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States Using Cloud Based Voting System For Overseas Citizens

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the making-diebold-machines-seem-like-a-good-idea dept.

Cloud 125

gManZboy writes "If a ballot was lost in the cloud, would anyone know? Several states are using an online balloting website based on Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing platform to allow U.S. voters living overseas to cast their votes via the Web in 2012 primary elections. In addition to a now complete Florida primary, Virginia and California will use the system for their primaries, and Washington state will use it for its caucus. To ensure the ballots are from legitimate voters, people use unique identifying information to access their ballots online, according to Microsoft. Once received, the signature on the ballot is matched with registration records to further verify identity."

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125 comments

Why? (4, Insightful)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820025)

Why do electoral commissions, or the local alternative, keep attempting to bring in voting systems that have been proven to be vulnerable? (Conspiracy theories aside).

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820063)

It kind of makes sense for this because overseas voting is vulnerable anyway, and primaries aren't real government elections (they only really matter to the party). I would still resist paper-free voting machines for real elections.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820123)

Because 1). People treat voting counting as a basic data collection and management problem, rather than something with particular significance.

2). Because of 1) they go shopping for a commodity "IT Solution". Unfortunately, humans (on average) are barely better than insentient objects at choosing a "Solution" that isn't a raging clusterfuck(even in those situations where there is such a solution).

3). Because of 2), somebody is left with an onrushing deadline and a pile of shit, and has to make everything appear to go more or less smoothly on time, working with whatever they have.

There certainly is reason to be substantially more suspicious of electoral matters, given what's at stake; but organizations of all types routinely build horribly maladjusted systems for all sorts of purposes, so it isn't a huge surprise...

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820457)

This applies to all voting mechanisms... electronic voting, mail-in voting, in-person voting.

It's just a matter of time before we get to biometric voting... probably a combination of DNA, fingerprints, facial recognition and/or retina scanning.

Re:Why? (1)

lgarner (694957) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821595)

In item 1, I assume you meant either "vote counting" or "voting", but sadly you're correct either way.

Re:Why? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823487)

Reason 0 to add to your list is embodied in the first sentence of the posted summary:

Several states are using an online balloting website based on Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing platform to allow U.S. voters living overseas to cast their votes via the Web in 2012 primary elections.

Other than the deployed military or remotely stationed government employees, anyone choosing to live overseas has pretty much given up their right to vote and entrusted the running of the country to their fellow countrymen if you ask me. (Yes, I realize you didn't ask me).

The idea that every person, where ever they are, regardless of how inconvenient or expensive they have made it for themselves to vote must be given the opportunity to vote is something never conceived of by the founding fathers. You made your self unavailable.

Military and Government and corporate employers have the means to schlep absentee ballots all over the world, or use regular mail.

But why should the government choose to expend untold millions to gather the vote people who choose to live elsewhere? Especially when "elsewhere" is outside of the US jurisdiction.

Re:Why? (2)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823793)

Well, your government believes it has the right to exercise its authority anywhere on the planet, and has been caught writing laws for other countries (when it doesn't outright invade them) so in all fairness, the entire planet should get to vote in US elections.

Slight tongue in cheek aside - these people [US citizens living overseas] are still under the jurisdiction of your government, and still pay taxes (my understanding is for US citizens, federal taxes are based on worldwide income?) so why shouldn't they get input into the election process? I thought taxation without representation was the antithesis of what the US was all about?

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820187)

In many countries the voters are unhappy when the vote counting is done behind closed doors- they know something fishy is going on (whether they can do anything about it is another matter).

One important requirement for a voting system is convincing enough of the losers that they've lost.
So even if you have an electronic voting system that actually works properly[1], you need to convince the voters that it works properly.

Of course if most of the voters don't care that much then it doesn't matter.

[1] There are some electronic systems which seem like they might work properly and be verifiable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDnShu5V99s [youtube.com]
But can you convince enough voters of that?

That said usually the people running/rigging the elections would prefer to use other methods instead ;).

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820459)

Great! In Amerika we've gone the other way so that issue is moot.
You see, we've developed a system where we take two identical candidates and blow them up until every possible microscopic difference is visible and then we convince voters that those differences matter. Then, after the election, we shrink them back down and show everyone how similar they really are. Everyone from the losing 'side' gets to blame the winning 'side' for everything bad until the next 'election'. It's great fun but not much of a way to run a country.

Re:Why? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821273)

There are often more than two candidates. But if two candidates combined get more than 98% of the votes, it just sends a message that those two combined are satisfying most of the voters who actually bother to vote, as much as possible, given the differences in what the voters want, and their priorities.

If the voters wish to send a different message, they should vote differently. Even if the other candidates do not win, if a 3rd candidate gets 30% of the votes, the "popular 2" candidates may consider changing stuff to win more votes (because the next round, the 3rd candidate might actually win if enough voters start to think the 3rd candidate might actually be a least bad and viable option).

If the voters are trying to game or "game theory" the system, and are regularly not satisfied with the results then they are doing it wrong.

Re:Why? (1)

Shifty0x88 (1732980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822675)

"Once received, the signature on the ballot is matched with registration records to further verify identity."

This would only work in fax or mail-in ballots, unless you can use your mouse to "write" your signature which may or may not look like your actually handwritten signature.

But that aside, I am still not convinced the paper ballots work: Florida re-count anyone?!?!

So you may need to prove it works, but even then there can be some errors... and the system as a whole still "works"

Re:Why? (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820221)

Why do electoral commissions, or the local alternative, keep attempting to bring in voting systems that have been proven to be vulnerable? (Conspiracy theories aside).

Because they decided it was a good idea to replace one expensive vulnerable system with one slightly less expensive vulnerable system? I imagine it's time for a scorecard for e-voting (like the one for "fixing" spam) that starts with "It looks like you are proposing a replacement to the paper ballot. Your idea is bad for the following reasons..."

I imagine a similar fear must have sank in to the board members of the first pair of banks that decided to start electronically trading transactions with each other... "You mean someone could just like, hit a button, and the money could be *gone*?" And somehow here we are, all still alive and well despite, apparently, the ability for money to be stolen at will by anyone at any time because the worldwide banking system is almost entirely operated electronically and over the interwebs.

Re:Why? (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820373)

Why do electoral commissions, or the local alternative, keep attempting to bring in voting systems that have been proven to be vulnerable? (Conspiracy theories aside).

Is there a voting system that isn't vulnerable? Having people show up in person to vote has shown ineffective at keeping the dead from casting a ballot.

Re:Why? (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820613)

Is there a voting system that isn't vulnerable? Having people show up in person to vote has shown ineffective at keeping the dead from casting a ballot.

Well, you could probably require some sort of picture ID before allowing someone to vote.

But that idea has been deemed to be reactionary and evil, so I guess the dead will continue to vote at the usual rate (which really isn't all that high).

Re:Why? (2)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821073)

In most places in Canada at least, we need Photo ID to match the voters' list, and the postcard that the election team sends out that has our name, address, and voting location. Of course every ballot I've cast has been with a paper and pencil and the results are tabulated fairly quickly.

The biggest issues I've seen with the US federal ballots are that local races are including on the same one that you're using to vote for your Rep, Senator and President. Separating these out would make things so much easier to deal with IMO.

Re:Why? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821171)

In most places in Canada at least, we need Photo ID to match the voters' list,

Alas, in the USA, requiring that sort of thing is considered "racist", and therefore reactionary and evil.

Every State that has proposed such laws has been sued to prevent implementation of same.

Re:Why? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821355)

The reason why it's considered racist is that the only reason there's any interest in using such a card is to prevent the poor and those of color from participating.

But, more importantly, it's not a problem. The GOP continually makes a big deal out of voter fraud, but the reality is that the voter fraud that exists is rare. Only a handful of people are prosecuted in any given year.

The reality here is that you have to balance the security of votes cast with the right of people to vote. Now in the future if voter fraud becomes a problem and there's some evidence to suggest that people are voting under an assumed name, then we can start worrying about that. Until then this is just a cynical attempt by the GOP to institute a poll tax for political gain.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821431)

but the reality is that the voter fraud that exists is rare. Only a handful of people are prosecuted in any given year.

Your second statement is not proof that voter fraud is rare. It merely supports that only a handful of people are prosecuted.

Speeding tickets are rare in comparison to the number of drivers speeding. Does that mean they were not actually speeding? Or does it show that there are not enough resources to catch each violation.

Your statement could be true because fraud is rare. It could also be that prosecutors do not want to prosecute or are dissuaded from prosecuting more instances. It could be that the system is so weak producing evidence of the fraud is difficult.

Re:Why? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821839)

The burden of proof is on the people who are claiming that there's massive voter fraud. It isn't up to me to prove that it isn't common. And ultimately the bar is set fairly high because people do have a legal right to vote after they turn 18 unless they have had their rights taken away.

Re:Why? (2)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822341)

I have to disagree. The burden of proof should be on those who claim the system is legitimate and free from corruption. They are the ones asking the populous to trust that the system is fair.

Re:Why? (1)

losfromla (1294594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822573)

You don't have to disagree, it appears though that you wanted to. I think though that you are asking for something to be proven which wholly impractical to prove without massive changes to the system. To illustrate, can you give a somewhat complete description of what proof would be required for you ( a presumed nonbeliever in the legitimacy and incorruptibility of the system) to be convinced?

Re:Why? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822583)

No, the burden of proof is on the people claiming the positive result. You can never prove that there is no corruption, at best you can fail to find any. OTOH, if there really is a serious issue with voter fraud then it should be trivial to find.

You have to balance the rights of the people to vote with the need to enforce the rules. In the absence of any evidence that voter fraud is a problem there needs to be justification for changes to be made.

Re:Why? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823587)

The burden of proof should be on those who claim the system is legitimate and free from corruption. They are the ones asking the populous to trust that the system is fair.

THIS!.

Re:Why? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821411)

Reasoning: Because, at the maximum ever recorded in a modern election, about 100 people or about .005% of voters in an election [electionin...ywatch.com] are convicted of casting fraudulent ballots, we should keep about 11% [brennancenter.org] of people who are entitled to cast a vote from making one.

And we aren't even getting into why we always hold our elections on work days...

Re:Why? (1)

The Mister Purple (2525152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822959)

And we aren't even getting into why we always hold our elections on work days...

It's to make sure the retirees can outvote the working poor, right?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821527)

Those states that have been sued for requiring a photo ID typically charge for that ID or documents that are required to get said ID (birth certificates.) If you are being charged for something so you can vote then it is a poll tax. Poll taxes are not racist per say, but they are meant to keep the impoverished, poor, those on a fixed income and those who have difficulty in getting out from voting. The groups that poll taxes usually effect are minority groups, youth and seniors. That is why the photo ID stuff is not so good unless you give them away for free. The groups targeted are largely Democratic voters...so these laws are ++GOOD for the Republicans.

The system works fairly well without photo ID...you go down to the polling office, you give your name...they find you on the list...you sign...you vote. If you show up and your name has already been signed for there is a problem.

If you want to have some form of ID, how about a piece of mail (Bill of some type is best), a credit card, Student ID/report card, etc. None have pictures, but most will not part with them willingly and they are cross-checked by the list at the poll.

Re:Why? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823637)

Those states that have been sued for requiring a photo ID typically charge for that ID or documents that are required to get said ID (birth certificates.) If you are being charged for something so you can vote then it is a poll tax. Poll taxes are not racist per say, but they are meant to keep the impoverished, poor, those on a fixed income and those who have difficulty in getting out from voting.

Sorry, but you are simply wrong about that.

Photo ID has been consistently fought to the death by the Democrat party EVEN when there was no fees, EVEN when outreach programs and exceptions were made for elderly or infirm.

The democrats will simply not allow photo ID because their organized vans that shuffle voters from polling place to polling place would be ineffective. In those jurisdictions that vote by mail this practice has effectively been shut down. Its about the only good thing that vote by mail has accomplished.

Re:Why? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821663)

Alas, in the USA, requiring that sort of thing is considered "racist"

My, how times have changed. I remember when suggesting a compulsory national ID card would have sent conservatives running for their firearms.

Re:Why? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822473)

What's strange is that Indiana requires a photo ID and it's fine and dandy.

South Carolina requires it and the US Justice Department strikes it down.

Re:Why? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822615)

Indiana doesn't have a history of slavery and voter suppression that I'm aware of. There's a reason why South Carolina and those other Southern states are under closer scrutiny.

Around here we were segregated until the mid '70s as far as the schools go, but opted to voluntarily desegregate and as such we have more freedom than places like MO that had to be forced to desegregate.

Re:Why? (0)

strikeleader (937501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822841)

Is there a voting system that isn't vulnerable? Having people show up in person to vote has shown ineffective at keeping the dead from casting a ballot.

It is not only the dead but also the illegal's. But how else is a Democrat suppose to get elected.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821239)

You mean because mailing your absentee ballot from China isn't vulnerable?

Re:Why? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821387)

That's precisely my problem for the next year. I don't believe that the Chinese authorities or the US customs officers are going to be opening my ballots, but they could and even if they don't the ballots could be lost in the mail. I'd rate the risk of the ballot being lost as much more significant than government tampering.

There's also the issue of post mark. It's going to be a minimum of 6 weeks between when they mail me my ballot and when they receive the completed ballot and that's going to make it quite tight. Unfortunately in order for it to be accepted it has to either be postmarked by the USPS by election night or it has to be received. I'm going to have to read up a bit more to confirm, but I don't like the idea of being disenfranchised in this way.

Re:Why? (1)

losfromla (1294594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822635)

Not to be too rough or anything, but if you don't like the burden of living abroad, then, don't live abroad. I am also not too kind because I don't imagine you'll be living in China to help improve the industrial base of the US. I know, not your job, but, every little bit counts. You probably don't agree, which makes it not too relevant whether you vote or not...

Re:Why? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822983)

The thing is that as long as I'm a US citizen I have the right to vote. And the government is obliged to provide a reasonable method of doing so. As technology improves the options improve. At this point there's no reason why it needs to be a PITA at all.

That being said, I'm not helping their industrial base. I'm teaching them English in a rural area. The connection between those students and our competition is about as indirect as you can get. Ultimately without the ability to speak English they're cut off from a good number of news sources which would otherwise be available even in China.

Ultimately, if we allow morals to enter into the equation it represents a great shift back to the way things were at the beginning of the 20th century when certain folks weren't allowed to vote for what probably seemed like reasonable moral reasons.

Re:Why? (1)

losfromla (1294594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823363)

I agree with you regarding access to voting and it not needing to be a PITA.

I disagree that them learning English is as far from our competition as we can get. Right now, I can't compete for telemarketing jobs in China, or copy editor, or news writer in Mandarin mainly because of the language barrier. Remove that and suddenly several billion Chinese are afraid for their editorial type jobs.

I wasn't advocating a moral filter, just pointing out that if you argue that one person helping Chinese be more competitive (I was actually thinking of you more as a corporate drone) doesn't make a difference, then neither does your vote.

Re:Why? (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822775)

Precisely my problem too. The first thing to decide is which Vulnerability bothers me the most. The first thing to realize is that this is China; as such, privacy is not a real concept and is definitely not thought of in a positive sense.

My choices are to mail my ballot, understanding that it is not possible to mail a sealed envelope. The postal people will seal the envelop after they have examined it and its contents. The other option is to fax the ballot. If it is faxed, it must be faxed from the police station (Public Security Bureau), Immigration division. They will also need a copy of my ballot to place in my permanent file.

So, no matter what, privacy is out of the question. The next issue is in the mechanics of voting. I have been here several years and I have never gotten my election materials more than two days before the end of the voting period. So, rather obviously, I have not voted. However, that is how I found out about the rules regarding faxing my ballot (I didn't realize that I needed file copies before going to PSB to fax my ballot and there wasn't enough time to go to a copy place to get copies before PSB closed).

As an experiment, my County Clerk once sent me a post card just to see how long it would take to get it to me. I got the post card over four months after it had originally been postmarked.

Much of the world is not like The West. In some places it is viewed with suspicion. It is also viewed more as a political activity than as a civic activity.

Re:Why? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822993)

You'll probably have to mail it either way. Around here I can fax it to the state, but I have to furnish an original copy by the date the vote is certified generally between 2 and 3 weeks later.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823779)

I can't tell you I cringe when I hear people clamoring for on-line voting...and it's starting to seem like everyone is. On-line voting will NEVER be any more secure than the client...meaning it isn't. How do people not get that?

pointless (5, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820049)

Peasants, do not revolt. You can select from one 1%er corporate purchased candidate or the other 1%er corporate purchased candidate. They do have slightly different marketing messages/lies and you get to select which identical candidate hired the better PR agency and/or you get to select which lies you prefer to hear.

Re:pointless (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820145)

Peasants, do not revolt. You can select from one 1%er corporate purchased candidate or the other 1%er corporate purchased candidate. They do have slightly different marketing messages/lies and you get to select which identical candidate hired the better PR agency and/or you get to select which lies you prefer to hear.

You can vote for [] Bashar al-Assad [] Tank come to your door and blow you up

Re:pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823427)

Peasants, do not revolt. You can select from one 1%er corporate purchased candidate or the other 1%er corporate purchased candidate. They do have slightly different marketing messages/lies and you get to select which identical candidate hired the better PR agency and/or you get to select which lies you prefer to hear.

You can vote for [] Bashar al-Assad [] Tank come to your door and blow you up

Right, so... the tank needs better PR.

Re:pointless (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821097)

Oh come on, Futurama did it better [comedycentral.com]. (small commercial at beginning of Comedy Central clip)

Re:pointless (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821403)

A Head in the Polls was great, but I also like that seen from The Day The Earth Stood Stupid when they all go out to join the Reform Party and in more recent airings the TEA Party.

Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820055)

Where do you want your voting fraud to go today?

Re:Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820175)

This is the best argument I've heard lately that demonstrates the reason that *localized* and *representative* government is still the best idea today.
(I realize you weren't making that point).

Lately you hear a lot of people theorizing that we no longer need representative democracy, that we can all just vote on our laws via the internet.
You also hear we no longer need localized gov't: let's just federalize the majority-opinion.

But the internet is a difficult thing to make perfectly honest.
Localized and representative gov't is the best way to represent the most people as fairly and honestly as possible.
Make more laws at the local level, and make voting be done as much as possible through face-to-face communication.

Distant, faceless voting will probably never be fair nor honest.

Re:Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820247)

All the crap we've been hearing about lobbyists and money distorting the lawmaking process and screwing over the people in the process, and you posted that?

It doesn't matter who gets elected, they will be corrupted by corporate America.

Re:Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820639)

You missed one of the key points I made: *** LOCALIZED ***

Too much of our gov't has been pushed to the Federal level.
This distorts the process and invites corruption; corruption that is hard to see and hard to control.

Next time, read what the person wrote and take the time to actually COMPREHEND what they said rather than assume you know what they meant.

Re:Microsoft (1)

losfromla (1294594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823045)

representative government is best, seriously? Representative government was created primarily as a means of buffering the rich from the majority opinion (our views tend to diverge unless we're drunk on tea). It still does that. Representatives (the rich then, as the rich now) can listen to what their constituents (the majority) wants, and "balance" it with what the rich want, by and large, the rich get what they want. The only way to get laws that are not bought and paid for by corporate elites is to remove the buffer of representatives and let laws be voted on directly by the people (same with the President). I do agree that localized government would be best. National government should only be in place for defending external borders from armed attacks...

Re:Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823191)

The problem with a full-blown democracy is that historically it has always devolved into a "vote the majority stuff from the minority"-system.

How do you propose we solve that (major) problem? It's never been done before so I'm not confident a pure democracy (which you propose) can ever successfully protect the rights of the minority. At least with a representative democracy small groups of people stand chances of inserting their rep. into influential-positions and thereby balance the power out. In fact, in some representative systems (our federal Senate, for example) all groups have equal power -- so the minor groups aren't easily overwhelmed by the major ones. In this case, those groups are states with small populations vs. ones with large populations. Big states can't just push small states around.

How do you effectively provide that protection in a direct democracy where every individual is a single vote of equal power and thus large states (counties, cities, etc.) could easily overpower small ones?

Election returns prediction (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820085)

Barack Obama (D) 38%
Mitt Romney (R) 37%
DLL Not Found (I) 15%
Ron Paul (I) 10%

Re:Election returns prediction (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820147)

Barack Obama (D) 38%
Mitt Romney (R) 37%
DLL Not Found (I) 100%
Ron Paul (I) 10%

FTFY.

Re:Election returns prediction (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820195)

Ill go one better, the system gets hacked and the following returns are kicked out

Barack Obama (D) 0%
Mitt Romney (R) 0%
Ron Paul (I) 0%
Mickey Mouse (M) 100%

Re:Election returns prediction (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820275)

Ill go one better, the system gets hacked and the following returns are kicked out

Barack Obama (D) 0%
Mitt Romney (R) 0%
Ron Paul (I) 0%
Anonymous (A) 100%

With honourable mention for LOL WUT Party candidate

Re:Election returns prediction (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820391)

Uh, if Mickey Mouse was really on that ballot those would be the real results.

Re:Election returns prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820811)

More importantly, is Mickey Mouse born in USA? Does he have a birth certificate?

Re:Election returns prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821077)

Ill go one better, the system gets hacked and the following returns are kicked out

Barack Obama (D) 0%
Mitt Romney (R) 0%
Ron Paul (I) 0%
Mickey Mouse (M) 100%

That's redundant.

Good news everyone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820087)

This election has had the largest turnout ever. 280 million people cast online votes alone. The downside is that ants now have control over the free world. I for one welcome our insect overloads.

Exactly how does voting require Cloud? (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820109)

I don't understand why Cloud Technology is necessary for something which requires only a secure website and identity validation. Is this a cast of technology for the sake of technology?

Re:Exactly how does voting require Cloud? (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820193)

Because now the IT director of the state can put a cloud project on his CV and double his income at his next job.

Re:Exactly how does voting require Cloud? (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820291)

Because now the IT director of the state can put a cloud project on his CV and double his income at his next job.

Sounds cromulent. Sommun just remind him/her it's not spelled C-L-O-W-D

Re:Exactly how does voting require Cloud? (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820261)

Exactly how does voting require Cloud?

Well, someone has to carry the huge frickin sword.

Re:Exactly how does voting require Cloud? (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820269)

"Is this a cast of technology for the sake of technology?"

Letting aside the problems about electronic ballots themselves, voting is as good a case for cloud computing as it can be. "Only a secure website", you say? well, what do you want it for the four years between ballots?

Why not let big corporations hire politicians? (2)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820113)

They pay them anyway, now they run elections? Why bother with this voting thing at all?

Re:Why not let big corporations hire politicians? (1)

sohmc (595388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821167)

As horrible as the movie was, I believe Jeff Goldblum said it best in "Man of the Year": Perception of legitimacy is more important than legitimacy itself.

Nice (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820153)

Votes running online on a Microsoft-based system? This would be awesome if there were any candidates worth stuffing the virtual ballot box for :-P

mod7 uP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820191)

discussions on not so bad. To the they learn from our 4, which by all else to be an And she ran parts of you are FreeBSD continues departures of 'Yes' to any become an unwanted We'll be able to that have raged Obsessives and the A child knows I know it sux0rs, private sex party in ratio of 5 to of programming it. Its mission is Don't want to feel Don't walk around over a quality Why not? It's quick themselves to be a do, or indeed what Writing is on the market. Therefore RAM) for about 20 tto much formality come Here but now she had no fear Come on baby...and simple solution dying. All major of all legitimate

Interesting trade... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820239)

So you get online voting in exchange for giving up the secret ballot, eh?

Sorry, but I can't say I find that a worthwhile trade. The secret ballot is one of the most important safeguards a democracy can implement.

Re:Interesting trade... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821001)

As somebody that's a week out from moving overseas, I can assure you that it's not quite that simple. It typically takes up to 3 weeks for mail to get between here and there and for a $30 fee I can cut that down to a week. During which time the mail may or may not get through.

Voting online is something that does have risks, but you have to keep in mind that the number of votes that are likely to be eligible are going to be fairly small and that particularly in WA state it isn't easy to tell what the vote is supposed to be as long as the signature looks good.

Re:Interesting trade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821723)

AFAIK, all absentee voting presently gives up the secret ballot, and while I share the common /. distaste for paperless voting, in this case the only way out is through -- namely, the use of cryptography is the only way to effectively provide a secure secret ballot for remote voting.

The only way secret ballot works locally is you verify _who_ gets in to the voting area (no fraudulent voters), hand them _one_ ballot (no multiple votes) without their name on it (no association to the voter by name) and the presence of a mixing process, namely multiple queues, make association to the voter by voting order impractical. With absentee voting, you can't control the voting area; delivering the ballots typically involves a return address, which both permits some degree of screening for fraudulent votes (not foolproof, though, since malicious voters can lie), and wrecks the secrecy of the ballot.

It's not voting, it's election management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820287)


election management through corruption and backdoor bullshit, the oversight is the power supply, silicone, firmware, and programmers -- not the people.

Celente is right, let the people vote.

Celente is wrong, let them vote online.

Secret ballot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820385)

"the signature on the ballot is matched" That's not good.

In other news... (1)

stavrica (701765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820409)

In a move to present itself as being even less evil that Google, Microsoft has announced its intention to decrease its lobbying budget to $0 over the next 36 months.

Less of a threat (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820557)

than the GOP trotting out their 'must be this rich and white' voter ID laws wherever and as quickly as they can. Poll taxes are back.

When demographics give you racially impure lemons, destroy free and fair elections as you see fit.

Re:Less of a threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822441)

A state ID averages a whopping $10.. You must be real rich or real white to be able to afford that huh???

But hey, the left needs race-baiting tools like you to stay alive.. So keep on turning, tool.

Re:Less of a threat (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822671)

It's not just the $10 it's having the time to do it and access to the other documentation. Plus, unless you drive a car that's $10 that you wouldn't otherwise need to spend.

It's worth noting that the only reason why the GOP cares about it at all is because minorities are more likely to not have photo identification than other groups are. Around here we allow several other forms of identification and despite GOP whining they haven't been able to produce any evidence of voter fraud significant enough to justify disenfranchising all those voters.

Ballots not Votes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820649)

If you read the article, its not the actual VOTING that is being done online in most cases, it is having access to an absentee ballot. Oregon does its entire election by mail. It is actually a lot more secure than using polling places. Each ballot is returned in an envelope signed by the voter. The ballot itself is inside a second privacy envelope. Once the signature on the outside envelope is compared to the voter registration card, the privacy envelope is pulled out and put in a pile to be counted so there is no way to trace the ballot to an individual voter.

The problems with that system are mostly around the privacy of the voter when filling out the ballot. It also requires prior registration, Oregon does not have same day registration.

In any case, the system described here for providing and returning ballots certainly has less problems than commonly used voting machines or even ballot counting machines.

"now complete Florida primary"? (1)

Dean Edmonds (189342) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821393)

Is the submitter a time-traveler, or was zie just expecting the /. editors to take a week longer than they did in posting the submission?

all your cloud are belong to us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821447)

Azure? Doesn't that favor "blue" candidates?

Cloud Based Voting System? (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822475)

Cloud-based voting system? They should have just gone with some internet-based voting system instead.

Cloudy weather, low visibility (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822501)

In addition to a now complete Florida cloud, Virginia and California will use the cloud for their cloud, and Washington cloud will use it for its cloud. To ensure the clouds are from legitimate clouds, clouds use unique clouding clouds to access their clouds online, according to Microsoft. Once clouded, the cloud on the cloud is clouded with cloud cloud to cloud cloud cloud.

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