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Kaspersky Says Lack of Digital Voting Will Be Democracy's Downfall

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the vote-online-or-die dept.

Government 388

hapworth writes "Eugene Kaspersky, founder and CEO of cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, has warned that one of the greatest cyber threats facing the world is the lack of effective online voting systems, claiming that unless young people can vote online they won't bother at all and the whole democratic system will collapse. Not everyone is buying that theory, however (and there's reason to suspect Kaspersky has a vested interest in online voting, which may need his firm's cybersecurity products). As producer James Lambie writes, 'Ultimately, the digital native's disenchantment with voting is based less on a lack of suitable technology and more on disillusionment with the craven and anemic political choices they are presented with.'"

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388 comments

Ho ho ho, that's rich. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405399)

People are jiggering electronic voting machines, online polls get stuffed more than a dimestore pornstar, contentious elections are par for the course every four years.

Seems like digital voting is eroding democracy more than anything else, Kapersky.

Re:Ho ho ho, that's rich. (4, Insightful)

IAmR007 (2539972) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405519)

Electronic doesn't necessarily mean insecure. Public key cryptography with keys in voter cards is a possibility. Encrypt the vote with your public key and the government's public key, then sign. You could then check that your vote was counted and counted correctly either online with a cheap smartcard reader or at a library if you don't have a reader. The keys would be signed to verify identity and could also include a photo.

The reason current electronic voting machines are insecure is that they have no electronic security whatsoever, not inherently because they're electronic.

Re:Ho ho ho, that's rich. (5, Interesting)

Pi1grim (1956208) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405661)

Estonia is a shining example of that. They have implemented online voting with smartcards and system is even more tamper-proof, than pen-and-paper voting, as a person can re-vote any number of times he/she wants to and only the last one will count.

Re:Ho ho ho, that's rich. (3, Interesting)

IAmR007 (2539972) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405727)

You could also potentially separate the vote tallying and voter tracking by generating unique random IDs. This would allow the public to check the government's results via methods similar to bitcoin.

Re:Ho ho ho, that's rich. (5, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405799)

>>>as a person can re-vote any number of times he/she wants to and only the last one will count.

This is what we should have for our House of Representatives. We will keep the same politicians, in order to have their meetings and craft the bills, but when it comes to the final passage, it will be decided by the People online. That way stupid stuff like TARP will not pass (almost 80% of Americans were against it). The Senate would still function normally, with politicians voting "aye" or "nay", so as to block any bad bills the People's House might pass.

Re:Ho ho ho, that's rich. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405901)

Describe to me precisely why it's tamper proof. Provide all details. Explain them, including the mathematics. Show you understand everything fully.

Provide evidence that every voter of average intelligence will also understand it.

If you can't or they can't, it's asking you to rely on your masters. And that's not democracy.

Re:Ho ho ho, that's rich. (3, Insightful)

psiclops (1011105) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406023)

If you fully prove the same about pen and paper voting then your comment will have some merit.

you can't - because there's no such thing as a foolproof system - just ones that you don't know how to break yet.

Re:Ho ho ho, that's rich. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40406063)

Estonia is a shining example of that. They have implemented online voting with smartcards and system is even more tamper-proof, than pen-and-paper voting, as a person can re-vote any number of times he/she wants to and only the last one will count.

So, they need an ID to vote? (The smartcard)

Racists.

Re:Ho ho ho, that's rich. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405839)

You could then check that your vote was counted and counted correctly

Like! Now my wife can prove to me that she voted "correctly".

Re:Ho ho ho, that's rich. (3)

mea_culpa (145339) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406305)

See Bitcoin and the number of large scale breaches for an example of what can go wrong. No matter how secure the 'vote' is, it all breaks down when what ever human interfacing component that handles the 'vote' gets compromised.
Something as simple as voting should adhere to the KISS principle as much as possible and remain as transparent and non-digital as possible.

I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.
  - Stalin

Re:Ho ho ho, that's rich. (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406057)

Hey, my mother was a dimestore pornstar, you insensitive clod!

Honestly.. (5, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405401)

Good!

I’ve always hated this push to get people to go out and vote. That’s not what’s important. The message that should be going out is to educate yourself enough to make an actual decision, THEN vote! Going into a booth (or online) and selecting a random choice because MTV told you it’s your duty to vote is only going to make things worse.

If someone won’t vote unless they can do it in less than 10 seconds... their opinion is probably worth very little, and would rather not have it diluting the already thin pool.

Re:Honestly.. (3, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405609)

>>>selecting a random choice because MTV told you itâ(TM)s your duty to vote is only going to make things worse.

What's actually making it worse is that most of these people just vote on name recognition. Which is why existing politicians win again-and-again. I know I did that when I was 18, just voting for the name I knew. (I'm wiser now.) There ought to be some basic test like: "Please identify the first president of the United States: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison." If you fail to answer correctly your vote doesn't count, because you obviously don't care enough to learn your own country's history, and don't care about the current president either.

Re:Honestly.. (4, Funny)

kanto (1851816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405749)

There ought to be some basic test like: "Please identify the first president of the United States: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison." If you fail to answer correctly your vote doesn't count, because you obviously don't care enough to learn your own country's history, and don't care about the current president either.

Or you don't care about playing Leisure Suit Larry.

Re:Honestly.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405785)

You could require everyone who wants to vote take a citizenship test every decade or so. But lots of people would get butthurt and cry RACIST!!!! Actually, there's nothing in the constitution that says who gets to vote, just reasons that aren't acceptable to discriminate on (race/gender/age above 18/ability to pay a poll tax). There's nothing that says you can't discriminate against felons, people who can't pass a test, people who smell bad, whatever criteria you like. You could also give voting rights to 10 year olds if a state voted for it.

Re:Honestly.. (4, Interesting)

cloricus (691063) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405845)

I prefer something productive like widely shown moderated public debates like we have in Australia. This could be the basis of an enforced voting question to ensure the voter at least bothered to skim an hours TV. We get away without the voter question as several million of our population watch the shows and discuss it after with those who didn't.

Our two successful formats are 'the worm' and 'Qanda'.

  • In the worm a panel of the countries best media journalists ask targeted policy questions of the two contending political leaders and an audience (either right/left or swing only) controls an opinion graph that is shown to the TV audience in real time.
  • For Qanda a balanced audience including undecided voters and online viewers may ask literally any question and a moderator enforces either a reasonable answer or an admission of some type. The audience and moderator ensure facts are kept forfront so very little spin survives the process without embarrasment.

Re:Honestly.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405883)

And that's exactly the path I don't want to go down again.

It is inevitable that your suggestion would be abused to discriminate against people. You may mean well, but your idea is a mistake.

Is it possible people will vote based on shallow reasons? Absolutely, but I prefer that kind of individual decision to yours which will lead to institutional corruption.

You may have nobility in your mind, but noble virtues are all too often exploited. Which doesn't mean we should never act nobly, but when it's been demonstrated to be flawed, in this case, I'll decline to act on it.

Re:Honestly.. (4, Insightful)

psiclops (1011105) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406119)

if only a certain type of people (in this instance those who care about US history) are allowed to vote then you are no longer representing all of the people, which would be un-democratic.

Secondly caring about history and current political matters are two very different things. in Australia even some of the the most politicaly active people may not know the first prime minister - because it's not really relevant, and not really taught in schools.

Re:Honestly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40406173)

None of those listed are the first president of the United States. John Hanson was the first president. Washington was the first ELECTED president, there were at least five or six presidents before him. Just a friendly FYI.

Re:Honestly.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405611)

Second that opinion. I've always hated the stoopid motor-voter registration where they enroll voters when they attain or renew their drivers license. You should have to make the effort to GO somewhere and enroll.

That said, in the US voting no longer matters anyway. We have Mitrock Obomney who enacted mandatory healthcare in MA and nationwide and now he's totally against it. Except in MA.

Re:Honestly.. (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405633)

Preach!

I'd love to see 90% turnout... assuming they were mostly clueful. But I'd be just as happy with 10% turnout assuming they were almost all clueful. We need to find a way to stop idiots from voting. But I can't think of any that wouldn't be abused by whoever was in power at the time to create an even worse situation.

Re:Honestly.. (1)

psiclops (1011105) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406159)

if you exclude idiots from voting then they are not fairly represented.

Re:Honestly.. (2)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406185)

> if you exclude idiots from voting then they are not fairly represented.

And this is a problem how? Democracy is a stupid idea, which is why we here in America were given a Republic. If we could keep it.... we failed.

Re:Honestly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40406265)

Failed my ass, some of us are still fighting to keep it. Long live the Republic! I'll be damned if I give up on it.

Re:Honestly.. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405693)

That requires having the tools necessary to reason and analyze the arguments. Those sorts of skills require education far in advance of anything provided at High School and often in advance of much that is provided even in undergraduate university courses. Teaching the necessary skills to actually comprehend society, the effects and limits of government, and how politicians seek to manipulate your inner fears - that's a 3-4 year program in itself.

Not that I would oppose such a program, or making it mandatory in order to have the right to vote, but that's the only way you can really have people be educated enough to make a decision. Googling the terms, flittering through wikipedia - that's not "education", that's nothing.

Re:Honestly.. (5, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405739)

True, but you shouldn't introduce artificial barriers to voting. The US for example has gotten rid of tests to qualify for voting precisely because it disenfranchised certain voters.

Besides, the electorate at large can't really make educated decisions about policy. They try, but ultimately the best you can do is set the tone for the type of politician you want to represent you, not have a perfect mesh of policy ideas.

When people are young they tend to be fixated on certain issues, pot legalization, the environment, cost of education that sort of thing. Not that those issues aren't important, but they don't exist in a vacuum, and as you get older and spend more time being aware of the broader scope of government (as an insurance system, as a source of stable investment through bonds, as a regulator of various things and so on) you realize more about how you need to vote as a broader ideological vote than a specific issue vote, and you get more worried about not the other guy, or the one who will hit 3 of the 5 things you like rather than the one who will only do 2 of the 5 kind of thing.

But in the end, the vast majority of the electorate wouldn't recognize a liquidity trap even if they were in one, and aren't capable of understanding how to vote about the issue because of that. Governments are necessarily large complex operations, and you end up trading off wacky things like individual health care mandates against military bases in swing districts or missile defence for aid against assad in syria. The public as a whole are never really going to grasp tradeoffs like that, and certainly not 4 or 5 years worth of potential future tradeoffs at a time.

Re:Honestly.. (1, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406307)

True, but you shouldn't introduce artificial barriers to voting. The US for example has gotten rid of tests to qualify for voting precisely because it disenfranchised certain voters.

And traded it for the current system that effectively disenfranchises any voter who can't afford his own personal lobbyists.

Go go two-party clusterfuck.

Enact mandatory voting (3, Informative)

Balial (39889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405413)

In Australia getting to the polls on voting day is mandatory. You're fined otherwise. This really gets people to vote. Digital only leads to vulnerabilities.

Re:Enact mandatory voting (5, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405435)

Ugh.

I'd rather a small turnout of people making an actual decision.

Voting isn't what's important. Having an opinion is. 100% voter turnout isn't worth much if 70% of that turnout picked randomly.

Unless they figure a good way to validate that someone is making a serious choice (and force them to do so), all this does is dilute the already very thin pool of educated voters.

Re:Enact mandatory voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405577)

Ugh.

I'd rather a small turnout of people making an actual decision.

Voting isn't what's important. Having an opinion is. 100% voter turnout isn't worth much if 70% of that turnout picked randomly.

Unless they figure a good way to validate that someone is making a serious choice (and force them to do so), all this does is dilute the already very thin pool of educated voters.

Noise gets drowned out and evened away, but it still means everyone has to say something. If you truly do not wish to jot down your preferences, you can just opt out by donkey voting.

Having everyone vote is still infinitely better than having only the vocal ones vote, especially because you can control who becomes vocal about voting.

Re:Enact mandatory voting (1)

RebelWithoutAClue (578771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406127)

"you can control who becomes vocal about voting."

Well, sure. You do want candidates to explain to people what the issues are and why you should vote for them. Isn't that just part of the election process?

Re:Enact mandatory voting (1)

psiclops (1011105) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406183)

a donkey vote is just writing 1,2,3,4 e.t.c. down the ballot, which is a valid vote.

you could just write 'fuck you' on the ballot paper and stick it in the box though.

Re:Enact mandatory voting (0)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405591)

Having an opinion is worthless unless it's an informed opinion, which (and again I will point to Plato's Republic, as I always do in these discussions) requires that the populace be educated at a level proportional to the decisions being made.

A small turnout is too easily manipulated, so you need as large a turnout as possible, but it must be a turnout with the capacity to think.

Personally, I'd argue that making voting mandatory but restricting the electorate to those with a given minimum level of education and/or minimum intelligence would be the smart move, but change the rules for being in school from being mandatory for under 16s to being mandatory for under BSc/BAs regardless of age. (Likewise, eliminate the age of responsibility/majority - unlike cheese and wine, people do not improve with age alone - and replace it with a proficiency of responsibility. I don't care if you're 16, 60 or 600.)

Re:Enact mandatory voting (4, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405763)

Personally, I'd argue that making voting mandatory but restricting the electorate to those with a given minimum level of education and/or minimum intelligence would be the smart move, but change the rules for being in school from being mandatory for under 16s to being mandatory for under BSc/BAs regardless of age. (Likewise, eliminate the age of responsibility/majority - unlike cheese and wine, people do not improve with age alone - and replace it with a proficiency of responsibility. I don't care if you're 16, 60 or 600.)

1. Not everyone is suited for a college degree. Period. That does not automatically mean they are less intelligent.
2. Make rules for voting other than 'citizen' and 'breathing' and we would immediately see massive manipulation of those rules. And *you* will not be one of the manipulators.

I just want to see 'citizen' and 'breathing' enforced.

Re:Enact mandatory voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40406099)

Personally, I'd argue that making voting mandatory but restricting the electorate to those with a given minimum level of education and/or minimum intelligence would be the smart move, but change the rules for being in school from being mandatory for under 16s to being mandatory for under BSc/BAs regardless of age. (Likewise, eliminate the age of responsibility/majority - unlike cheese and wine, people do not improve with age alone - and replace it with a proficiency of responsibility. I don't care if you're 16, 60 or 600.)

1. Not everyone is suited for a college degree. Period. That does not automatically mean they are less intelligent.

2. Make rules for voting other than 'citizen' and 'breathing' and we would immediately see massive manipulation of those rules. And *you* will not be one of the manipulators.

I just want to see 'citizen' and 'breathing' enforced.

Don't forget, "Only vote ONCE."

Pretty much demands an ID check of some sort, doesn't it?

OMG, you're a RAAAACISSST!!!!!!!

Re:Enact mandatory voting (0)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405811)

+1

Re:Enact mandatory voting (1)

hh10k (725277) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406369)

-1

I wouldn't expect higher education to change people to vote more like the "educated" people. Do you hate how extreme christians vote? If you force them all into college they'll just make their own college which will amplify their prejudices.

If you want a more informed society, get them to socialise. BSc/BAs are completely unrelated to this.

No incarceration without representation! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405857)

I expect those who cannot vote will still be required to respect the laws passed by those who can vote?

Re: having an opinion (3, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405793)

Voting isn't what's important. Having an informed opinion is.

There, fixed that for you. And exactly how do you propose that people get informed, when 90% of what they read and see and hear is mis-information?

Re: having an opinion (1)

RebelWithoutAClue (578771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406157)

The most important things they see are definitely real. Like for example, the price of Gas and Groceries. And the job situation. Can't hide any of those for very long.

Re:Enact mandatory voting (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405655)

>>>In Australia getting to the polls on voting day is mandatory. You're fined otherwise

So much for pro-choice.
If I don't want to vote, I shouldn't have to vote, anymore than I have to exercise my right of free speech (i.e. I can choose to remain silent during a police encounter). A right is only a right if you are free to choose all options. Else you're just a serf being compelled by a master (the politicians).

Re:Enact mandatory voting (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405889)

I agree with you. However, under the Aussie rules, I guess the best option would be to go and turn in a blank ballot.

Unless you want to fight the law in court (can you do that in Oz?).

Re:Enact mandatory voting (2)

psiclops (1011105) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406287)

you're not forced to vote, you're forced to go to the voting booth with a ballot.
what you do with that is still your choice.

Re:Enact mandatory voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405733)

...and there are NO voting machines. All votes are pencil marks on paper, manually counted. With pre-poll and postal voting to cater for those that cannot vote on the day (always a Saturday), the whole process runs like clock-work. Most voting centres are in public schools and community halls (free), and the staff manning them are most often teachers and admin staff from the school. The staff are paid a small, but fair, amount for their labour, with the total bill probably an order of magnitude cheaper than any machine solution. Although Australia's population is relatively small by world standards, I'm convinced this approach could scale to any population size. You must, of course, be able to trust the polling place workers. This is not a problem in Austraiia's peaceful, open democracy, but I can see it would be problematic in some others countries. I am very happy with the mechanics of our polling system. The politics, of course, still suck!!

James Lambie is correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405471)

There's not even a lesser evil to choose anymore.

Re:James Lambie is correct (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405603)

I dunno. Crud Puppy might make an excellent governor.

vote by mail, see Oregon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405477)

Problem solved. If you can't bother with going to your mailbox, then even Amazon is useless to you.

This will be by design (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405489)

Do you think the current crop of politicians WANT people to be engaged and empowered to pick their governments?

No, sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405501)

Democracy is not going to collapse for lack of voters. What is it going to 'collapse' into? Anarchy? Nope, you can vote if you want so no rebellion. Apathy? Ok so then everything happens as it's happening now.

The only thing I can think of it collapsing into is rampant bitching which is also hardly different.

Excuses (4, Insightful)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405525)

I say stop making excuses for and pandering to "young people". If they can't integrate with the "real world" IRL then they can just starve to death in their pathetic little digital corners. There are plenty of things in life that require one to get off one's own ass - voting is one of them.

Re:Excuses (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405549)

I say stop making excuses for and pandering to "young people". If they can't integrate with the "real world" IRL then they can just starve to death in their pathetic little digital corners. There are plenty of things in life that require one to get off one's own ass - voting is one of them.

Like!

Re:Excuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405663)

If there were a candidate, ANY candidate, worth that effort, this wouldn't be a problem. The current political crop is like choosing between which color knife you want to be stabbed in the back with. What does it matter? Either way, it's still a knife in your back.

Voting methods aren't our problem. The talking vomit that keeps being offered up as our "choices" is.

Re:Excuses (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406103)

I wish *old people* would realize that we are better informed then any other "young people" in history. If *old people* can't be bothered to realize this and can't figure out that the system is so broken that electronic voting will never fix the issue, then honestly I can't wait till the *old people* pass on and get out of the way so we can fix the system that they left broken for us. Your fault, and now your generations won't let it get fixed.

Re:Excuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40406349)

Well, today's youth isn't better informed then those in history. In addition, young people continue to suffer from the problem we old people suffered from, they age. As they age they discover how little they every knew and have to listen to younger people lay claim to being better informed . . . . At some point you learn that everyone should be ALLOWED to vote, but not everyone should vote!

Re:Excuses (1)

psiclops (1011105) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406309)

Digital solutions are part of the real world.

But Do We Want Them? (-1, Troll)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405535)

But do we want young people voting? They voted in large numbers in 2008 and look what we got because of it.

Yes Possibly That (0)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405541)

But whether or not Democracy falls is a small issue in comparison to the real worry, a potential future dystopia humanity faces as the machines rise and data compilation rise and a truely free press falls. Person's like Warrnen Buffet should be leaving their fortunes to the establishment of a global, non profit press outlet beholden to humanity, not governments and corporations. Voting machines? Hell we got bigger worries.

B.S. (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405553)

>>>unless young people can vote online they won't bother at all and the whole democratic system will collapse

Ron Paul seems to be doing alright, and his support is mostly young people. He now has close to 300 delegates thanks to young people willing to drive to the caucuses, stand-around for hours one end, & vote.

Re:B.S. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405601)

Is iPhone 4 worth spending $550 at VirginMobile when HTC Evo5 is only $300?

Yes. Because iPhone works well, Android is fail.

Re:B.S. (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405703)

>>>Yes. Because iPhone works well, Android is fail.

I probably will get iPhone, but only because it costs 30 dollars a month, versus 35 for the android. (On the other hand, my curent phone is only 5/month so that's an even better deal.)

Re:B.S. (0)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405773)

What carrier are you with? They charge more for service depending on what phone you have? Sheesh.

Re:B.S. (1)

psiclops (1011105) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406375)

when they provide the phone as part of the service this is perfectly valid.

Massive BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405563)

People not voting has little to do with what shiny new way they can vote, and everything to do with why they should get out and vote for someone.

A big chunk of campaigning today seems to be why you shouldn't vote for the other guy. It's called Negative messaging [nytimes.com] , and is used because many folks believe it works. The irony is that when all sides use it, nobody comes-out the better, and the and sum total of candidate likability is insufficient to get people to the polls.

The real question is how to fix this? Ideally no-one would "go negative", but how to do you stop an arms-race that's been ongoing for decades?

Re:Massive BS (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405825)

Negative campaigning works. But not in the way you probably think. To make as generic of an example as possible. Nothing an R says will get a D to come vote for him. But if you can demoralize him enough he just might stay home. And that is exactly half as good as getting them to vote for you. On the other hand positive ads can sway unattached voters who bother to show up and inspire your own team to get out. So you need both.

> Ideally no-one would "go negative",

What a silly notion. If you aren't going to bring up the flaws in character, positions and record of your opponent who will? If you are an R that is, if you are a D you can leave the attacking to the legacy media but even for them it is risky since they might wander off the message you are wanting to hit hard on. And some of that 'negative' stuff truly is legitimate to an election. Admittedly some of it isn't important and hell, half of it isn't even true. But I'm defending the principle more than specific usages.

Stats disagree (4, Informative)

cappp (1822388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405573)

The official stats seem to disagree, or at least suggest that there's more to consider than just age/membership in a wired generation.

Consider for instance the breakdown in voting participation over the last 4 presidential elections [census.gov] (.pdf warning) - voter participation of those between 18 and 34 (what I would consider to be the net generation) has increased, in many cases markedly. Consider for instance that 18 to 20 year olds in 1996 had a 31.2% rate, 2000 saw a 28.4, 2004 had a 41% and 2008 had 41%. Similarly 21 to 24 saw 33.4, 35.4, 42.5, and 46.6. Similarly overall participation [census.gov] has increased across the board - 50.3% in 2000 to 57.1 in 2008.

If anything one could argue that the rise of the internet has increased participation through the development of targeted demographic outreach like that popularly attributed to Obama's campaign success. Combine that with the ready stream of polarising online news, politicised communities, and use of social media and you've got a recipe for maximum outreach with minimum investment.

Re:Stats disagree (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405817)

Consider for instance the breakdown in voting participation over the last 4 presidential elections (.pdf warning) - voter participation of those between 18 and 34 (what I would consider to be the net generation) has increased, in many cases markedly.

[...]

If anything one could argue that the rise of the internet has increased participation through the development of targeted demographic outreach like that popularly attributed to Obama's campaign success.

Yeah, look, there's been lots of studies of other things that contribute to voting propensity in different age groups. Taking four data points and not controlling for any other contributing factor you can say lots of things, but nothing meaningful.

Also, you've reversed the direction of the usual attribution in the last sentence. Its fairly popular to attribute at least some of Obama's 2008 success to targetted demographic outreach, its not all that popular to attribute targetted demographic outreach to Obama's 2008 success.

Re:Stats disagree (3, Informative)

deapbluesea (1842210) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406345)

Taking four data points and not controlling for any other contributing factor you can say lots of things, but nothing meaningful.

Sorry, I don't think I'm understanding you. The assertion is: "voter participation of those between 18 and 34 (what I would consider to be the net generation) has increased, in many cases markedly". The numbers then show that the voter participation among those age groups has increased. What "controlling for any other contributing factor" is needed to reach the conclusion that the thesis is correct based on the data?

If you're referring to the next paragraph, he clearly starts with "One could argue". Not even remotely the same as claiming statistical correlation of any kind, just another thesis presented based on the (successful) validation of the original thesis.

are young people really that lazy and stupid? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405649)

It's like unless it's easy and set up just for them they refuse to do it

I uses to walk 2 miles to the video rental store to get a VHS tape. Kids whine if something is not available in 2 seconds on their cheap service if choice

Re:are young people really that lazy and stupid? (2)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405741)

VHS? you were lucky.
We were so poor our entire family lived in a brown paper bag in the middle of the road. All 58 of us. We used to eat coal for breakfast and work 28 hour days, as well as do a 50 mile delivery round every morning in bare feet because we couldnt afford shoes. But we were happy. I miss the good old days.

kaspersky is a moron (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405691)

the downfall of democracy will be when most people vote. the majority of people are morons. hence the phrase "the masses are asses". the next step will be a dictator like obama taking advantage of the uneducated and gullible to gain votes and destroy the greatest country ever. it won't last forever because the very thing that allowed this nation to succeed (20% voter turn out)will be what starts the deterioration of our society.

if you don't take the time to vote now you should never vote.

the govt wants to let illegals vote because the poor always believe the lies that the govt will give them all tbe money in tge world.

examples:
1) look around, obama is doing great, rofl
2) venezuela. love the lack of free speech
3) cuba, fewer rights than an animal
4) mexico, ruined by drugs and monopolies ....

vote online = vote the bosses way at work or get f (3, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405735)

vote online = vote the bosses way at work or get fired.

That is may be a worst case but on line voteing opens up that kind of abuse.

Re:vote online = vote the bosses way at work or ge (2)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405913)

Mod up please
Digital voting is voting that can be done with a gun to your head. It's voting that can be directly paid for. Much as I can't imagine having to do banking offline, I can't think of any good way to move voting online.

Re:vote online = vote the bosses way at work or ge (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405949)

All this time I've been worrying about the technical aspects of e-voting security and I didn't even consider this. But you're right: even if you were to somehow ban voting at the workplace, you'd still have no control about the voting environment at home. There just is no way to guarantee a safe, secret and pressure-free vote unless you actually require the voter to go to a voting booth where he can in solitude and secrecy colour one box red. It's that simple.

IMHO it's more likely that... (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405743)

...digital voting will be democracy's downfall.

Can we say "HELL NO"? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405745)

This is from a company that is Russian, and by coincidence discovers the US might be at fault for Flame just as there is a tug-of-war between ICANN and a Russian/Chinese backed UN body for control of the Internet.

If anyone has any clue at all, electronic voting is just ripe for being hacked. Look at what the Black Box voting site reported, from monkeys hacking voting booths, to standard keys that fit any RV fitting the locks on the voting computer. Without a solid paper component, it is a heck of a lot easier to forge results in a way that is completely detectable. At least with hanging chads, someone somewhere had to hold up pieces of paper and say they were not usable. Just being electronic means that a country's elections can be completely compromised by a foreign body.

Hmm... I'm sure there are plenty of countries who don't like the US who would love to influence elections. Making voting electronic just means the hack will be untraceable. I'm sure advocating E-voting would help lots in this department.

Hell with e-voting. We need paper trails, as what was shown with the voting machine stories.

What's that buzzing noise I hear? (5, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405751)

This sounds suspiciously like preliminary marketing buzz for a new Kaspersky Labs software venture: create perception of a problem so they can then leap in and solve it. As irredeemably cynical as I am about human motives, behavior, and so-called intelligence, even I don't believe that a lack of e-voting will be a significant deterrent to people voting. The proximal cause of most people not voting, as demonstrated time and time again, is disillusionment with the whole process and the mediocre - at best - results... "why bother when my vote doesn't count and I have no idea who the 'better man' actually is?"

I wouldn't vote even if it were electronic (2)

canadiannomad (1745008) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405769)

I have voted in every election I could right up until the BC-STV vote of 2009 when it became really clear that the people enjoyed vote splitting. I did some research and realized that every single vote I had ever participated in the worst candidate won (in my opinion) because of the first past the post (FPTP) system and vote splitting. I'm fairly confident in my assertion because of how there were usually 2 strong liberal candidates vs 1 awful conservative candidate who would win in every election despite most people voting for liberal candidates. As such I am confident my vote has never counted, and will never count in the future. There is no longer a point in voting for me, it just seems to exacerbate the problem. If I can't vote for the candidate I want and instead have to vote "strategically" the system is broken, and I will have no part of it. Democracy needs to evolve to something better then what was invented before the horseless carriage. You know, we have instant communication now, right?

Suitable technology needed to improve choices. (2)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405891)

As producer James Lambie writes, 'Ultimately, the digital native's disenchantment with voting is based less on a lack of suitable technology and more on disillusionment with the craven and anemic political choices they are presented with.'"

Actually, the two are closely linked. As Duverger's Law [wikipedia.org] tells us, the reason there are few choices is because our plurality voting system favors a two-party system. Because preferential systems like Instant Runoff and Condorcet work best with electronic ballots, suitable technology is almost a prerequisite for overcoming Lambie's "anemic political choices" problem.

How to Vote (2, Insightful)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405777)

Which candidate promises to give me more tax money taken from other people?

a) BreadAndCircuses-crat
b) CircusesAndBread-lican
c) CrankyOldCoot-itarian (never happen)

Votes are bought and sold every day. How do you think the US deficit got as high as it has? Greek foreign debt? Spanish public debt? Voters, when offered a chance to tax anyone except themselves, do so.

Participation does not guarantee democracy (1)

chrism238 (657741) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405807)

Moving voting online provides no guarantee that citizens will seriously consider the choices. It'll just become another button, another "survey", on Facebook that keeps flashing until you respond. In contrast, forcing citizens to vote and requiring them to physically move to a voting location, appears to have far greater success in getting people to think about, and discuss, their actions.

hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405827)

they just want to increase the threat of what viruses can do to sell more software. good play!

Next In The News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405893)

Kaspersky Says Lack of Virus Software To Protect Digital Voting Will Be Democracy's Downfall

Please dont vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405909)

If the young cannot be bothered to vote unless it is online, then it's good that they are not voting. Expansion of the franchise may be a cause of our problems rather than its solution. We are supposed to be a republic not a democracy. A study of ancient athens will demonstrate some of the potential problems with democracy. People who do not have skin in the political process, ie: dont pay taxes, dont own property, dont serve in the armed forces should not vote. Certainly those who receive benefits from the treasury should not be permitted to vote on those benefits or perhaps even vote at all.

Re:Please dont vote (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405991)

If the old people can't be bothered to realize how broken the system is to begin with I wish they would not vote either.

democracy is lost to sustainability already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405933)

All this concern about democracy (when we don't even live in Democratic countries) is lost when you realize that the people who are pushing sustainability are also saying that the only way to make a sustainable world will be to set democracy (what little you think you have) aside. That means the sustainable world will be a one world government police state. This couldn't be worse if George Orwell wrote it.

Re:democracy is lost to sustainability already (0)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406193)

What the fuck are you even talking about?

If a bunch of people don't stop eating scorpions, you have to either let them die, or force them to not eat scorpions. That ain't tyranny, that's looking out for imbeciles.

Finding the smoking gun in a warzone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40405945)

Fretting over particular technological problems(that really just suffers from political problems anyhow) is a bit silly. Democracy shows some pretty consistent problems everywhere in this world based on how mature such democratic governments are and how many resources they have enjoyed. A nascent democracy or one that has few productive people and wealth may not show these signs, but mature democratic governments or ones that have vast resources at its disposal relative to the society it controls all show a similar problem with financial stability. The nature of democracy is to bribe constituents with more money than they take. This requires either emphasis on a subset of society at the expense of the rest(which is certainly possible by means of public choice incentives but isn't terribly effective) or it requires getting resources external to the society. The later choice is more popular which is why most mature democracies are in such unsustainable troubles with debt. Older democracies have to continually rely upon more and more bribery to get votes of new constituents. It wouldn't be enough to have just stopped after promising free stuff to one group of voters once. It becomes institutional and expected, and to take it away would be worse than just not having bribed them, those dependents would turn on their previous providers. It is no surprise that the oldest democracies that originally were allowed to become extremely productive and wealthy before the state really expanded are now starting to unravel with debt. The US government size has increased roughly 8 fold since after WWII to 2008 and since then it has still been increasing superlinearly even with respect to population and our productivity and so on. It is no surprise that many other democracies are fairing similarly or worse. Given all the recent examples, it is not the exception but the rule.

For this reason, these stories remind me of people arranging deck chairs on the titanic after it crashed.

I'm old school (1)

CHIT2ME (2667601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405959)

I've voted in every presidential, senatorial, and congressional election in the U.S. since 1975. It would be great to be able to vote online! Unfortunately, even the "eletronic voting machines" used in some precincts in the U.S. have been shown to be unreliable and "hackable". Until someone can show me that online voting is 1000 percent secure, I will urge anyone in the U.S. and around the world to get off your lazy butts and go vote! I can only hope your precinct, whatever, uses paper ballots and not insecure "electronic methods". Kapersky has the right idea, just, not the security required.

This is a troll attempt. (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40405997)

Disclaimer: I am biased and no longer trust Kaspersky.

They should know that computers are merely tools and that they are a tool that is poorly suited to free and democratic voting. This is a simple conclusion to come to, and something that I'd expect a well-bred security company to understand. You don't utilize a hammer to drill holes. I'm sure you could compromise in some situations, but it won't be a pleasant experience.

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40406013)

I trust computers so much, I sill use columnar pads and slide rules...

the whole premise is fucked (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406019)

unless young people can vote online they won't bother at all and the whole democratic system will collapse

first, the democratic system has already collapsed. that's the past. second, there are not enough informed voters to make a significant amount of votes matter. all people, let alone young people, let along young people in the US, need complete and accurate information, and to understand that information, to make an informed choice. the lack of informed choice among all peoples of earth, not just the US, is the greatest threat to democracy. giving uninformed voters more access and encouraging it is not a valid way to promote democracy. if they don't have informed choice it doesn't matter how many young people go out and vote their ignorance. democracy or not people get the government they deserve.

Electronic Verification (1)

Cinquain (185030) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406029)

This won't work because we would need to verify that people are eligible to vote, and this discriminates against a huge segment of our population!
(...or so the lawsuits here in Florida would seem to indicate.)
Can someone explain the difference?

democracy may already be dead (1)

ClassicASP (1791116) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406043)

Well, we're already using hard drives to store digital vote data instead of ballots. The drives go into a suitcase which is then carried off in a secured government vehicle as it is transported to another location where all digital votes are tallied up. There's no way of guaranteeing the whole operation isn't being run by biased & corrupt party members or bribed government workers, and we have no way of knowing the suitcases aren't switched for phonies with different votes while those vehicles are on their way to their destinations. Its a private ride and the windows are tinted.

And even if none of that happens, the voting software itself could already be buggy and casts votes for the wrong candidates. Maybe the tallying software doesn't even doesn't count accurately. Heck, most govt technology I've seen anywhere is usually cheap old buggy crap, so why should I expect the voting system to be any better?

So, for all we know, elections are already a big charade and democracy is already dead. Once something is dead, it cant get any more dead, so I guess I can''t see how taking it online could make things any worse. Might as well go on and do it and save everyone gas money. We could all sure use it I'm sure.

most of the people here can make a computer lie (1)

DynamoJoe (879038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406115)

I want to go back to voting with punch cards. It's cheap, simple (unless you're a retiree in West Palm Beach), there are less opportunities for shenanigans, and there's an archive to go back to for a recount rather than "oops, district 733 crashed; they don't count this year".

Collapse? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406135)

and the whole democratic system will collapse

"Collapsed" is the only condition in which any "democratic system" was ever allowed to exist.

Internet voting won't last. (1)

Mike Van Pelt (32582) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406167)

The first time the votes are tallied, and in a write-in landslide, "7337 H4X0R" wins, we'll go to "Show your face at the poll, show ID, and mark your vote on paper" a lot faster than you'd have ever believed Congress could move.

This will probably happen the first time there's Internet voting. Definitely by the second.

Screw the lazy a** youth! (0)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406239)

Myself, a 50 something person, and a LOT like me, are about fed up with the spoiled brat helicopter kids of today. If they don't get everything THEIR way, they throw a fit. Their stupid parents (my age & younger), spoiled these brats to the point that the whole lot of them should be forced into the (old style) military to get their heads right! Jobs are not a right, free this and that are not rights. Voting is a right granted under the U.S. Constitution. The problem is, we have politically corrected education to the point that we don't teach history, and what that right to vote means. People are too lazy to get up off their butts, make an EFFORT to go vote. They want the vote brought to them, want it "easy", convenient. Sorry, what it took to make this country, was not "easy" and those that want to make voting "easy" need to bear in mind what it took to allow you that precious right to vote. Get up off your lazy bum a** on voting day and vote. Oh, I don't have time, I work when the votes are cast, I have children that I need to pick up bla bla bla bla. Then get your butt down to, or request an ABSENTEE ballot! If you don't exercise your right to vote, one of these days, it may be TAKEN away from you. On, and on the right to vote, you don't have, and NEVER have had the right to directly vote for president of the United States, and you still don't.

Ha Ha Ha (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 2 years ago | (#40406257)

Can it fall down any more? Nothing visible, so far has it sunk!

Governments are protecting their power. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40406337)

Electronic voting leads to direct democracy, thus governments would lost their power. Unsecure electronic voting machines is a sign of a bad will from government, which try to convince people that direct democracy is a bad idea.
I don't believe, that the country that sends people to the moon, builds nuclear power plants and supercomputers cannot build secure electronic voting system.
I sit for one hour, and figured out a device, cell phone - like, with hardware and software secured with DRM, transmission secured with strong encryption, activated in the presence of official representatives by biometric parameters (minimum two, i.e. voice and fingerprint, later used each time during voting), which confirm your identity while the device sends activation code to central server, officers know you identity but not the code and the server registers the code, but does not know your identity, thus both anonymity and identity is preserved during voting, a device with obligatory flash updates in regular intervals (once a year?) in a certified office to minimize malware risk, with encrypted voting history, which could be resend if there would be a need to recount votes ...
I am not even specialist in this area. Don't tell me, that US government cannot find a group of real experts (such class experts as authors of Stutnex virus :), that could build a good, secure, online voting system. I would rather ask, why the government builds insecure voting machines, what it wants to prove by this.

voter verified paper trail !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40406357)

it's not about voting online, it's about accountability and audit trails, if we don't have voter verified paper trails in the next decade kiss the world as we know it goodbye

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