Sunday, July 31, 2016


Your post advocates a

( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) vigilante

approach to improving voting. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't
work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea.)

( ) It will not increase turnout.  Only public interest increases turnout.  Yes, even for the kids today.
( ) It will not save money
( ) It will not be secure
( ) The ballot will not be secret
( ) Any increase in vote counting speed is irrelevant when weighed against the greatly increased risks of hacking
( ) By enabling the voter to verify their vote after it has been cast, you have opened the door to coercion
( ) By issuing user, password, personal info credentials you have made the voter's identity something that can be sold or stolen
( ) Every eligible voter cannot meaningfully understand and inspect it
( ) The requirement to have a printed ballot for verification means you have invented a very expensive pencil

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) The fact that computers can lie; computers will do whatever they're programmed to do
( ) Nation-state attackers
( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
( ) Coding errors
( ) Malware
( ) Banking has completely different security requirements from voting; when hacked the transaction is reversed at the bank's expense
( ) The online system you think is analogous is not
( ) The need to cast an anonymous vote on a smartphone, the least anonymous device ever invented
( ) The need to cast a secure vote on a system that has components built or coded by other nation-states
( ) The corporation you have outsourced your voting system to is malicious and/or incompetent
( ) The fact the voting machines (computers) will not be patched as new vulnerabilities are discovered
( ) Tendency of users to click on anything received by email
( ) Lack of technical expertise in individuals overseeing and running the election
( ) Power failure
( ) Denial of service
( ) USB keys
( ) Wifi / Bluetooth
( ) Inevitable technology obsolescence
( ) Encrypting the communication over the network doesn't matter when the client and server aren't secure
( ) Blockchain doesn't work the way you think it does, and even if it did, it wouldn't solve the problem you think it does

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Voting for your democratic representatives should require more thought and effort than ordering a pizza
Copyright © 2016 Richard Akerman
Licensed in the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication
Free to reuse and modify without attribution.
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