Tag Archives: electronic voting

Opinion: e-voting coming back to life?

The announcement last month by House of Commons Speaker John Bercow of a commission on digital democracy has kicked the debate over e-voting back to life in the UK.

For many years it has been a rather odd debate in the UK because, all too rarely, this is an area where (back when Labour was in power) large sums of money were spent on extensive pilot schemes before, based on the evidence gathered, the idea was dropped. It is how policymaking should work: have an idea, test it and then make a decision based on the evidence.

Yet the

Posted in Op-eds | 16 Comments

How internet voting can go wrong

News from America:

Small coding mistake led to big Internet voting system failure

The main security weakness that let University of Michigan researchers take control over a planned city of Washington, D.C. Internet voting system pilot for overseas voters in 2010 was “a tiny oversight in a single line of code,” …

It’s evidence, say the researchers – led by Assistant Professor J. Alex Halderman – that Internet voting should be postponed until, when or if major new breakthroughs in cybersecurity occur. Mistakes like the one they exploited are all too common, hard to eradicate, and indicative of a brittleness in web applications,

Posted in News | 7 Comments

E-voting: why it was abandoned in the UK

Back in the early years of this century, the UK was at the forefront of testing out e-voting for public elections. An extensive series of pilots were held and then … e-voting fell out of favour, because the pilots were not a success for a wide range of reasons. The issue still keeps on popping up, so having recently come across again what I wrote back in 2003 about those pilots, those lessons are worth restating. Here is what I wrote back in the summer of 2003. Luckily the last paragraph turned out to be wrong.

E-voting: triumph or disaster?

According to …

Posted in Online politics and Op-eds | Also tagged | 9 Comments

Opinion: the sordid world of electronic voting

When I was picked to stand as a candidate in the local elections, one of the most sobering realisations was the law and procedures in place to ensure the integrity of the ballot. The rules and regulations, safeguards and cross checks are strict and rightly so. A question remains on how compatible this safety is with electronic voting. The camps are very divided on this, but what is agreed is the principles of openness, accountability and challenge of the process we use to elect our representatives.

A few months ago, news came out that serious security problems had been found

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 16 Comments

Voting machines: a warning from the US

There have been lots of tales from America about problems with electronic voting machines in the mid-term elections, but my favourite example is this one – where a candidate was recorded as getting zero votes even though he’d gone and voted for himself.

Two things are common across many of the stories – the absence of a proper paper-based audit trail to check things if the machine comes up with a suspicious result and the reluctance on the part of officials running elections to believe their machines may have got it wrong. They are both important factors to look out …

Posted in LDVUSA and News | 4 Comments
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