encryption. So e-voting is an application of cryptography. And these are things where the ‘paranoid’ supermarket cashiers and cashier, can not verify what is going on with their votes. Of course they can watch, but they will not understand it. And here is the general problem with e-voting you can’t fix these days. You either can have a ‘secure’ system and the public is not able to watch what is going on there, or you can make it transparent and watch it, but then the secrecy is broken, including the anonymity of the e-voters. E-voting is contrary to the constitutional principles of free, secret and personal elections. Apparently, this message has not arrived in Estonia. Yet.”
– knut albers, 17.01.2011 14:12

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