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Voting over the net?

CmdrTaco posted about 15 years ago | from the future-is-coming dept.

The Internet 238

Alistair Cunningham writes "The Sunday Telegraph is reporting that the British government is planning to allow voters to vote online at the next general election, in 2001. They hope to use this to overcome voter apathy. I wonder how secure this will be? " I can't wait for this to happen in the US. Voting is a pain- I want to click my way through the election and not have to wait in lines.

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238 comments

Re:Never Ever Happen In USA (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 15 years ago | (#1808445)

The reason why motor-voter law was opposed is because it opens the floodgates for voter fraud. Under the this law, there is hardly any form of checking to see that the person is elligible to vote. I've even read of people registering to vote in multiple districts in multiple states using this. Don't tell me that felons, illegal aliens, and anyone else who can't vote wouldn't think of trying to register when renewing their driver's license.

The polls on election day are usually open from 7am to 7 or 8pm. If you can't find the time to vote during that block of time, get an absentee balot. In my city alone, there are several locations where one can go for early voting via absentee balots. Seems to me if you can't make the time to do either of these, then you are too lazy to vote. And yes, campaign finance laws should be changed to index the contribution limits to inflation.

Re:very good news (1)

camelrider (46141) | about 15 years ago | (#1808446)

Yeah.

Y'know this is the portion of the electorate that the Gallup Poll failed to reach in 1948.

Re:Sabbath? (1)

coyote-san (38515) | about 15 years ago | (#1808447)

In the US:

Saturdays are out because it would prevent Orthodox Jews from voting, (or would "ghettoize" them by forcing them to use absentee ballots or early voting),

Sundays are out because many voting precincts are located in churches. Politicking is prohibited within X feet (varies with jurisdiction) of the voting booths... the pulpit is certainly within that distance. That means that the minister/priest/shaman can't give a sermon on the evils of pornography if there's an anti-pornography issue on the ballot (or it's an issue with a candidate), etc., and thus we have a nasty little Church/State separation mess.

(And don't get me started on churches that don't realize that the Church/State separation issue goes both ways. If you want to be politically active, Christian Coalition, you must pay the entry fee. I don't mind a minister firing up the troops to vote God's way... as long as his church (and he personally) pays taxes like the rest of us!)

Fridays are out, because it's the Muslim holy day. Since most Muslims work the usual Monday-Friday work week, you're forcing them to choose between church and voting.

PS, in many states the bars are closed on election day, by law. In our wilder days candidates would offer voters a shot of whiskey as they came out of the ballot box.

Re:Voting (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 15 years ago | (#1808468)

It's pretty easy now. I just drive or walk to the polling place for my district and vote. If I can't do that, I go to one of the places where I can get an absentee balot beforehand, fill it out and send it in. I think low turnout is due to people being too lazy or not caring about their civic duty.

God forbid.. (1)

mcc (14761) | about 15 years ago | (#1808469)

i don't know about Britain, but if allowed in the U.S. it would possibly be the worst idea ever.

Think about the possibilities for voter fraud.

Think about it. There is no good way of determining whether a person logging on over the internet is in fact who they claim. Social Security numbers and such are not kept terribly secret.

And with the number of people who vote as low as it is in the U.S., if someone wanted to cast a bunch of votes in the names of non-voters.. well, who would notice?

An even better idea would be for an individual candidate to sloppily cast a bunch of fake votes _against_ himself; but make it appear as if it was coming from the IP of the other campaigner. Then claim voter fraud.

The only way you could prevent this kind of thing would be either breaking the whole "secret ballot" system, or requiring an individual voter to register in person somewhere with a photo ID, at which point they would be given a randomly generated password. And if someone can go register for a password, well, that's enough of a bother that they might as well just fill out an absentee ballot and vote that way.

MIT has had secure online voting for the past 2yrs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808470)

Look here for information about a secure online voting project implented at MIT. It has been implemented the past 2 yrs in the undergrad. assoc. elections. Has a separate counter/admin and public/private key encryption - it's being overseen by Professor Rivest so it can't be too bad :)

Re:Unconstitutional in parts of US (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 15 years ago | (#1808471)

This sort of coersion(sp) already happens. I had an uncle who belonged to his local UAW union and he always got fliers showing how the union wanted its members to vote and was told he should vote that way if he knew what was good for him. Other relatives who unfortunately have to belong to unions to work at their job have said they get the same sort of stuff also. My grandfather-in-law said he always took the union premarked ballot and voted the opposite way the union bosses wanted him to.

Re:How will this affect the parties in power? (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 15 years ago | (#1808472)

No, what I'm saying is that the idea that the 'have-nots' don't vote is bullshit. There are many 'poverty pimps' (as a certain CO radio personality would say) elected to office now as evidence of this. The current system makes it very easy to vote as it is.

Re:MIT has had secure online voting for the past 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808473)

Damn html tags.. sorry about that

The URL is:
http://theory.lcs.mit.edu/~cis/voting/voting.htm l

Re:Secure but also anonymous? (1)

Hobbex (41473) | about 15 years ago | (#1808474)

The problem is discussed with some depth in Chapter 6.1 of the Second Edition. it deals with mostly (Partially) Blind Signatures I think.

IIRC this does not solve the technical impossibility of being anonymous on the Internet however. As long as you can't find an IRC/proxy service that you can trust to protect you, they can find you...

Christian Coalition (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 15 years ago | (#1808475)

The CC was trying to use a religious tax exempt status to hide behind while engaging in political activity full time. I believe I've read that such tax exempt organizations can only spend 5% of their income on political activity and the CC was devoting 100% of it.

Re:How will this affect the parties in power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808476)

What? Due to your use of the word 'welfare' I take it that you live in the US where it is already far too difficult to register to vote and AFAIK less than half of those entitled to vote are actually registered. I seriously doubt that the people who are voting are any better informed than those who are not. Your average middle class Republican or Democrat will be as thick as mince.

I don't want this (2)

HeghmoH (13204) | about 15 years ago | (#1808477)

If you aren't interested enough to vote to go find your local polling place and vote, don't vote. Uninformed voters who vote with their heart instead of their mind are the bane of the democratic process. The founders of this country believed in an educated electorate (I believe this was one of the major arguments behind the public school system) because without an informed populace to decide who rules, the decision is not going to be a good one.

I'll admit that I don't much vote. Often, I don't know enough about what's going on to decide who should be elected to the office, or whether referendum X should be passed, so I don't. At the moment, I'm really too busy to keep up with politics, and I think its best that I be kept out of the voting booth. I'll most likely vote in the 2000 election, but I will have a clue.

If you're not sure, don't go in there and vote the party line! I could imagine that the reason the political parties push for greater voter turnout is that those who fail to vote through laziness tend to be the ones with the most knee-jerk reaction, and will thus tend to vote for their party on a more consistent basis. Vote only if you know what you're doing, and vote only on the issues you know enough about to decide.


Aside from these problems, there's also technical issues here. I assume that an https server isn't going to quite cut the mustard when it comes to something this important. Thus, I assume that custom software is going to be written.

Will this software run on anything besides Windows? Can the people who make the voting software be bothered to make a MacOS or Linux or BSD or Solaris or OS/2 version? Will they make a version that'll run on my 5-year-old PowerBook 165? If this voting software is not created for every single OS that exists today and has the capability of connecting to the internet, then I have a very large problem with it, because you're selectively making things harder for certain people. I wouldn't be surprised if they only made a Windows version, and if they made anything past a Linux and MacOS version, it would astound me.

It can be made (1)

bratell (34927) | about 15 years ago | (#1808484)

There are developed algorithms for secure voting even though I don't remember enough of them to say if they are applicable in this case.

If you want to check out more, please read (the bible) "Applied Cryptography" by Bruce Schneier.

In any case I think that computer voting will be quite important in a decade or two.

Two words (0)

jtseng (4054) | about 15 years ago | (#1808488)

Nomar Garciaparra.

Today's English Lesson: Oxymorons

How will this affect the parties in power? (2)

tenatious (65842) | about 15 years ago | (#1808491)

With the studies about the gaps in internet use between the haves and the have-nots, I wonder if this would change the face of politics (at least in the US). It seems that by making voting ultra easy to do, the haves would have a greater voice in government. Anybody know where there are breakdowns in voter participation by income levels?

The point is... there may be some resistance to this application of the web from those who represent the have-nots.

Bad, very bad news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808494)


With all due respect Rob, this is bad bad bad from
a secret ballot point of view.

The biggest problem with voting is that most
employers pay only lip service: "vote on your time, not on ours". Same as jury duty, military service such as National Guard, etc.

A much better idea would be to have voting day
declared a National Holiday: All non-essential
businesses shut down from 8-5. Could be popular:
good excuse to party the night before!

ciao,
mtngrown

(who doesn't want his voting preference
data-based)

Never Ever Happen In USA (1)

Lord Greyhawk (11722) | about 15 years ago | (#1808496)

The government of the USA is committed to extending voter apathy into the 21st century, 22nd century....

The Repulicans bitterly opposed the Motor-Voter law which let people register to vote when they renewed driver's licenses (too many poor / working class people would find it easy to register).

They hold voting for one day on a Tuesday (not a holiday) to allow WORK to interfere with voting.
They will never change this anymore than the campaign finance laws will ever be changed. They incumbant politicians will never radically change the subset of people who vote, ever.

In theory, easier is better... In practice...? (3)

Sun Tzu (41522) | about 15 years ago | (#1808500)

To make it easier to vote is clearly more "democratic" than to make it harder. However, a side effect of having to go to some trouble to vote is that voters tend to be those most interested, and, possibly, most informed.

Of course, this point ignores the possible negative aspects of a system that tends to favor the fanatical over the disinterested.

It will be interesting to see how this experiment plays itself out... A well-publicized security problem could set the concept back a decade. I can imagine scenarios where the Internet itself comes away with a diminished image that could damage electronic commerce as well.

Saturday? (1)

Martian Moon Landing (18084) | about 15 years ago | (#1808501)

Irrespective of everything else (not least because I like putting my little cross with my little stub pencil, on my crappy piece of paper, it's tradition, I say) I'm a bit gutted by this suggestion of moving the election to Saturday.

In Britain, General Elections (those used to populate the House of commons) are generally considered a good excuse to get pissed (drunk).

Vote, got to pub, go home, watch the election program on the BBC, finally go to bed in a state of pure, drunken, bliss when Michael Portillo loses his seat.

Won't be the same sat in front of your computer, lacks the feeling of importance.

(Mind you, couldn't be bothered to vote in the last two, the Welsh Assembly and European Elections - so maybe that contradicts my point.)

Mark.

Voting (2)

Black_Macrame (23938) | about 15 years ago | (#1808504)

Don't hold you breath for this in the US anytime soon. If you make it too easy to vote, people will! It still behooves too many candidates (and the Two Parties) to have low voter turn out. They know what the voting demographics are of an area and can target accordingly. This would screw up demographics entirely, especially if people could walk into any library with net access and vote. We should push harder for this here. I'm sure it would be feasible to have at least a test run (even if the results don't count) in 2000.

Electronic government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808505)

This is a slippery slope. Once high speed access is common, and voting over the internet is made secure enough to trust (this is extremely important), the ability to do so will seriously affect the way governments work. In fact, I can forsee a time when every major decision made in the country is made by citizen voting. Instead of electing these moron's who are only there for the POWER, people will simply VOTE for the different options (for example, a vote over whether to legally allow abortions would then be made into law, thus noone can complain about the outcome because they got their vote).

Re:Bad, very bad news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808507)

That's basically how Clinton got elected.. twice. :-) "DUDE!!! This guy smoked grass and got blowjobs from college interns... this dude HAS to be cool." "Fuckin' A Man!! I'm votin' for him."

May I present to you, the next President... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808508)

Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf.

"Waiting in lines..." (1)

nutritious treat (68116) | about 15 years ago | (#1808509)

you've obviously never voted, if you think there are "lines". that would actually imply some kind of turn-out. i've never had to wait in a line, literally, every time i've ever voted. although, i have to admit one or two times i came close! whew!

Why limit it to the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808510)

It would be better if it was custom software that dialed up a central modem bank and recorded your vote that way. In fact, why even use a computer when you can use any touch-tone phone instead? Dial in your SSN or voter registration number (or whatever it is.. I've never found much interest in voting and I have no idea where my card even is if I wanted to!), listen to the candidates and type in the number of the one you want to vote for. Simple, effective, available to ANYONE.. even the homeless next to payphones.

Re:Never Ever Happen In USA (1)

Yeechang Lee (3429) | about 15 years ago | (#1808511)

The reason why motor-voter law was opposed is because it opens the floodgates for voter fraud. Under the this law, there is hardly any form of checking to see that the person is elligible to vote. I've even read of people registering to vote in multiple districts in multiple states using this. Don't tell me that felons, illegal aliens, and anyone else who can't vote wouldn't think of trying to register when renewing their driver's license.

It happens. A non-US citizen poster recently reported in misc.immigration.usa that the person who processed his drivers license application asked him "Do you want to register to vote?" with the clear expectation that he would say yes. She was surprised when he told her he was not a citizen; she apparently was prepared to simply push a button and register him as a voter.

Re:Bad, very bad news. (1)

SpaceCadet (63397) | about 15 years ago | (#1808512)

Nope.

Voting is not an obligation, it is a privelage. You don't have (or rather, you shouldn't have) the right to walk in and blindly stab the ballot card in hopes that something will change. You have the privelage of considering the candidates, selecting the one that you believe will best serve the country, voting for them.

Random voting, and voting in your own personal interest, are two ways NOT to vote. I'd rather you stay home than just pick candidates at random. The reason Democrats try every year to "Get out the vote" is because historically, the uninformed and uninterested vote for Democrats, because they have a reputation for more bread and circuses for the masses.

Re:Unconstitutional in parts of US (1)

Grisha (15132) | about 15 years ago | (#1808513)

That's quite a leap from total anonymity to total anarchy.

Electronic ballots, I think, are much more likely to allow people to vote for the candidate they believe in. They can be set up to be more or less anonymous and secure (although you're right, definately not as secure as voting in person). The only issue would be making sure everyone only votes once-- perhaps everyone can go to a randomly assigned URL (vote.gov/x45623fgsd34523/, or something like that), which then expires the second someone has voted. The page could email the vote (as the httpd user, not from the voter's computer) to the vote counter, and voila. If done right, no one would ever know for whom you voted.

I certainly don't see how this would make everyone suddenly pressure others to vote, at least not more than they do already. I don't know if you've been to a church lately (or ever, for that matter, since they've been doing this for the last four thousand years), but what you describe is more or less accurate... just better disguised ("Senator such-and-such supports gay rights... what ever happened to good old family values", blah blah blah fud fud fud).

I think anything to get _more_ people to vote will certainly help, not hinder, the election process. Those that vote currently (for the most part) are those who are passionate about their politics and their party. Perhaps it would be a good idea to have more of "the average Joe" votes, to see what kind of government the average person wants.

Although, I must admit, as a Canadian, I sometimes get a good chuckle at the over-complification of the US election process. We probably get double the voter turnout up here, if only because it's _easy_. Plus we only vote for provincial and federal representatives in Parliament, and city council members-- not for the local dog-catcher.
Nor for bills to be passed in Provincial government, that's why we voted for the politicians to begin with. :)

Make it easy on the public, and they will vote. Make it hard, and only a select few will vote, and often not in the public's best interests.

Why not vote on Mondays? (1)

Imperator (17614) | about 15 years ago | (#1808514)

Let's have elections on Mondays, and declare it a national holiday.

(Or rather than declaring it a holiday, allow people to be payed for time they spend voting. And make it a helluva lot more convenient that it is now.)

-Imperator

Won't vote? Don't... (2)

wesmills (18791) | about 15 years ago | (#1808536)

I make it a point to vote in every possible election or referendum where I am directly affected. This even includes such "piddly" elections, such as when Denton (TX) County held the bond elections to get the roads around here fixed. I wanted 'em fixed, so I went out and voted to say so. If I hadn't voted, and it didn't pass, I couldn't gripe because I didn't get out.

The problem with electronic voting is that anonymous voting is a basic tenet of our democratic system. I don't agree with the cynics who say that the parties depend on voter apathy. Perhaps they do, so we should show them and actually get out and vote! The Dallas Morning News ran a cartoon, showing four panels: Three of which had citizens in other countries demanding their right to vote. The one captioned America has a man at a voting booth saying, "Vote? I thought you were selling lottery tickets."

If you don't have time to take a lunch break or something and go vote, then maybe you don't need to. As a matter of fact, I would prefer it, because then I stand a greater chance of getting my way! Your grocery shopping can wait a couple more minutes (Kroger is open 24 hours, people!), but the decisions made during elections can and probably will affect you for years to come.

If you want electronic voting, then get out and vote for those who will institute it for you. I don't like it and will probably vote against it, but at least we've all had our say when that happens. To the cynics out there: No matter what you say, we do have a republican form of government, where the people can change it. This is how.

Follow the logic here... (3)

Imperator (17614) | about 15 years ago | (#1808537)

Any such system in the US would have to be extremely secure. That includes strong crypto of some sort. That's a munition. So, the government would be arming its citizens with the intent of them replacing the government.

-Imperator

I think a half day is worth it (1)

Hangtime (19526) | about 15 years ago | (#1808538)

I think it would be worth a half a day of productivity around the U.S. to allow people to vote. This would destroy the most notorious of all election excuses, I didnt have the time or energy. Require the first Tuesday after the first Monday every two years to be a half day holiday. No work during the afternoon. Also since this in the middle of the week, nobody would skip out and go on vacation. Think about it if there was nothing open outside of essentials water, electric companies, grocery stores there would be nothing to do but go vote. I like the idea and it should be pushed in Congress.

Hangtime

Re:Follow the logic here... (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | about 15 years ago | (#1808539)

Bwahahahahah!

Thanks, man, you made my day.

Registering to vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808540)

One thing that has always seemed strange to me with the US election system, has been that you guys actually have to register to vote... Why is that? I'm really curious.

Even the amount of people registered for voting is low compared to the amount of people actually voting in most of Europe, and the actual election turnouts even lower..

Re:It can be made (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808541)

Most of Europe have personal identification numbers (almost like SSN's, but used much more extensively in dealing with the government, banks, or anyone that need to uniquely identify you), that are assigned to everyone at birth.

But that alone wouldn't be enough to identify people, as lots of people can know it (as with SSN's). Thus you'd need to issue some kind of ID that you must keep secret, and that isn't directly linked to you (secret elections... ).

What if? (1)

NodeZero (49835) | about 15 years ago | (#1808542)

What if some "kids" or someone hacked the voting page (if its html based) and added another canidate (spelling?). And that canidate won?

If they did do this, my bets are on that they would put "Kevin Mitnick" in the vote.

Now that, would be hilarious.

Re:How will this affect the parties in power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808543)

Actually, I think the entire concept of having to register to vote is sickening, and an extra barrier that helps keeping uneducated people from voting. It's about time the US learns from most of the rest of the world, and remove that stupid requirement.

Couch Potato Voters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808544)

Do we really want to add to the pool of voters the mass of channel-surfing couch potatoes? I can just imagine Joe Sixpack dusting off the Fritos and pork rinds from his belly and using his WebTV to cast his vote for Leonardo DiCoprophage for US President.
A new era in Democracy! Nevermind this is a Republic.

Re:Secure but also anonymous? (1)

broonie (5807) | about 15 years ago | (#1808545)

In British elections it is already possible to discover who voted how. There is a number on the ballot paper which gets recorded on the electoral register when you vote.

Of course, it would be very time consuming to go back and work out the matches - but it is possible.

Re:Electronic government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808556)

Actually, in Switzerland, most important cases are decided by referendums.

Re:Apathetic voters? Bite me (1)

broonie (5807) | about 15 years ago | (#1808557)

In any case, what standing in line? In all the UK elections I've voted in there's been no problem just walking into the polling stating - not a queue in sight.

I understand that the US has generally more complex ballot papers, but even so...

Re:Unconstitutional in parts of US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808558)

Yes, thank you for making the point. For a voting protocol to be secure, it must be impossible for me to prove to you how I voted.

It is possible to do that cryptographically, but it requires that certain steps of the protocol be carried out mentally, without ever writing them down. That is, um, error-prone. And not suitable for widespread deployment.

Vote-buying was rampant during the depression, within living memory. If facilitated, it could very easily start up again. You filled out your ballot, then showed it to the large man through the window before depositing it in the ballot box. If you failed to do this, he would beat you up and take back the money.

There are some electronic voting protocols that work by assuming that you don't have enough big me to watch over the shoulder of each person while they're voting because people vote at such random times and places, but they're still complicated, and they rely on the fact that the voter can generate the same "proof" that they voted for anyone.

This is great, assuming a sophisticated user who understands how to forge such a "proof". Too bad that's not a very realistic scenario.

Then there's the question of implementation quality and the security of the underlying OS...

And the fact that most of the best voting protocols require multiple passes past all of the participants, so everyone needs to vote at the sane time (and it'll be pretty slow when n = 100,000 and one communications failure holds the whole thing up).

Finally, remember that all of this stuff *does* ultimately decide who gets to use the nukes. It's not something I want to take chances with.

Rob for president (1)

Chocboy (18672) | about 15 years ago | (#1808559)

well, we have about 100,000 (?) votes for him for a start. we'd just have to hope they wouldn't use M$ servers for hosting it, ... "who is this blue screen guy and why has everyone voted for him?"

Voting is supposed to be a pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808560)

You should spend at least five minutes considering the candidates.

Don't just click on the prettiest icon.

Except poor people aren't on the web (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808561)

So in fact online voting further entrenches the establishment, as most people online are educated, well-off, and white.

NEVER IN THE USA (1)

gavinhall (33) | about 15 years ago | (#1808562)

Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

This would be a very bad thing.

1. The NSA and FBI would have built into any legislation allowing this a provision for tracking who votes for what party.

2. FRAUD. If a person who is an invalid is able to vote, there is no provision that says that he/her caretaker would not do the voting him/herself.

3. Uninformed people whould then be able to shape the future of the nation. People who don't care enoughto take 15 minutes to vote now shouldn't be voting in the first place.

I would actively oppose any attempt to do this in the USA.

LK

Re:I don't want this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808563)

You're repeating the classical argument against democracy used by the monarchists in the 19th century: "But surely, those stupid common people will drive our country right downhill". Get over it, the principle of democracy is to let anyone to take part in decisions concerning themselves, whether that means voting by heart or by mind. We've already limited it a lot by keeping a high age for the right to vote, and excluding certain people (mentally ill people, and in some countries people found guilty of certain crimes).

And who has implied that they will require client side software? And even then, this is an alternative to going to vote in person, not a replacement.

Too hard to vote? BS! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808564)

Don't you have mail ballot ('absentee') access where you are? Here in CA, I've never voted at the polls. I've always either voted early at the Registrar of Voters office of gotten a mail ballot.

Voting on-line has privacy implications. How do you verify you are who you claim to be on-line? Soc. Sec. number? Nope, that's used all over: tax id, student id #, etc.

A persons voting is supposed to be anonymous, what evidence is there the identify confirmation and votes will not be tied together? None, imho, given past performance of gov't entities.

As the 'Seattle Weekly' article about the privacy war (linked from \. a day or two ago) mentioned it used to be that it was too much effort to collect and cross-reference such information.

Now, with databases and cheap hardware, it's virtually free (compared to even 10 years ago). It's easy too. Some fraud happens in the traditional system, it'd get that much easier (and more likely) in a digital one.

No law will keep this from happening. At best, it'll just make the law breakers more careful or offer a way to slap them on the wrist if they're caught! I can hear it now: "It was a bureaucratic snafu!" "It was a misdirected pointer!"

YES. NUFF SAID (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808565)

Unless you try to screen out some of the idiots by AT LEAST making them drive to another building and take a half hour to place a vote, you certainly will see the electoral equivalent of Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf.

Re:Never Ever Happen In USA (1)

ostiguy (63618) | about 15 years ago | (#1808566)

However, in the years following, new registrants are more likely to register GOP than Democrat.

matt

Re:Referendum voting in Switzerland (1)

Imperator (17614) | about 15 years ago | (#1808569)

Belize too, unless it was changed during one of the American wars of aggression carried out under the guise of battling the Evil Empire.

(For the cartographically-impaired, you can find Belize on the border of Mexico. If you can't find Mexico on your map, you probably shouldn't be posting on /..)

-Imperator

Re:Unconstitutional in parts of US (2)

DrMazz (59477) | about 15 years ago | (#1808586)

David Chaum's ideas can be used to prevent the state from proving a ballot is mine... but since I know my own "blinding" factor (at least for a while, even if the software immediately discards it) I can prove how I voted. I suspect all cryptographic protocols will have the same problem.

I'm not a cryptographic expert, but I worked at DigiCash for a while (founded by David Chaum). One of the cryptographers there was Berry Schoenmakers. He either invented a new voting protocol or extended David's ideas - unfortunately I can't recall which. Check out DigiCash voting protocols [digicash.com] for further details. I don't think your assertion is correct, but we'd really need Berry to provide an authoritative answer.

I also believe Berry's implementation was trialled in a recent Dutch election, but I don't have any corroboration.

Outside of the question about cryptographic protocols, this also suggests that any off-site voting, with the possible exception of official "floating" precincts which visit the invalid, may be unconstitutional. With electronic ballots it is certainly within the realm of possibility that some organizations will have "election parties" with incredible social pressure for everyone to publicly vote in the "correct" manner.

If this gets to be a problem, then laws will be written to prevent this behaviour. Current law has never had to deal with this issue. Saying that we should not use the technology because the law hadn't anticipated a potential abuse is not very useful - most technologies in common use today had the same property at their time of introduction. Update the laws - don't ban innovation.

On a personal level, one can always vote _before_ heading to the mandatory voting party. If your vote is already cast, any further attempt to cast a (socially coerced) vote will fail.

This can't be equitable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808587)

Apart from the technical security issues, I can't imagine that anyone could overcome the social problems online voting would have. Anyone remember the whole "Dewey beats Truman" thing? People who have easy internet access are not currently representative of the population at large. Making it easy for one demographic to vote and hard for another strikes me as pretty anti-democratic.

Re:Couch Potato Voters? (1)

Imperator (17614) | about 15 years ago | (#1808588)

Of course, the unwashed masses shouldn't be allowed to vote, because they might elect someone just as stupid and uneducated as they are. Of course, it's obviously much better to limit voting power to the rich (as is effectually done in America), because they are well-qualified to elect someone just as greedy and self-serving (not to mention stupid and uneducated -- but quite versed in dogma and able to regurgitate college) as they are.

/rant

Did I remember to mention in there that the idea of a republic is that a democracy need only to elect representatives to rule them, instead of ruling themselves directly? But if the republic is to ruule fairly over the people, it must be elected democratically by them. All of them. Even the idiots.

-Imperator

Client side software (1)

Imperator (17614) | about 15 years ago | (#1808589)

  • And who has implied that they will require client side software?

And how do you propose to implement a system that requires absolutely no client-side software? The best you could do is make it widely accessible from the web, and even that would require a browser, especially for security.

-Imperator

Re:Registering to vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808590)


Er..you have to register to vote in the UK
too, when you move. It's called the Electoral
Roll.

Re:Unconstitutional in parts of US (2)

coyote-san (38515) | about 15 years ago | (#1808591)

I certainly don't see how this would make everyone suddenly pressure others how to vote...

When you're talking about electoral systems, you need to look beyond the next year or two. These systems are expensive to implement and hard to change. Widespread abuse like this may be hard to fathom today, but what about in 20 years? 50 years?

Here's an extremely humbling thought. In the 20's the KKK was the *dominate* political party in several states. All state funding for the University of Colorado was cut for several years after the school refused to comply with the law requiring that professors teach the inherent superiority of the white man. (It survived off of its endowment, and the KKK lost its governor and legislature majority soon afterwards.)

It can happen here. Maybe not this year, but the political climate can change remarkly fast. Did any Eisenhower supporter in 1958 expect the summer of love... and riots at the Democratic convention, 10 years later? Did any faithful (Soviet) Communist Party member in 1980 expect the Berlin wall to come down and the reunification of Germany in the same interval?

... been to a church lately...

I don't think anyone objects to a minister "clarifying" moral issues for his congregation. What many of us find objectionable... and what lead to the IRS recently revoking the tax exempt status of the Christian Coalition... is "voter guides" which explicitly endorse particular candidates.

But even here, it's one thing for a church to allow voter guides to be passed out in the parking lot. It's another for them to hold a prayer meeting before voting, en masse, from the computer in the minister's study. And despite what someone else suggested, I don't think a "oops, I already voted" excuse will care much weight in this environment.

Re:I think a half day is worth it (1)

Brandon S. Allbery (500) | about 15 years ago | (#1808593)

The real problem with voter turnout isn't accessibility; it's apathy. People who feel their vote won't make a difference --- either because they're convinced that someone's already "bought" the election, or because they don't see anything worth voting for --- won't bother to vote.

"true" e-voting vs. slapping elections on the web (5)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808594)

I did my Master's research on electronic voting. If you do web searches on electronic voting, you can eventually find a lot of good resources (however, I don't want to point out a particular site for everyone to crash :) ).

The current state of the art isn't quite adequate to the task in a "true" sense. Voting over the web the way it is implemented now is probably trustworthy only for a year or two (if that). There are many problems, the most important of which is the absence of a public key infrastructure (PKI) that relates individuals to their public keys in an "official" sense.

Without a PKI, I suspect that the voting systems being put on the web involve the voter registering a password in person at some center of authority. The voter must then trust that the people who tally votes are not correlating votes to passwords to individuals. Additionally, voters must trust that the people running the election do not create bogus votes, nor delete/ignore "undesired" votes, nor issue passwords to people who should not be allowed to vote, nor issue more than one password to anybody, nor allow more than one vote to be associated with any password.

Even if one trusts the motivations of election officials, one might well not trust their abilities in a scheme with so many weaknesses. Conventional voting schemes were simply not designed to withstand the ease with which computers manipulate information. They are "adequately" trustworthy with voting machines or punchcards (and the like), but are not perfect even then. The Kennedy-Nixon election caused a lot of stir, especially in Chicago ("vote early, vote often").

There are encryption tools that show some promise (e.g. do a web search on "blind signatures"). However, schemes that use them are still not perfect (not even my Master's work :) ), and again, the proper infrastructure is not in place (and is not likely to be in place anytime soon).

Even after there is a PKI and an adequate electronic voting scheme, there are still potential problems. What if you vote from a machine that has been infected by a snooping program (e.g. Back Orifice)? What if the kneecappers insist upon looking over your shoulder while you vote? Letting people vote from anywhere on the web poses problems. Of course, voting booths will be little better (do you trust the manufacturers of the booths?).

This is an important topic to understand, given the growing importance of the Internet in everyday life. Most slashdot readers will probably live to see electronic voting implemented, either well or poorly; it would be best for them to understand the difference between trust that is well distributed, and trust that is not.

IMHO, the experiments that you see on the web now are as much an attempt by election administrators to come to terms with the logistics, benefits, and risks of e-voting as anything else. I wouldn't get too excited about them yet -- unless they start to be commonly and widely adopted, in which case I would get *very* excited about stopping them until the underlying security, privacy, and crypto issues are resolved.

Re:Secure but also anonymous? (1)

Pentagram (40862) | about 15 years ago | (#1808597)

But that's not true! The number on your paper isn't recorded. Your name is just crossed off. Maybe your returning officer has got his head stuck up his arse.

An opportunity to change the political paradigm (1)

freezeup (48489) | about 15 years ago | (#1808599)

Voting on the net - why? Open up an on-line parliament, where everyone's a member, and can represent their own interests.


Britain (and the US, Canada, et al) has a representative democracy. We the public elect someone to act upon our interests, to represent us at a national level. We transfer our authority to them.

Speaking personally, my elected representative doesn't really represent many of my opinions, yet he is my only voice in the political arena.

Why use the 'net to perpetuate this "one-choice-every-five-years" system?.

Representative-based systems are the most common manifestation of democracy because they were the most feasible way to do it at the time. Things have changed. Individuals now have the technology (if not always the time) to be their own spokesperson in political debate. Online forums, daily opinion polls, use the net to widen the debate, get everyone involved in decision-making. People see politicians and parties as somehow separate from themselves. They're not. Politicians are people just like us.

Re:How will this affect the parties in power? (1)

Lord Greyhawk (11722) | about 15 years ago | (#1808606)

Those who represent the have-nots could setup a (possible fully mobile laptop) terminal in a poor neighborhood. Then on election day, it would be easier to get people involved.

Heck it might even be legal under such a law to bring the laptop door-to-door.

Of course, there is always the rampant voter fraud to consider.....

Re:How will this affect the parties in power? (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808607)

Actually the haves already have most of the power. The have-nots don't vote enough as it is.
--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

Re:Bad, very bad news. (1)

Accipiter (8228) | about 15 years ago | (#1808608)

heh. I could see it now. People would have wild parties on "Voter's Eve" and get slammed drunk, then vote the next day with a throbbing hangover, or possibly still drunk. I don't think I'd want THAT elected person in office.

"I'M GONNA (hic) VOTE FOR THIS GUY!"

-- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

Re:Bad, very bad news. (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808609)

I agree (with the holiday idea). But then again, you know quite a few people have died for rights such as voting, the least which we can do is stop by the library or school or firehouse on our way home and fulfill our citizens' obligations.
--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

Slashdot polls (2)

sklib (26440) | about 15 years ago | (#1808611)

I think that for the next year, all major elections should be hosted by slashdot, so we can see what happens when we get a good, clean, evenly distributed sample of voters ;)

Secure but also anonymous? (1)

indy (23876) | about 15 years ago | (#1808613)

Can voting over the net be made anonymous?
I guess that in order to prevent multiple voting voters will be assigned some kind of serial number, right? (Hopefully not!)
So how can secret voting be done?

indy

Re:Never Ever Happen In USA (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808615)

The problem I have with the Motor-Voter law is that it usurps states' rights because the state has to pay (the DMVs are run by the states) for federal registration. If the federal government wants to pay the states the extra funding to handle the paperwork then I have no problem with it. Historically, this has not been the case.

And really if someone is too apathetic to vote, all the better. When 50% of the eligible population votes, that increases my voting power by 100%.

If you don't vote, you get the government you deserve!
--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

How far we've come *sniff* (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808617)

Wow! Reading that article brought a lump to my throat and a tear to me eye. In 1770+/- 20 some randdom guy who I've forgotten said "give me liberty or give me death". Now, we have progressed so far in our democracy that people are unable to walk a few blocks to even vote. God bless america!

Re:How will this affect the parties in power? (1)

geocajun (11733) | about 15 years ago | (#1808618)

the most obvious solution in my opinion for the 'have nots' is for them to use the public library system...

Re:How will this affect the parties in power? (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 15 years ago | (#1808621)

The have-nots don't vote enough as it is.

You apparently don't live in or near an area with a lot of these 'have-nots'. There are politicians that suck up to these groups like crazy. Half of their platform is telling them that their opponent will take away their Social Security/welfare/insert your favorite subsidy here. The other half is about how they will bring more money to the impoverished. These people are given pre marked sample ballots and then given rides to the polls.

In my opinion, it should be harder to get registered to vote. We need to cut down on fraud and make sure that the people who are voting are informed. I don't want some idiot voting who doesn't have a clue what he's voting for.

Re:Bad, very bad news. (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808626)

I agree, but it *is* our obligation to vote, it is just an obligation to vote informed. Those who aren't interested enough in their government to vote when they are eligible I don't consider real citizens.
--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

This is a nightmare! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808627)

I cant beleive so many people are excited about this. Voting over the internet would be the biggest nail in democratie's coffin. The thing could be hacked any number of ways by any foreign enemy. Worst still, the establishment could secretly add built-in flaws to the software so as to maintain the Republican/Democrat duopoly.

And to those who think that politicians would give the people an ounce of power by voting over every issue over the net, well you're dreaming big time.
But then again, what surprises me most is how much most of the people here still beleive that they are living in a democratie.

Re:Unconstitutional in parts of US (2)

coyote-san (38515) | about 15 years ago | (#1808628)

I've also expanded on David Chaum's ideas to design a cryptographically secure voting system. (In an ironic twist, I even borrowed a key idea from the government's "key escrow" ideas. My design requires "trusted third parties" hold certain critical information until the balloting closes, to prevent the government from "peeking" at the ballots early.)

But my design still used David's blinded key as a voting token. I don't see how you ensure each person votes at most once without tokens, and a token must always be identifiable to someone. Either the state, the voter, or a middleman. If you use a chain of middlemen you can blind that information, but at the cost of making ballot box stuffing trivial.

Finally, I think that off-site electronic ballots are useful in numerous non-governmental elections. (Corporate elections, anonymous performance reviews, etc.) I also think that on-site electronic ballots are workable, and several nations have experimented with such elections. The really nasty problems only come up when you have off-site balloting, something which has not been done in the past.

Re:Why limit it to the Internet? (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808629)

..have your call traced or intercepted, the brownshirts show up at your door...yeah that sounds fun.
--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

Re:I don't want this (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808630)

Actually we've (America) have limited by not allowing direct vote for presidents. The Electoral College was set up originally to vote for the president (and the runner up would be the vice president); presidential candidates were chosen by the legislature and how electoral delegates were chosen was left up to the states, there was no requirement for a public vote.

The previous poster was right- people should be informed before voting. That doesn't mean they have to have a college education, or a formal education at all, but that you should at least learn what the candidates stand for (and if you can't- don't vote for them!) and if you agree with their stances and ideas. The most dangerous thing to a democracy is tyranny of the majority, and its true that many people who are legally eligible are unfit to practice their right to vote and should reconsider their motivations.
--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

Simply a horrible idea. (1)

Blue Neon Head (45388) | about 15 years ago | (#1808631)

All right, we all know that computer systems are hardly 100% stable. What do we do if disaster strikes, and hundreds of thousands of votes are lost? Or if the systems are hacked into?

You can talk all day about how secure the system is - I won't be convinced that it's reliable enough to completely manage something as important as the presidential election.

Re:Couch Potato Voters? (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808632)

Of course, it's obviously much better to limit voting power to the rich (as is effectually done in America)


That's funny, I don't remember having to pay any fee to register to vote. I don't remember having to pay an entrance fee to get into my polling place (the local public library). Are you even in America? Have you voted recently? What could we do more to get poorer people to vote? Hold polling places at the welfare centers? I mean there's a certain point where you have to stop holding people's hand and they need to stand up for themselves. If poorer folks don't vote these days, it's their own fault, and not their pocketbooks.

--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

It's being done in america right now (1)

Sylvestre (45097) | about 15 years ago | (#1808634)

Vote Here [votehere.net] is doing trials, run by SoundCode [soundcode.com] .

Re:An opportunity to change the political paradigm (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808637)

Yeah. How many hours per day do you spend watching C-SPAN? Anyone in software can tell you, the users *don't* know what they want; and I'll tell you, I don't want to have to deal with all the long congressional sessions and endless debating and have to read hundres of thousands of pages on the current fiscal year budget. That's what we elect people for. True, many of them don't do that, but in that case we should choose someone else to represent us.
--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

Re:Never Ever Happen In USA (1)

gavinhall (33) | about 15 years ago | (#1808639)

Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

Motor voter only makes it easier for states to compile lists of who registers democrat or republican. In the election last fall there was a drop in percentage of registered voters who actually voted because of motor voter. If people were too apathetic to register on their own they're too apathetic to vote on election day.

Re:Voting (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808646)

Pretty funny that you say "This would screw up demographics entirely, especially if people could walk into any library with net access and vote." because the library is *exactly* where I go to vote every election. If people can get up off their asses to go the library computer and vote then they sure as hell can go to the other side of the library and pull some levers.

I don't want lazy voters, I want people who care enough to take 15 minutes from their "busy" day to participate in democracy.
--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

Re:How will this affect the parties in power? (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808647)

Well sure there is enough pandering to go around. But if you think that the majority of voters overall are impoverished, you've got another think coming, as they say. ;-)
--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

Easier is worse! (1)

crow (16139) | about 15 years ago | (#1808648)

That's a good point, but it should be taken a little farther.

In order for a democracy to work, you need an informed electorate. However, current conventional wisdom in the USA seems to be that people should vote. There's no suggestion on that saying that only poeple who have thought about the issues should vote. I even heard on election-time "public service" announcement saying that it doesn't matter who you vote for, just vote.

That's horrible.

People who aren't going to take the time to understand which party or candidates best reflect their concerns shouldn't vote. Even further, people who don't see those differences as being important enough to go out of their way to vote shouldn't vote.

Voting should be an inconvenience.

Voting is power, and power shouldn't be used frivolously.

Re:It can be made (2)

cdlu (65838) | about 15 years ago | (#1808649)

Say...go figure! I'm busy reading that very book (got it as a graduation gift from a friend).

What I don't get is why people need to vote on line. In Canada we consistently have >80% voter turnout for federal elections, and in the 1995 Quebec referendum we had 92% voter turnout (which resulted in 49.4% Yes 50.6% No to separation - a difference of some 40,000 votes). All that is done there is prior to the election, every voting citizen in the country is sent a piece of paper that has the names of all the candidates in the persons' riding, what party they are from and where the voting booth that they are to present themselves to is found. Also, all employers are _required_ to give half a day off to each of their voting age employees so that they can vote.

Seems to make more sense then trying to do it over the internet - as the only way I can see them verifying people is by Social Security Numbers or in quasi-socialist countries MediCare numbers, as a large proportion of the population may not have a driver's lisence.

It gets worse [was Re:Bad, very bad news.] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808650)

> With all due respect Rob, this is bad bad bad from a secret ballot point of view.

Not to mention that it makes it waaaaayyyy too easy to fake entire elections. (Not that they are not already very easily corrupted, with digital voting machines and such.)

Voting in the US (and probably most other 'free' countries) is an illusion to make the masses think they're free. If they collectively think it, it must surely be so.

(I vote anyway - the best I can hope for at this point is just to piss them off.)

- Bring on more federal 'aid'. Bread and games for all!

Re:In theory, easier is better... In practice...? (1)

iapetus (24050) | about 15 years ago | (#1808651)

Hmm. The question of who benefits most from the need to go to more trouble to vote is an open one. Perhaps it's those with more free time due to a higher disposable income, who in the UK might be expected to vote for the Conservative party (or New Labour - still not sure if there's any real difference). Then again, it might favour the unemployed, who after all have nothing better to do than vote on polling day.

On the whole, however, I feel that the current voting system favours people like me, who have to walk past their polling station on the way to and from work/the shops/the pub/the off-license/the station.

Seriously, though, switching over to a system that allows people to make a decision that may affect which party governs the country without any effort whatsoever may be a good thing or may be a bad thing: the only way to find out will be to give it a go. Concerns about security aside, I would imagine this approach would favour the opinions of those who are most likely to be connected to the Internet: students above all can expect their opinions to suddenly become more significant.

Re:How far we've come *sniff* (1)

drig (5119) | about 15 years ago | (#1808652)

Um...this is about England.

"electing these moron's" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808653)

Learn proper grammar.

very good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808654)

I assume we'll have terminals at cemeteries, so as not to discriminate against those who have assumed room temperature.

That way my grandfather won't have to get up out of his grave every four years to vote for Mayor Daley. With this, he can rest in peace.

Re:Electronic government (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808655)

The problem is that most issues are far more complex (and boring!) than Joe Schmo wants to take the time to learn in its entirety. Total democracy works in the microscale, at the community level. I'm not sure it is suited for the national level when you're talking about millions of people. We'd be better to start taking serious interests in electing people who are intelligent and can represent us instead of demogogues who use us for their own proffessional political career. If we can't do that, then we can't be trusted to make the decisions directly.

A republic works, as long as the citizens remember what to do their part and that is *be informed* and *be responsible* in your voting.
--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

Re:Secure but also anonymous? (1)

drig (5119) | about 15 years ago | (#1808676)

Bruce Schneier talks about a secure, anonymous voting system in "Applied Cryptography". I don't remember exactly how it goes (and don't have the book in front of me), but it involves making it improbable that someone would be able to get away with cheating.

Re:How far we've come *sniff* (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | about 15 years ago | (#1808677)

Amen!
--
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

Re:Slashdot polls (1)

drig (5119) | about 15 years ago | (#1808678)

The voting booths wouldn't be able to handle the strain :)

Reporter: "Mr. Foobar, do you have any comments on why you lost?"

Mr. Foobar: "Well, Rep...the fact is that my district's booths were slashdotted, leading to an improper count."

scary

Unconstitutional in parts of US (5)

coyote-san (38515) | about 15 years ago | (#1808679)

A local "expert" (who makes his living walking a slackrope on the mall!) proposed a "vote-by-phone" experiment in Boulder, Colorado a few years back.

Besides the technical issues, someone identified a Constitutional issue with the entire idea of electronic ballots.

In Colorado, and probably other states, the state constitution requires that ballots be anonymous. It is required that ballots be impossible to tie to any particular voter.

This is not simply a requirement that the state (or anyone else) can't determine how a person voted. The voter himself can't prove how he voted! The reason for this is simple: it prevents vote-selling and coerced votes. That's also the reason why it's a criminal offense for anyone other than the voter to be in the voting booth.

David Chaum's ideas can be used to prevent the state from proving a ballot is mine... but since I know my own "blinding" factor (at least for a while, even if the software immediately discards it) I can prove how I voted. I suspect all cryptographic protocols will have the same problem.

Outside of the question about cryptographic protocols, this also suggests that any off-site voting, with the possible exception of official "floating" precincts which visit the invalid, may be unconstitutional. With electronic ballots it is certainly within the realm of possibility that some organizations will have "election parties" with incredible social pressure for everyone to publicly vote in the "correct" manner.

Imagine voting parties at churches. Vote for Smith or go to Hell!

Or voting parties at your office. Vote for Jones or clean out your desk!

Even if this doesn't happen, the possibility could cripple the electoral system. You voted for Smith but Jones won? Claim that you were coerced to vote for Jones at such an election party! Contested elections today are decided by the legislature (at the state level) or the House (at the national level), but what happens when over half of the elections are contested?

Obviously, this is a dystopic perspective. But the way we handle elections is critical, since it is the only way (short of armed rebellion) to get rid of a corrupt government. We must tread very carefully when changing it.

I'm reminded of Robert Heinlein's "Revolt in 2100." I don't have the book handy at the moment, but it opened with something like


By 2012 80% of the American population couldn't be bothered to vote. Rev. Shuller won the Presidential election with the support of only 12% of the people.

There was no election of 2016.

Re:Electronic government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808680)

Wasn't this a Dr. Who episode?

aargh

Re:In theory, easier is better... In practice...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1808681)

"students above all can expect their opinions to suddenly become more significant."

God help us all!

Apathetic voters? Bite me (1)

gavinhall (33) | about 15 years ago | (#1808682)

Posted by polar_bear:

If you don't care enough to stand in line to vote, then don't vote. This "Give me convenience or give me death" attitude that people have in this country is really screwed. This is something you've probably heard over and over, but it's true - people fought, died and killed for the right to participate in a democracy, now people are too damn apathetic to get of their asses for an hour and go down to the polls and vote? Screw 'em. I'm as busy as anyone else, and I haul my ass down to the polls every time. When I move, one of the first things I do is register to vote. I don't think they should change a thing. The comment about the haves and have-nots is a good one as well - you can only get this priviledge if you're rich enough to have a home computer & an online account? That's hardly fair. Anyone can stand in line, and polls are open long enough for anyone to make it if they make the effort.

Ok, I'm done ranting.
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