Monday, February 01, 2010

article about the Internet voting dialogue

Alice Funke (@punditsguide) has an article in The Hill Times - Online voting won't hike youth turnout, but 'it grows on you,' forum told - February 1, 2010

I'm quoted:

“The municipalities are perhaps naive
about the amount of risk they’re assuming,”
warned internet voting security expert Richard
Akerman of the PaperVoteCanada.ca
blog, though. “Very closely contested elections
like Al Franken’s recent race for the U.S. Senate
were only settled because people could
actually see the ballots,” he said. Had it been
conducted over the internet, “the expense of
defending the integrity of that system in the
courts would have been huge,” he claimed.

My concerns include:
* for the risk of coercion, they are acknowledging but accepting this - but have we had a serious debate about whether this is a risk that should be accepted?
* for the risk of a recount, they are simply accepting that all you can do is go and look at the digital data (the "data points" as it was described at the event) - there is nothing to actually recount - while this approach has been accepted, I can easily see an aggressive challenge that required a complete end-to-end forensic audit, which would require a level of technical expertise and time that would be, as I said in the quote, hugely expensive AND raise huge trust issues once people realised both how complex and how opaque these systems are

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