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October 2008 Archives

October 29, 2008

Election transparency good. Vote transparency bad.

Google is encouraging people to video their vote. That sounds like a good idea, in particular where difficulties with voting machines are to be expected.

Just one caveat: I'd rather that voters don't video who they vote for.

Classical paper ballots are a fairly sophisticated security system with many important properties, and one of them turns out to be the inability of the voter to prove their choice to a third party: If a voter can prove to a third party how they voted, then selling one's vote turns into a viable business model. That's one of the reasons why absentee voting is problematic from a big picture perspective, and why it's sometimes only permissible under exceptional circumstances. It's also why people shouldn't even be allowed to video their vote.

If you think that videoing one's vote is necessary to expose trouble with voting machines, think again, and look at the Chaos Computer Club's excellent work in Germany: They're sending volunteer observers to any computerized election that's going on, they document problems as they occur (and failures to follow business processes critical to the voting system's security), and they take their work to court where they need to.

About October 2008

This page contains all entries posted to No Such Weblog in October 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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