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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

e-voting in PC World Canada, including interview with me

I was interviewed by PC World Canada for a piece on electronic voting.

E-voting: Death of the ballot or ticking time bomb?

I don't think I gave a great interview, I should have written some talking points, I was kind of all over the map with needlessly complex or vague explanations.
I think the article accurately reflects what I said.

I do completely disagree with a statement by Joe Church, president of CanVote.
When asked about these issues, Church points out that their systems have been thoroughly tested and that mock elections, held by municipal officials prior to the actual election, have proven to be 100 percent reliable. Aside from these, Church also points out that the convenience and increased voter turnout overcome the security concerns that some people may have.

Um, yeah, I can make my voting machine 100 percent reliable in a mock election too.
The pseudocode looks like this:


if (mockelection) then
  produce correct results
else
  produce desired false results


Elections aren't supposed to be convenient. We're not election consumers. Elections are a CIVIC DUTY as CITIZENS. Making getting to the polls easier is fine - have advance polls, polls in people's workplaces, that's all good.

If you want increased voter turnout then
1. try to figure out why voter turnout is low, then fix that
2. if that doesn't work, make voting mandatory

I don't at all like this "young people vote in Canadian Idol, why not make the election like that?"

Um, because the election is not supposed to be some easy, meaningless act of consumer entertainment.
Comments:
The quotes from you seemed reasonable and good points. You did fine. Of course you can always get better.
 
Of course it's even easier to make it simple to vote - just guess which way each person who didn't vote would have voted, and count the guess as their vote - hey presto 100% turnout !
 
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