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Actually, in a paper-based system (barring physical violence and tight control of the media), trust is not required : everything can be verified, challenged, recounted.

It's computer-based systems that rely on trust. It is possible to build trustable IT election systems (that any sufficiently IT-literate person can audit and verify), based on secure open-source programs, but I'm not sure it's ever been done by an actual country. And even then, it requires the vast majority of citizens to trust the experts.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 12th, 2020 at 09:24:31 AM EST
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Ireland tried to bring in computer voting many years ago at a cost of many millions. The machines were never used because of court challenges to their transparency and auditability. It was specialised equipment that would only be used once every few years, so the economics didn't make sense either.

I used to be an advocate for computerized voting using standard web technology and security systems similar to that used by banking websites etc. Part of my reasoning was that turn-out rates are trending ever lower, partly due to out of date voting registers, people moving about more, being away in college while registered at home, and the sheer inconvenience of getting to a polling station.

Certainly the voting registration database update process needs to be moved online, but I am less sure about the actual voting and counting processes, even with open source technology. I think the community involvement in the whole process is important, and partly why Ireland hasn't experienced the alienation from the political process experienced in other countries due to big money involvement, nefarious on-line campaigns, voter suppression, gerrymandering, and dodgy Diebold voting machines.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 12th, 2020 at 10:30:46 AM EST
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