Thursday, February 24, 2005

What This Is...

The US election of November, 2004 generated a lot of controversy, particularly about the validity of results provided by electronic voting systems that were:
  • closed source
  • provided by companies with clear links to GOP (ie the Republicans)
I do not intend to pursue the details of those controversies here (you may do so at eg:

I do intend to publish my thoughts and design notes for an open electronic voting system.

My starting points are:
  • an open system, available for scrutiny by all those interested
  • a system that will operate from a home PC with internet access. I wish to pursue this avenue for two reasons:
  1. specialist machines appear prone to the sort of accusations given above
  2. user convenience: when electronic voting becomes more widespread (and I believe it will, current controversies aside) a system that is convenient to use may encourage a much greater participation in the decision making process than has previously been seen.
  • a system that allows the voter to check and perhaps even change their ballot after it has been cast. This draws on the 'many eyes' principle and should make it a lot harder for votes to be rigged.
How far will this get in practice? We'll see!


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