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University Developing Technology To Vote On Your Tablet, Smartphone

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the rock-the-vote-from-home dept.

Government 259

smitty_one_each writes in with this story about a professor developing a new electronic voting system. "A Clemson University professor is developing a new electronic voting system that will allow voters to cast their ballots from home computers, tablets and smartphones. As Clemson's chair of human-centered computing, Juan Gilbert has lead teams of students over the last 10 years to create an online voting system accessible at home or on the go that will be more accurate, have increased verification and make voting more accessible to people with disabilities by offering mobile and voice-command options."

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So now... (5, Insightful)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 7 months ago | (#45874085)

hackers will not only steal my identity, they will steal my vote.

Re:So now... (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 7 months ago | (#45874095)

Don't worry, as it stands politicians have been doing it for years anyway.

Re:So now... (5, Funny)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 7 months ago | (#45874123)

I'm from Chicago. Democrats have been doing it for decades.

Re:So now... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874377)

Vote early, vote often, vote Daley.

Re:So now... (2)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 7 months ago | (#45874445)

Vote early, vote often, vote Daley.

Not Daley, Anton "Tony" Joseph Cermak coined "vote early, vote often." He was Al Capone's mayor.

Re:So now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874763)

Sigh. There's more to Chicago than Capone, you know?

The Daleys were the longest serving mayors in Chicago history. Between J Daley and M Daley, Chicago had a mayor named Daley for 43 years. Chicago natives who were children in the 1960s will tell you that they grew up thinking that "Mayor-Daley" was the official title of the office holder and not just a man's name. That's what happens when you don't have term limits and everyone keeps voting for the guy who's been mayor forever.

Vote early, vote often, vote daily, vote Daley, vote Daley.

Re:So now... (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 7 months ago | (#45875003)

Sigh. There's more to Chicago than Capone, you know?

The Daleys were the longest serving mayors in Chicago history. Between J Daley and M Daley, Chicago had a mayor named Daley for 43 years. Chicago natives who were children in the 1960s will tell you that they grew up thinking that "Mayor-Daley" was the official title of the office holder and not just a man's name. That's what happens when you don't have term limits and everyone keeps voting for the guy who's been mayor forever.

Vote early, vote often, vote daily, vote Daley, vote Daley.

Um, yes AC I am fully aware of the longevity of the Daley brand. Be that as it may, Cermak was the one in Chicago who started the "vote early, vote often" saying even before Richard J. Daley was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives as a Republican in 1936, or before he lost his Cook County Sheriff's race in 1946. Cermak was shot while shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida, on February 15, 1933. Now that you know there were other mayors of Chicago, you are welcome.

Re:So now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45875153)

Other mayors? You mean Harold Washington, who the city library is named after? Or Jane Byrne, the darling of suffragettes? Or that guy Rahm, who's busy engraving his name on the streets?

Re:So now... (3, Interesting)

mi (197448) | about 7 months ago | (#45875141)

Don't worry, as it stands politicians have been doing it for years anyway.

Indeed. And thieves have been stealing for even longer time. But only fairly recently has it become possible to steal vast sums of money without physically going to were it is stored [usatoday.com] — without even traveling into the country, where the storage is located.

Once we create some sort of e-vote, the politicians — the incumbents, especially — will be in a position to rig not just a few precincts here and there, but an entire polity (city, state, nation). "If it's not close, they can't cheat," [amazon.com] — was the saying about elections. With an electronic vote, much as I'd like the convenience, cheating will become easier and will no longer need a close vote...

Re: So now... (1)

mexsudo (2905137) | about 7 months ago | (#45874165)

I live in Mexico, been using Arizona absentee voting for several years, why not?

Re: So now... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874417)

You are the reason people in Texas have no problem shooting across the border.

Re:So now... (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 7 months ago | (#45874495)

hackers will not only steal my identity, they will steal my vote.

That is what I was thinking the first time I heard about voting via remote terminal. It was back in the early 1980s, before very many had personal computers. The idea was to have terminals in public places where people could walk by just any old time, log in and vote on all manner of issues. ATMs were newly popular (not exactly new, but finally showing up all over) and I suppose they were the metaphor. Anyway, accounts were being "cracked" by various means at ATMs already, and making the news. At the same time, my PoliSci 1001 instructor was talking about the "near future" of voting via unattended computer terminal.

Re:So now... (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 7 months ago | (#45875147)

Online voting has many security vulnerabilities including the need to trust your ISP, your router, your computer and every telecom that is an intermediary in the middle.

Requires the trust of numerous parties. Probably requires the trust of your email provider too. And this doesn't even address the ability to verify the user.

Credit card fraud is common online. Identity theft is common online.

Won't happen (-1, Flamebait)

cashman73 (855518) | about 7 months ago | (#45874121)

Sorry, but the GOP will never allow this to happen. They're voter base still hasn't figured out how to use the coffee cup holder on computers yet!

Re: Won't happen (2)

mexsudo (2905137) | about 7 months ago | (#45874179)

Their...

Re:Won't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874183)

THAT"S what the funny little drawer that pops out the side of my laptop is for!?

Re:Won't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874197)

No, that's the coffee cup holder!

Re:Won't happen (4, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | about 7 months ago | (#45874211)

I think you have it backwards. According to the Maxwell Poll [syr.edu] , 60-80% of welfare recipients voted Democrat. Generally speaking, welfare recipients receive welfare because they have low income. People with low income can't afford as much gadgetry. Thus it will make it even more convenient for a higher percentage of Republicans to vote compared to Democrats because more of them can afford the hardware. You can expect Democrats to resist this far more than Republicans.

(I know, I took your post insulting the intelligence of people who disagree with your political viewpoint literally, but you are wrong regardless of your motive)

Re:Won't happen (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 months ago | (#45874293)

People with low income can't afford as much gadgetry.

That they can't afford things like smart phones does not stop "poor people" from buying them. I have seem many panhandlers and other assorted "street people" whip out smart phones and start texting.

I, on the other hand, have a decent paying job, but do not have a smart phone because I understand I have better things to spend my money on.

Re:Won't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874409)

It's easy to afford a smart phone when you don't spend money on property taxes like a landed wealthy person.

Re: Won't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874429)

No, it's not. Often they take a side job for a month to do that.

Re: Won't happen (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#45874867)

you don't need to buy a new smartphone

and if you have a decent paying job then.. well, i guess some people don't understand that you don't need a ripoff 100$ a month plan for a smartphone.

Re: Won't happen (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 7 months ago | (#45875021)

No. Actual poor or people on welfare can't even get a free phone from a carrier because their credit score is too poor. So they're left with prepaid phones. Prepaid phones usually do no have data plans or they're so horrible expensive that they're unusable. However texting is rather cheap on prepaid plans, so I could see how someone would be txting, and there are prepaid smartphones for about $50 now days.

Re:Won't happen (3, Informative)

CastIronStove (2602755) | about 7 months ago | (#45874559)

Your argument: "Being poor does not stop people from buying smart phones". The evidence for your conclusion: seeing many panhandlers and other assorted "street people" using smart phones. While your anonymous anecdotal evidence is compelling, the counter argument "poor people are less likely to own a smart phone" is backed by actual "research". For instance, a Pew study published in 2011 that considered the adoption rates of smartphones among different demographics concluded that

Smartphone ownership is highly correlated with household income.

(link [pewinternet.org] ), drawing this conclusion from the 22% ownership rate among households with an annual income of less than $30,000.

Re:Won't happen (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 7 months ago | (#45875071)

Please. That poll's just there to push an agenda. Not like GP's totally rock solid anecdote!

Re:Won't happen (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 7 months ago | (#45874481)

I see what you did there, though I'm curious if you have.

According to the Maxwell Poll, 60-80% of welfare recipients voted Democrat.

Ok...

Thus it will make it even more convenient for a higher percentage of Republicans to vote compared to Democrats because more of them can afford the hardware

How does this follow? You don't even mention what percentage of those who vote Democrat that 60-80% are!

Perversely, you are right. Republicans would support this just as they actively support and push voter ID laws, reduced voting hours, reduced absentee ballots, and fewer polling locations (but only in certain areas) to fight fraud that doesn't actually happen - only to make fraud a real potential problem.

Re:Won't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874507)

I think you have it backwards. According to the Maxwell Poll [syr.edu] , 60-80% of welfare recipients voted Democrat. Generally speaking, welfare recipients receive welfare because they have low income. People with low income can't afford as much gadgetry. Thus it will make it even more convenient for a higher percentage of Republicans to vote compared to Democrats because more of them can afford the hardware. You can expect Democrats to resist this far more than Republicans.

(I know, I took your post insulting the intelligence of people who disagree with your political viewpoint literally, but you are wrong regardless of your motive)

How is it that they "can't afford gadgetry" yet they all have newer phones than me?

Re:Won't happen (2)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 7 months ago | (#45874789)

Sure it will happen. The nice Democrat candidate will come down to skid row with a truck of booze and a computer and "help" the poor downtrodden cast their vote. Or the Republican business manager will invite everyone to come into his office and cast their votes, and don't worry about that Christmas bonus- those that don't get laid off will do well.

Re:Won't happen (3, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#45874235)

Nah, it isn't that at all. Many people who would vote for republicans frequent the interweb and even this site. Generally, the smarter a person gets, the more republican they tend to lean in ideology even if they insist on remaining democrats or liberals. And before anyone marks that down, I said lean as in their positions tend towards but doesn't necessarily hit. Many people will find their natural position on any given topic will lean in a direction they don't consider to be the democratic or republican and will correct their initial assessment once they find out what others in their favored side state.

What they fear is- and why they won't allow it is that the people who don't vote will end up casting a vote anyways and it will always be for the democrats running. That is why they want ID of some sort to be presented when you cast your vote- to prove you are who you say you are and not the guy who got you to register knowing you would be too stoned to get off the couch and go vote on election day.

Re:Won't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874327)

Nah, it isn't that at all. Many people who would vote for republicans frequent the interweb and even this site. Generally, the smarter a person gets, the more republican they tend to lean in ideology even if they insist on remaining democrats or liberals.

Yes. This would explain why places of higher learning are often decried as liberal brainwashing institutions. It's because going to college makes you stupid (and thus Democrat)!

Re:Won't happen (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#45874421)

Going to college doesn't make you smart or stupid. It allows you to learn and you can become smart or remain just as stupid. You are a fool if you think you know it all when you leave college or that just by showing up, you are somehow smarter. When it teaches liberalism, the people will end up being more liberal, when those fresh out of college kids end up learning something in the real world, they gravitate back- even if they remain identifying as liberal or democrat.

Re:Won't happen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874465)

Wow. You have created quite a fantasy to project over reality. New voters are a democratic conspiracy to undermine stone age republican thought (lol). You have time yet to mature.

Re:Won't happen (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#45874533)

New voters are a democratic conspiracy to undermine stone age republican thought (lol). You have time yet to mature.

You should stick to what was said and ignore what wasn't said. I never said anything of this sort- I said they want to make sure the people voting- whether new voters or existing voters, it doesn't matter- are in fact who they claim they are when casting a vote. It really is that simple and has nothing to do with being a new or existing voter, it has everything to do with being the voter you claim you are.

Re:Won't happen (0)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 months ago | (#45874483)

Generally, the smarter a person gets, the more republican they tend to lean in ideology even if they insist on remaining democrats or liberals. And before anyone marks that down, I said lean as in their positions tend towards but doesn't necessarily hit.

The current Republican party doesn't have much room for people who want to "lean in."
Anyone who hasn't gone full retard gets called a RINO and told to GTFO.

It's been a very ugly thing to watch

Re:Won't happen (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874513)

Generally, the smarter a person gets, the more republican they tend to lean in ideology even if they insist on remaining democrats or liberals.

Except that studies consistently result in findings contrary to that assertion. Higher intelligence is associated with politically liberal views almost across the board, with a secondary emphasis on movement toward the political center. Conservative ideology does not become more prevalent with increases in either intelligence or educations.

Decent survey of literature here:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/unique-everybody-else/201305/intelligence-and-politics-have-complex-relationship

Also:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/millennial-media/201304/do-racism-conservatism-and-low-iq-go-hand-in-hand

Your bias also shows in your anecdote about voter ID laws--empirically, Republicans are responsible for most election-related shenanigans. But then again, someone getting preemptively defensive about accusing people of an impliedly illogical "insistence" on "remaining" liberal might simply prefer to ignore the evidence and make unsupported claims.

Re:Won't happen (2, Troll)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#45874651)

Wow.. Just wow. I understand your need to post AC after all that. Smart does not equal intelligence. They are not the same things. Intelligence is the ability to learn new things and concepts and smart is the ability to use or apply what you already learned. Answering a comment about someone or something being smart with a post about intelligence is the opposite of smart.

And for your attempt to link racism with voter ID laws, you fail big time there too. Unless you can show that voter ID is racists in that somehow minorities are not capable of getting IDs or something and the republicans know this, all you are doing is mud slinging in hopes that it distracts enough from the issue presented that your concept wins out. I don't even think it qualifies as a straw man tactic either because it relies on a complete fallacy that you failed to connect to the concept presented in order to exaggerate the concept out. In short, you just applied the equivalent of "nuh uh, your mean so I win". This is something I would say lacks both intelligence and smarts.

Re:Won't happen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874667)

On your last paragraph, have you ever heard of a place called Chicago? Famous for the most corrupt politics in the country. And also extremely liberal.

Re:Won't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874931)

Yes, Chicago is ruled by Democrats, but that does not mean that the people are liberal.

Re:Won't happen (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 7 months ago | (#45874517)

Generally, the smarter a person gets, the more republican they tend to lean in ideology

Sorry, but I think you mean conservative, and not the reactionary, bigot-infested set of "conservatives" that have assumed the title today. I cannot possibly support or advocate pretty much any policies forwarded by the Republicans these days, as they are often abhorrent or completely ineffectual.

That is why they want ID of some sort to be presented when you cast your vote- to prove you are who you say you are and not the guy who got you to register knowing you would be too stoned to get off the couch and go vote on election day.

No it isn't. They want you to have ID so that the masses who for some reason don't have ID can't vote. They claim it's to prevent vote fraud (a miniscule problem) but in reality it's for disenfranchisement.

Re:Won't happen (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#45874705)

They want you to have ID so that the masses who for some reason don't have ID can't vote.

And who are these masses and why cannot they produce an ID? I mean every voter ID laws I have seen allows bank statements with addressed on them, credit card statements, utility and electric bills, cable bills, and so on as the ID required. I mean some of the states even went as far as to offer free state IDs that you need in those states to get welfare benefits and similar things.

So what specific is inherent in these people you claim are targeted for disenfranchisement that they cannot produce something to prove their identity and residency?

Re:Won't happen (1)

mi (197448) | about 7 months ago | (#45875277)

They want you to have ID so that the masses who for some reason don't have ID can't vote.

What "masses" are these? Not only is ID de-facto required to travel around this country by air, you can't ride Amtrak without an ID [amtrak.com] either. Bus operators (I was told by one of them) are also supposed to check IDs, though nobody currently enforces the requirement.

So, if Obama-managed TSA has some good reason (whatever it is) to keep those "masses" from traveling, is not it logical, that same reason applies to keeping them from voting?

Plus, of course, the very good other reason — already cited — of preventing voting fraud, which you dismiss as "miniscule" problem without citing any evidence. We are told repeatedly [go.com] by the ruling classes not to worry our pretty little heads about it, but the only evidence ever offered is the low rate of fraud-prosecutions... That's a rather bizarre logic — I wonder, if GLAAD would've accepted the argument claiming there being no gays in America based on absence of applications of anti-sodomy laws [huffingtonpost.com] .

The conflict of interest is staggering — few politicians want to talk much about voting fraud, because that would endanger the validity of their own mandates. Why would you be willing to accept such claims without skepticism, is beyond me.

Re:Won't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874585)

Generally, the smarter a person gets, the more republican they tend to lean in ideology even if they insist on remaining democrats or liberals.

What on Earth are you basing that on?

Re:Won't happen (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | about 7 months ago | (#45874593)

Nah, it isn't that at all. Many people who would vote for republicans frequent the interweb and even this site. Generally, the smarter a person gets, the more republican they tend to lean in ideology even if they insist on remaining democrats or liberals. And before anyone marks that down, I said lean as in their positions tend towards but doesn't necessarily hit.

That's a strong claim. Do you have evidence for it?

My impression is a but different... that the more wealth someone squires, the less ashamed they are about voting for their own greedy self interest, and the less they care to vote on behalf of the poor and needy and disenfranchised.

Re:Won't happen (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#45874751)

Anyone who thinks logically about something before inserting emotion, tend to come to conclusions that don't favor anything but reality (even if it is slightly distorted). It isn't until emotion is put into the arguments that your observations can even be made. You see, your statement is almost entirely reliant upon emotion which is more of a description then any fact. Ashamed, greedy, self interest, poor and needy, disenfranchised are all examples of emotion that doesn't come into play when you are just processing facts. So lets look at your statement with the emotion removed a bit.

"that the more wealth someone acquires, the more they are about voting to keep their ability to acquire wealth, and the less they are to vote against it."

Now does that sound like something logical a person would do or tend to want to do before letting emotion override facts? If you are making $60k a year, you certainly are not going to directly vote for anything that causes you to be fired or take a pay cut, you may even vote for something that would encourage your job security. But once you put emotion into the mix, you might sacrifice your job and position to help out someone with less than you. I suggest you donate to a charity and help that person become as successful as you instead but to each their own. It's the old hand up verses hand out question.

Re:Won't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874613)

Generally, the smarter a person gets, the more republican they tend to lean in ideology...

That this was not modded "Flamebait" is not a positive thing for Slashdot...

Re:Won't happen (2)

MacDork (560499) | about 7 months ago | (#45874721)

Generally, the smarter a person gets, the more republican they tend to lean in ideology

I love how members of both parties believe they have superior intellect because they've chosen red or blue. It's too bad report cards stop after we leave school, because everyone in this country is a self proclaimed genius from the moment we stop getting them.

Re:Won't happen (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 7 months ago | (#45874949)

Generally, the smarter a person gets, the more republican they tend to lean in ideology even if they insist on remaining democrats or liberals.

There's at best no evidence for that assertion. And there's also serious counterarguments [lse.ac.uk] .

What is definitely true is that the richer a person gets, the more conservative they tend to lean, because of simple self-interest. People who are poorer tend to lean liberal for the same reason. This can appear like a person gaining wisdom with age and success, because your average newly minted young adult has approximately $0 in assets (-$25,000 or so if they have a college degree) while middle-aged and older people have had the time to accumulate assets and demand higher salaries for their work, but it is actually simply a matter of flipped social and financial position. Conservative values like deference to elders also are a lot more popular among 65-year-olds than 25-year-olds.

Re:Won't happen (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#45875001)

In Europe it tends to be the opposite. The more intelligent the person the more they realise that having a fair society where everyone has a real chance to live a good life and where it isn't just dog-eat-dog all the time is in their own best interests. We have several successful socialist countries that continually come top of lists of good places to live, with real freedom and quality of life.

Re: Won't happen (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 7 months ago | (#45874431)

Or I don't know' maybe it has more to do with how easy it would be to hack something with like that or game it in other ways. Do you really not remember the Diebold issue from the last few elections, and that was at an actual voting booth' now imagine that with no accountability whatsoever... voting is a duty, this isn't american idol here it needs to be secure and there needs to be safety measures in place' without accountability we could never trust the results

When I tried something similar (4, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 7 months ago | (#45874149)

Back when Digg was big and Reddit was new, I wanted to make a factional voting site. Basically it works like this: Everyone votes and downvotes stuff like Reddit. But everyone also has sub categories for their affiliation. An example might be: Democrat/Republican. They'd have a long check list and radio buttons of different affiliations. This way something opposing groups disagree on would be voted up for their own personal faction.

We were going to have petitions where you could negative sign the petition to disagree. So politicians don't see a list of 10,000 signatures when 100,000 people hate it.

The problem we had was determining who is a registered voter. It is hard to verify people as having a real identifier especially if you have no start up capital to send out stamps for snail mail verification methods. And another problem is once you have registered voters, how do you watch out for hackers? We decided we couldn't solve these problems and gave up.

Someone really could make a hyper democracy site though. there's a market for it. Educate the voters on their desires for politics, and tell them which of their elected officials voted for or against certain topics they're interested in! It is real simple in concept. It'd start out as a voter education site, but if it seriously got powerful, politics could be different with an educated voter base.

Re:When I tried something similar (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 months ago | (#45874435)

politics could be different with an educated voter base.

We have an educated voter base.
The problem is that their education is crap.

What you want is an informed voter base.
Preferably one that is informed with factual information and not "because Ayn Rand said so."

Re:When I tried something similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874531)

there's a market for it. Educate the voters on their desires for politics,

No, there is not. The voters do not desire to be educated.

Re:When I tried something similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874693)

You might want to look into the Metagovernment project [metagovernment.org] . They have a somewhat different vision, but I think similar motivations. (See also: Wikipedia on open-source governance [wikipedia.org] )

Doubtful (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 7 months ago | (#45874157)

Even if it could be secure (which I doubt), this would take away the ability for political parties to bully voters as they come to the polling places. It would be voted down by all existing politicians, since it would change the voting demographic too much.

Same story as Gerrymandering. Everyone is against it... except enfranchised politicians that are being protected by it... which also happen to be the only people that can do something about it.

Re: Doubtful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874451)

it would make wonders for spouse/family abusers though. And would finally enable large scale buying of votes. Hurray!!

Re:Doubtful (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 7 months ago | (#45875043)

this would take away the ability for political parties to bully voters as they come to the polling places

Have you ever been actually bullied as you come to a polling place? Bear in mind that this does not in any way qualify as "bullying":
"Hi, I'm with Smith for dogcatcher. Have you made your decision about who you want as the local dogcatcher? If not, let me tell you why Smith would make an excellent dogcatcher ..."

I agree that it can be annoying to listen to pitches that you don't want to hear, but that's the deal you make when you create the concept of free speech - you will hear things you disagree with, at times when you'd rather not listen.

Vote Hillary! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874169)

@echo off
:10
Vote.exe "Hillary"
goto 10

Nope (5, Informative)

dugancent (2616577) | about 7 months ago | (#45874173)

As long as there is the ability for someone to stand behind you and make sure vote a certain way, I won't support it. No one knows how I vote when I step into a voting booth.

Re:Nope (2)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 7 months ago | (#45874249)

I came to say exactly this, thanks. The reason there is no remote voting isn't security of the transmission or authentication, there is already technology for that. The problem is how to avoid coercion - not viable with our current technology.

Re:Nope (3, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 7 months ago | (#45874441)

The reason there is no remote voting

Well, actually, there is, throughout the US: absentee ballots. And absentee ballots are significantly more prone to fraud than in-person votes, including quite a few criminal prosecutions for fraud schemes across the country. Oh, and there have been cases of election officials conveniently locating a bunch of absentee ballots after election day that had been "lost".

Back when I was living in New Hampshire during a hotly contested presidential primary, a "completely independent" group of volunteers showed up at my grandmother's nursing home to help the residents cast their votes, helpfully filling out the ballots so that all the voters needed to do was sign their name at the bottom. Clearly nothing funny going on there.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874459)

Really? Coercion of millions of people?
Please, do tell how that's viable in any scenario in a non-communist state.

Re:Nope (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about 7 months ago | (#45874535)

Millions? Not likely, but on the local level, it's possible. For small elections that is enough to tip the scale. My father won a county election several years ago by one vote.

Re:Nope (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45875035)

> Millions? Not likely,

Here in WA we are required to absentee vote by mail. There's nearly seven million people in this state. I'm in King County with a population of two million that has our votes counted mainly by Boeing union members. There a heck of a lot of fraud here. Since I stopped voting Democrat in 2008, my vote hasn't counted a single time. The county has a Microsoft web site you can check to see if your vote was thrown away:

http://info.kingcounty.gov/elections/ballottracker.aspx

The fraud is very obvious when you check thirty friends, and every single one of them that you know doesn't vote Democrat has had their vote thrown away.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874551)

Advertising.

Re:Nope (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#45874579)

Well, if your district doesn't turn out enough votes for a certain party in power, and there is a fire/flood/tornado/whatever, you might not see a response as prompt as other areas. Just sayin'.

Re:Nope (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#45874943)

Don't you have postal voting in the US? What about people living overseas, like people in the military? What about the disabled who can't get to the polling station easily, or at all?

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874267)

Don't we have the same problem in states with all mail-in ballots?

Re:Nope (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#45874583)

Not if the election is conducted properly.

Re:Nope (1)

MacDork (560499) | about 7 months ago | (#45874787)

I presume you support the current system since you admit to participating in it. Absentee ballots already provide an avenue for forced voting and over a third of the eligible votes [cnn.com] were cast this way in the last presidential election. I think it is safe to say electronic voting, done properly, could be just as effective as absentee ballots.

Re:Nope (1)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 7 months ago | (#45874801)

As long as there is the ability for someone to stand behind you and make sure vote a certain way, I won't support it. No one knows how I vote when I step into a voting booth.

Unfortunately we seem to have already gained momentum on that particular slippery slope. The stats for absentee ballots of late... I'm almost too dejected to research myself, but I wonder if those used to be highly restricted (e.g. people who legitimately would otherwise have no way to get to the polls.)

Re:Nope (1)

GoChickenFat (743372) | about 7 months ago | (#45875057)

Yes, at least in the state I grew up in you could only get an absentee ballot if you had no other way to make it to the poll on election day. They also didn't count the absentee ballots unless there was a close race. Now you can get "early voting" for no more than just asking and it's counted. They now open up polling locations weeks early to vote in person if you like. All of this is a terrible idea in my opinion.

Re:Nope (1)

GoChickenFat (743372) | about 7 months ago | (#45874997)

I'm with you on this. I'll also add that I want people to put some effort into voting. It shouldn't be so easy that it's just as casual as loading up Farmville or whatever. I also do not like fully electronic touch screen type voting that has no paper trail. I've been in IT my whole life and I know better than to trust these devices and my data to both intentional and incidental corruption. This electronic and early voting stuff is a slippery slope of corruption...

The problem is buying, not coercion (1)

gnoshi (314933) | about 7 months ago | (#45875089)

Having someone stand behind you and make you vote a certain way could be a problem - especially if employers started coercing employees to vote a particular way in the office (which no employer may ever do, who knows, but there is a power difference and proximity).

The bigger problem is vote buying. If you can prove to someone that you've voted one way rather than another then suddenly vote-buying becomes possible.
(In contrast, there is currently no way to prove which way you voted to someone else. As such, if someone pays you to vote a certain way they are basically limited to hoping you follow-through on your promise. They can't check.)
Considering the amount of money being spent on election advertising, outright buying of votes could be quite a low-cost way of winning an election. If it was $100 per vote, then the election could have been turned by spending under $500m in a few key states, and frankly I suspect you could probably convince a non-voter to vote your way from the comfort of their own home for less than $100.

Re:The problem is buying, not coercion (1)

gnoshi (314933) | about 7 months ago | (#45875125)

Note: as pointed out by others, the same could be acheived using postal voting. Maybe postal voting is simply a bad idea, too...

Great idea (2)

should_be_linear (779431) | about 7 months ago | (#45874175)

All hail the ruling party of AT&T

Re:Great idea (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 7 months ago | (#45874491)

AT&T is the third largest campaign contributor in the US [opensecrets.org] , giving approximately $5000 to 386 out of 435 Congressmen, and 66 of the 100 Senators, so it's safe to say AT&T already is the ruling party!

What I'm awaiting, though, is the change to inaugurate President Stephen Colbert!

Now if only there was someone to vote for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874217)

Hopefully they'll include a way to spoil my ballot. The last time I actually voted for a party was 1998, and that was only out of naivety.

The whole democratic system doesn't work:
-Two parties don't express the full spectrum of political views
-The two parties you get generally end up pretty much the same and only differ in what bullshit they talk before an election
-None of them do what they say they'll do
-None of them are accountable, so when they don't do what they say they'll do nothing happens

Democracy us upheld as a defining principle of freedom when in reality the whole system is a sick joke. Providing a method of voting with tablets doesn't do anything to solve the fundamental problems.

Re:Now if only there was someone to vote for... (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#45874309)

Your biggest problem is in counting on a strong federal government in order to implement your will. That is never likely to happen because you will be competing with over 250 million others in at least 50 other states (depending on if you want to count DC's honorary representatives or not). This is why the federal government was originally limited in it's roles and everything else was left up to the states. You are competing with a fraction of the same amount of people in order to get your ideals and policy wishes recognized and chances are that people around you will have similar goals and concepts. You can control the state and local legislation much easier then the federal and you can whip enough people into a frenzy in order to replace your representatives on a state and local level if they do wrong.

Instead, for some odd reason, people think the federal government is the end all and they are the ones who have to do anything and everything but when they do not, it is because they aren't listening to anyone- even if the only ones thinking the way you do are around you and not in the rest of the country.

Security? (1)

techhead79 (1517299) | about 7 months ago | (#45874231)

The only way this would ever be even remotely secure is if users of the system had to get a unique key in person or have a key mailed to them that can only be used once. Even then, it obviously could be guessed what the key is or snail mail could be intercepted. Then you'd have the issue of people claiming someone stole their vote when their party member didn't win. Why are we taking this seriously? Because someone in a University is doing it instead of a for profit company?

Re:Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874699)

The only way this would ever be even remotely secure is if users of the system had to get a unique key in person or have a key mailed to them that can only be used once. Even then, it obviously could be guessed what the key is or snail mail could be intercepted. Then you'd have the issue of people claiming someone stole their vote when their party member didn't win. Why are we taking this seriously? Because someone in a University is doing it instead of a for profit company?

If you can't mail someone something unique, how does vote by mail work? Well, it doesn't always work, but we use it. Thats why we are trying to make better systems. if your key is as attackable as a mailed ballot, but unlike in a mail in system, you can prove your vote was counted in the final tally, prove fraud (to the media, auditors, whatever) if its not, and have much stronger guarantees about the robustness of the secret ballot its still an improvement. Perfect? No, nothing involving people is, but its better in many ways (and worse in some, but I'd argue the benefits outweigh the issues).

Since I see no code or algorithm description yet for the implementation (plan?) in the article, you can look at my example election software [github.com] . Check out the readme for an outline of how the design compares to existing mail in systems. Thats just a personal little project of mine. I've also had a little involvement with another election software project [github.com] that is based on somewhat on my design.

Is their code public? How about the algorithms? If not, then I'll claim to have contributed more, even with just my minimal unfinished efforts. My code is documented (somewhat), public and freely licencesed (MIT). Use it, fix it, fork it. Really though, I could build a decent system from scratch by myself in a quarter. Its less work than some project classes I took. 10 years seems a little excessive to work on this. Sure all the clients for different platforms and auditing and such takes a while, but its not that horrible.

Re:Security? (2)

pudge (3605) | about 7 months ago | (#45874973)

if your key is as attackable as a mailed ballot, but unlike in a mail in system, you can prove your vote was counted in the final tally, prove fraud (to the media, auditors, whatever) if its not, and have much stronger guarantees about the robustness of the secret ballot its still an improvement.

You're incorrect about this being a secret ballot. It's not a secret ballot if you don't do it at a polling place (that's not the only criteria, but it is one).

Re:Security? (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | about 7 months ago | (#45874701)

Lots of important documents travel by snail mail, which is why tampering with someone else's mail is a pretty serious offense. And unlike Internet crimes you'll actually need to be physically in US jurisdiction to screw with US mail, so your risk of ending up in jail is pretty high. It happens, but someone doing enough to actually matter to an election results would be taking a massive risk, it may be easier to stuff the ballot box or get the dead people to vote for you.

Re:Security? (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 7 months ago | (#45875015)

Security isn't the problem, security combined with anonymity is the problem.

Writing an electronic voting system is piss easy, there's some process issues with validating identification, but nothing that couldn't be resolved through the existing voter registration processes. The issue is that the only way it works without massive amounts of fraud is if enough data is stored to allow a person with access to said data to determine exactly who every single person voted for. It wouldn't be public knowledge so a lot of the actual issues that anonymous voting are designed to address would still not be an issue(your boss wouldn't know who you voted for), but voting wouldn't be anonymous.

Now we can have a robust discussion about whether we're willing to trade the absolute anonymity of our votes for a greater ease of voting, higher voter turnout, potential reductions in vote tampering etc, but that's the decision we'd be making. I'm a bit on the fence on this one, on the one hand I'm not ashamed of who I vote for, nor is either the US or the country I now live in a place where the government is in a position to do much evil with the knowledge of voting(most of the issues with pre-anonymous voting were more local than that), but anonymous voting was instituted for a very good reason and getting rid of it isn't something to be done on a whim.

Go for it. (0)

Triv (181010) | about 7 months ago | (#45874241)

Two years ago I would have looked down on this, saying that the minimum requirement for participating in government would be showing up one day a year to check some boxes on a form.

However, those two years have brought on voter registration laws designed to disenfranchise, laws so blatantly racist that it's pants-on-heads insane that anybody let them get away with it.

Gerrymandered districts can't be fixed til the next census. Mobile voting could be a hell of a stopgap before then.

Re:Go for it. (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 7 months ago | (#45874283)

Gerrymandering has been going on for decades (if not more). You're just now noticing?

Re:Go for it. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#45874381)

What is racist about ID laws? As far as I know, you need ID in some state to purchase fingernail polish remover (due to it's use in making meth) and no one seems to think that is designed to stop minorities from getting it.

So what is it about a minority that they cannot produce an ID to prove they are who they claim they are when casting a vote in an election? I mean seriously, in order for it to be racists, there would have to be some inherent flaw in minorities getting IDs in the first place. And as far as I know, the voter ID laws allow bills like utility and electric or credit cards and bank statements that have your current address on it to act as ID for the purposes of voting so it isn't even a matter of needing to go to some government office with specific paperwork and pay $5 or something.

As for Gerrymandered districts, they will never be fixed. They cannot be fixed. It is a flaw in the entire redistricting system that says only X amount of people in each district. It will either be one party or the other with an advantage- even if you set out to keep the districts politically similar as what was before.

Re:Go for it. (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#45874527)

However, those two years have brought on voter registration laws designed to disenfranchise, laws so blatantly racist that it's pants-on-heads insane that anybody let them get away with it.

Voter turnout in Texas nearly doubles under new ID law [dailycaller.com]
Minority turnout increased dramatically after Georgia voter-ID law [hotair.com]
New Analysis Shows Voter Identification Laws Do Not Reduce Turnout [heritage.org]

Voting fraud is an important question since so many elections are now decided by margins of victory less than the margin of fraud.

Al Franken May Have Won His Senate Seat Through Voter Fraud [usnews.com]

Poor and minority votes seem especially vulnerable.

Poor and Disadvantaged are Most Likely to Have Their Vote Stolen [nationalcenter.org]
Officials Plead Guilty in New York Voter Fraud Case [foxnews.com]

Mississippi NAACP leader sent to prison for 10 counts of voter fraud [foxnews.com]
New York Investigators Obtain Fraudulent Ballots 97 Percent of Time [nationalreview.com]
The “snowbird vote” takes wing [humanevents.com]

Re:Go for it. (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#45874619)

However, those two years have brought on voter registration laws designed to disenfranchise, laws so blatantly racist that it's pants-on-heads insane that anybody let them get away with it.

No hyperbole there.

Gerrymandered districts can't be fixed til the next census. Mobile voting could be a hell of a stopgap before then.

In my perfect future America, there would be a GPLv3 mapping algorithm that calculated all of the districts. You tell me how many parameters. But let the code and (read-only) data be free, and let the bun-fight move to how the data get collected and validated.
Screw these political parties. To the wall. With a large drill. And some jello on top.

Coercive vote (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874295)

Actually, the issue is not technological as 'remote' vote could be done over the phone (with or without voice recognition) or even with door-to-door voting unit with a mobile terminal. The problem is how to guaranty that the vote is not cast under coercive situation? Coercive can go form a gun in your temple to simply family members bullying you... That's why the vote is cast in a small secretive room.

Ever Wonder (2)

The Cat (19816) | about 7 months ago | (#45874305)

Why everyone is so hostile to the PC in recent years?

Why this story left "PC" out of the headline, for example?

Why everyone is so quick to embrace proprietary, locked-down devices that have only a tiny fraction of the PC's power, and only the few can develop for and that nobody can repair or upgrade or even change the battery in?

Ever wonder?

Re:Ever Wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874761)

Three reasons:

Shills. Everyone but the end user benefits from locked down devices, because the user keeps buying them, content use can be monitored and charged, and they can have spyware/adware injected on them at the provider's whim. So, it is profitable.

Desktops do their job well, and are boring, while iDevices are heavily advertised. The car example is like a Detroit Diesel engine. Boring, runs several million miles, and is generally used for freight. However, a Prius is far more glitzy even though the engine system has far fewer capabilities.

Form factor. Want to live in New York? Better come as a millionaire, or else you will be getting 300 square feet all to yourself. With how small living spaces are getting in the US (I've seen people actually rent out space on top of a door for a bed, not even with bathroom privs for $500 a month.), there just isn't room for a desktop, and even a laptop gets questionable sometimes.

No details, lots of pop-up ads (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 7 months ago | (#45874351)

Pass on this story until someone more reputable reports with relevant details.

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874423)

It's easy to authenticate the votes when the elections are all rigged anyway!

old news... (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 7 months ago | (#45874639)

as i've mentioned before, i owned a software company in the 80's that developed real-time interactive modules for Galacticomm's MajorBBS...pre-www and http stuff. it was actually really cool and cutting-edge stuff.

Tim Stryker, the creator of the MajorBBS (who sadly committed suicide in the 90's), preached that he built the MajorBBS to promote the idea of "Superdemocracy", the idea that citizens all vote on the issues that our relatively-corrupt politicians currently do.

Here is a fascinating newspaper article about his idea [sun-sentinel.com] ...from 20 years ago!

in a nutshell...

SUPERDEMOCRACY - A PLAN WITH `SYMMETRY`

In contrast, what Stryker proposes ``is a continuous network hierarchy of online referenda, open to all.``

By plugging into the system, any time -- 24 hours a day, 365 days a year -- citizens (anyone, in fact, 16 or older) could propose law, add their comments to the public debate and vote on the proposals offered by others.

Stryker likes to stress the ``symmetry`` built into his plan. There is, he contends, no built-in elitism, no snap decisions required, no lack of checks and controls to protect against what he calls ``wild gyrations about the legal landscape.``

While Stryker`s system would abolish Congress, it would retain all the implementing portions of the government: the president, cabinet, FBI and so on. (Originally, he thought even juries could be eliminated, but he`s not so certain of that now.)

Citizens` proposals would be collected into a subquorum pool, accessible to all, where they would be discussed, debated and voted on. When a critical level of interest was shown (reflected, in most cases, by participation of 50 percent of the eligible voters, 75 percent if a constitutional change were involved), the measure would be elevated to an active pool where debate and voting would continue for precisely 30 more days.

trust me...i read his books...Tim was a genius and thought everything through and even engineered and developed a brilliant system to make it really happen. his idea on voting proxies and subquorums seems to be light-years ahead of the stuff this professor is doing. ...and so what became of all this effort and thought? exactly nothing.

lets face the facts...the LAST thing our politicians are EVER going to do is write laws that limit and restrain or HELL-EFFFING-NO!! ELIMINATE their power and their ability to coerce the wealthy to part with their cash and give it to them.

So the chances that this guy's ideas or work are ever going to see the light of day are exactly 0.00000000001%, IMO

so you boss can force you to vote at work there wa (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 7 months ago | (#45874739)

so you boss can force you to vote at work there way.

No we need the system where you can vote in that box where others can't see you are voteing for.

Re:so you boss can force you to vote at work there (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45875121)

That already happens in some states in the US. When I was an admin at Microsoft, our boss's boss told us to bring in our ballots one day. Yes, in this state, we are not allowed to vote securely like in much of the country. Instead, ballots are mailed to us then are returned by mail. Several women's groups claim a large portion of husbands votes with ballots intended for their wives or children over 18. I know that working for a huge tech company means that you will have to vote the way you're told. A friend's church has their members collect ballots then a group of volunteers fill-in the forms for the members and drops them off in bulk. It's a shame that the Republicans that rule this state care so little about the right to vote that they decided to destroy our rights by making voting 100% insecure. The Democrats may have the majority, but they always do what they are told to by the Republicans.

Technology... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45874851)

Making your vote not count even faster

You cannot have a secret ballot with this system (2)

pudge (3605) | about 7 months ago | (#45874989)

Voting on your computer at home, or on your cellphone, or anything like it, means the elimination of the secret ballot.

The point of the secret ballot is not only to allow you to vote without any person knowing how you voted, but to compel you to vote secretly, and thus prevent bribery, coercion, and other evils.

That's not just me talking, that's The American and English encyclopædia of law, Volume 10, from 1899, page 585. [tinyurl.com]

But voting on your own device on your own time opens up for possibility all manner of coercion. This is probably where we're headed, and if you don't care about the issue, fine, but at least educate yourself about it first. I hope that's not too much to ask.

You insensitive clot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45875287)

How can I vote if I don't have tablet, smart phone?

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