Friday, July 15, 2016

Ottawa Citizen - Why not fight about online voting instead? - comment

@kady has written an article in the Ottawa Citizen: Craving a break from the referendum-or-not debate? Why not fight about online voting instead?

I would have to turn on Facebook Platform apps to leave a comment on the Citizen, which isn't going to happen, so I'm putting my comment here instead:


Kudos to Chief Electoral Officer Mayrand for stressing caution.

I'd like to quote part of Mayrand's testimony that illustrates the many challenges with introducing online voting:
"...we have to be careful.  We need to look also at security.  There are certain characteristics of the vote that we want to preserve: it is confidentiality, it is secrecy, the reliability and the integrity."

There is extensive evidence that we do not currently have the technology to meet the security requirements needed for online voting, nor the ability to maintain the confidentiality we currently get with the paper secret ballot.

A 2014 report from the BC Independent Panel on Internet Voting ( http://www.internetvotingpanel.ca/ ) indicated that
"Internet voting has some significant inherent risks"
and recommended
"Do not implement universal Internet voting for either local government or provincial government elections at this time."

An extensive investigation conducted by the Parliament of Australia in 2013 ( http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Electoral_Matters/2013_General_Election/Second_Interim_Report/Chapter_4#safety ) indicated that
"Internet voting is considered by experts to be the most risky and difficult mode of electronic voting to implement."
and concluded that any potential benefits do not outweigh the risks.

You can find a lot more information about this topic in my blog "Paper Vote Canada" ( http://blog.papervotecanada.ca/ )


(The quote from Mayrand is from my manual transcription of his July 7, 2016 testimony, as the official transcript is not yet available.)

You can see previous comments I have left on newspaper articles by selecting the label: newspaper comment.

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