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Out With E-Voting, In With M-Voting

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the has-to-be-safer-than-diebold dept.

The Internet 161

InternetVoting writes "The ever technology forward nation sometimes known as 'E-stonia' after recently performing the world's first national Internet election are already leaving e-voting behind. Estonia is now considering voting from mobile phones using SIM cards as identification, dubbed 'm-voting.' From the article: 'Mobile ID is more convenient in that one does not have to attach a special ID card reader to one's computer. A cell phone performs the functions of an ID card and card reader at one and the same time.'"

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How about this... (5, Insightful)

Cap'nPedro (987782) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788219)

I have 8 sim cards.

Does that mean I get 8 votes?

Re:How about this... (1)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788231)

I suppose they could tie each SIM back to an individual, and thus eliminate this problem. ...only I don't think they'd have that kind of coordination.

Re:How about this... (2, Insightful)

spykemail (983593) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788263)

Instead of rigging the election the old fashioned way they could just hire a bunch of pickpockets.

Re:How about this... (0, Troll)

buswolley (591500) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788703)

Greeeeaaaat. Now Republicans can triangulate and send police to arrests blacks on election day even MORE effectively. Let freedom ring, eh KKK??? How about we pass, and keep America's vote clean and fair.

Seriously, If you make a SIM card an official method of citizen identification, attach it to political affiliation, and then match it with a cell phones ability to be triangulated, then Big BROTHER is here in a big way.

Re:How about this... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20788921)

So only Republicans attempt to deny people their vote? How about the sons of a Democrat Congresswoman and a Democrat Mayor [usatoday.com] slashing the tires of vans rented by Republicans for their get out the vote effort? Oh... and triangulation? That was Dick Morris' technique for Bill Clinton, not a Republican idea. I'm also intrigued about this notion where Republicans suddenly control the police where large numbers of blacks live... those areas (known as cities) are almost always controlled by Democrats, on both the legislative and executive sides.

Maybe you need to check out some sites other than DailyKos and get out of Mom's basement to visit reality every now and then.

Re:How about this... (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788985)

Omission is not equal to declaration. Yes, democrats are likely to do things also. However, after the Florida fiasco, maybe republicans should feel a little shame and shut the hell up.

Re:How about this... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20789099)

Hey, had Gore won his home state, Florida would have never been an issue... and lets not forget the media announcing the preliminary results before the polls even closed in the western (more republican) part of the state. There were a half dozen states with major irregularities on the part of both parties in the same election.

There are two ways to manipulate facts... lies of omission and lies of distortion. I'd rather see a distorted story that lets me know there's a problem so I can research it myself than not be told about a story at all. Also, I particularly take offense at your implication that the Republicans are the KKK party... we aren't the one with an elected Grand Dragon serving in Congress and the KKK (back when they were actually something to fear and not something to laugh at) was largely southern Democrats.

So... as long as you're telling people to shut the hell up, maybe you should shut up while you're defending the party of KKK Byrd while accusing the other party of being the racists.

Re:How about this... (2, Funny)

Gabest (852807) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788271)

Yes, and you can vote as many times you wish! (1 euro/sms + tax)

Re:How about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20789449)

That's a more effective way to buy your vote! I throughly endorse this!

Because, let's face it, already the people with more money decide who gets elected... This whole egalitarian communist bullshit of "one man, one vote" is already antiquated.

Clearly, Estonians understand American Democracy(c) even better than some tree-hugging, flag-burning hippie bastards here in the Blessed US of A.

Re:How about this... (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788301)

> I have 8 sim cards.
>Does that mean I get 8 votes?

"I have a spectrum analyzer.
It means that even if you only had one SIM card, you still get a knock on the door after midnight."
- FSB.

Cards, and privacy in voting [Re:How about this] (3, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788379)

Clearly, to implement this you'd have to register your SIM card in your phone. I presume that this would be a verifiable process. If you had more than 1 SIM cards, the only ones that would be cleared to have votes from that card accepted would be ones which had a unique voter registered with them.

The fact that SIM cards would have to be registered with the government carries with it some degree of invasion of privacy. However, as long as the government allows people to own SIM cards that weren't registered with the government as voting-enabled cards.

In the US, we would also have to have a mechanism for people not owning mobile phones to vote (I know it's hard for a /.'er to envision any reason a person would not have one). The trivial way to do this would be to have people who don't own phones be able to go to a voting place and get a assigned a SIM chip, which could either be used as an insert into any phone (hey, can I borrow your phone to vote?) or else could be taken to a polling place and used in a specially equipped voting booth.

The annoying problem I see with this is that it pretty much removes the last traces of privacy for voting. It's actually really useful to democracy that ballots should be secret. This is, unfortunately, already becoming a thing of the past, with the proliferation of absentee ballots that have no longer become the voting method of last resort, but the voting method of (in some cases) first resort. Voting should be private, not public-- not your boss, not your friends, and not the friendly guy who says "I'll give you ten bucks if you vote the way I ask-- none of these should not be able to say, "hey, let me watch while you vote so I can see who you voted for."

Re:Cards, and privacy in voting [Re:How about this (2, Insightful)

buswolley (591500) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788799)

hEY, CAN i BORROW YOUR vOTE,.. ER UM i MEaN PHONE.. I need to call my mom.

Re:Cards, and privacy in voting [Re:How about this (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788813)

Clearly, to implement this you'd have to register your SIM card in your phone. I presume that this would be a verifiable process.

And in a country (USA) where 1/2 the federal representatives bitch about a person having to produce a picture ID to be able to vote...not gonna happen.

Re:Cards, and privacy in voting [Re:How about this (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789501)

And in a country (USA) where 1/2 the federal representatives bitch about a person having to produce a picture ID to be able to vote...not gonna happen.
Really?

How the heck do they verify that people don't vote twice, then? or vote in a different district or something like that?

I mean, even here in Mexico your voter card (which has become the de-facto id for everything here), has your picture, signature and thumbprint. And when you go to vote they check you against the federal registry book for that district, which has all the info on your voter card, including your picture so they can make sure it is really you.

Re:How about this... (3, Informative)

alfa2omega (1093251) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788451)

No it does not!

m-ID is a technology that ties the national ID card with the SIM. This mean You can have only one valid m-ID AFAIK.
Just a little info about it http://id.ee/?id=10995 [id.ee] .

PS! m-ID is allot better than the usual ID card as its always with you and does not need any special hardware :)

Re:How about this... (2, Interesting)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788565)

Hmmm... An interesting way to do something is using a phone with a camera to do some sort of biometrics. Take a picture of the face, or eye, or a finger print. Would be some cool software to work on. Have the actually camera be initiated by a server to take the picture. Of course, this is big brother talking, but biometrics in conjunction with a SIM card would probably be more secure against ballot stuffing than going to your local voting poll site.

Go Phones... $30 per vote! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20788589)

Freedom used to cost a buck o' five! [stlyrics.com] Ahhh, good ol' inflation. ;)

Re:How about this... (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789701)

obviously you could use mine; I use a rotary land lien telephone. and I am not alone; many still do.

Youtube style beating of voters with 8 SIM cards (0, Troll)

barwasp (1116567) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789829)

Video shows Estonian election officials beating two voters [postimees.ee] until they choose the right canditade; with all their eight SIM cards. Convincing these voters took just 26 minutes. Estonian style electronic voting is usually performed from the hospital beds.

Wellcome to E-estonia, also what a nice place it is to spend your holidays

Call Me (0, Offtopic)

spykemail (983593) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788223)

Call me when you can vote by drinking a certain number of beers, lol.

This is a terrible idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20788331)

I say we get rid of representative democracy entirely and replace the legislative branch with regular people. People who aren't paid. Just volunteering because they want to help their country. And make it so that anyone, even corporations, can volunteer. Hell, lobbyists should be welcome. Also pass a law that makes eight years of post secondary education mandatory to be a citizen. This would be much better and is closer to what our founding fathers really wanted. Career politicians like Alexander Hamilton queered up the founding of a good U.S. government.

This voting bullshit for representatives is just a game. In the U.S., we don't even have much difference between parties.

Re:This is a terrible idea. (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788581)

8 years of post secondary education would be pointless...I've known some extremely well educated people I wouldn't want anywhere near the government, and I've known some people who didn't finish high school who wouldn't bother me a bit.

Likewise "Volunteers" would still be people who really want to exert control over others. This is the big problem already. Anyone who wants to be in charge is going to be suspect. Better to set up a system to pick a random sampling of people from all over and MAKE them serve...That should keep the majority from having any desire to be there at all. Then make all laws have to be renewed every decade, and all new laws need a supermajority to pass, and are subject to ratification in yearly nationwide elections.

Always amuses me to see how many people correlate education with superiority. I'll side with Heinlein on that one...Better to have military service as a prerequisite for citizenship, because then, at least, the citizens would have to have shown themselves willing put themselves at the service of the country, even to the point of losing their lives, before they could exercise their franchise. Education says nothing about the person so educated.

Re:This is a terrible idea. (3, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788725)

Always amuses me to see how many people correlate education with superiority. I'll side with Heinlein on that one...Better to have military service as a prerequisite for citizenship, because then, at least, the citizens would have to have shown themselves willing put themselves at the service of the country, even to the point of losing their lives, before they could exercise their franchise. Education says nothing about the person so educated.

I'm all for the slashdot moderator political system. The only one who can vote are the politically inactive and in good standing with the community (ie never rand for council, no arrests for any felonies). They're picked at random given 5 votes and the freedom to exercise such a vote as they please. Stating a public opinion that can be linked back to you about a particular vote disqualifies you. You can state such a opinion anonymously.

It can't be any worse then the current system.

Re:This is a terrible idea. (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788877)

Better to set up a system to pick a random sampling of people from all over and MAKE them serve...That should keep the majority from having any desire to be there at all.

Congratulations! You have been very randomly and ironically selected to participate!

Re:This is a terrible idea. (1)

eht (8912) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789155)

If you're referring to Starship Troopers, it wasn't compulsory military service it was compulsory government service, in the book it gives indications that the vast majority of the people who get the vote did so through non military service, or at the very least stuff that wouldn't be a front line grunt, like working for the postal service or some such.

I also agree that serving the people before you get to lead them is not a bad idea.

Re:This is a terrible idea. (2, Insightful)

Smauler (915644) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789195)

Better to have military service as a prerequisite for citizenship, because then, at least, the citizens would have to have shown themselves willing put themselves at the service of the country

Wow, what a good idea. You've got to prove that you're willing to be killed for the government of the land you live on. I mean, you can't prove your citizenship by any other means, right?

clamshell democracy (2, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788623)

Instead of a representative government, where we periodically vote for representatives and send them to Washington, I suggest a government of the people, by the people, who have cellphones. A government of cell towers situated along superhighways would gather a representative sample of Americans and we can replace our arcane parliamentary procedures with wireless ones, where the power is held by the people, as they drive past particular points on the road.

Think of how convenient that would be. You could vote to condemn a newspaper ad from the comfort of your car as you drive to work. I can't tell you how many times I've needed to do that. Because if I say "zero" it undercuts my argument.

But you ask, how would we ever pay for such a wonderful system? That's easy. Just sell it to a bunch of stupid investors as "web 2.0 style socialization".

This would be a very sophisticated form of government for a large democracy. Smaller ones could use Bluetooth.

Re:This is a terrible idea. (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788953)

Main Problem: NO experience, or education etc would increase a person's dependence on career staffers to give advice. Career staff members could gain enormous power and become targets for corruption.

,p> The end-result may not be as free and democratic as you'd like.

Re:Call Me (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788881)

Call me when you can vote by drinking a certain number of beers, lol.

Ah, bright college days. I remember proposing some very unpopular rules and seeing if I could vote it in at 1 beer, 1 vote.

See blevins' "popcorn poll". (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789177)

Blevins, who trademarked "pops-right" and invented the "presto-pop" prepackaged ready-to-pop popcorn/oil/aluminum popping pan, for decades ran the "popcorn poll" on presidential races.

Moviegoers could request their popcorn in a Democrat or Republican styled box. Starting with Truman/Dewey upset election and running for 20 years he successfully predicted the outcome of six consecutive presidential races.

Sorry, only got one bar... (1)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788225)

Can you elect me NOW?

Re:Sorry, only got one bar... (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788483)

Can you elect me NOW?

Sorry, won't work. Verizon is CDMA, not GSM, and as such, doesn't use a SIM.

At last! (1)

hawk (1151) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789137)

A *real* reason to hack your iPhone!

hawk

One phone, one vote, one person (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20788235)

SIM cards identify phones uniquely, right? So, what prevents the ruling party from finding out how each person voted?

Re:One phone, one vote, one person (1)

edis (266347) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788879)

To be precise - they do not identify phones, but their ownership
(sans photo, beware danger, they are easier transferable, and more transferable/collectable,
than actual voters).

But, rest assured, to laugh of "silly Estonians" is way too early - they, of course,
have some scheme in place how to do it with good result, so it must be only
about polishing. Like, say, what it costs to have one more SIM for voting id purposes?
You can even track location of vote making place/device, I believe.

I am certainly proud to have such gifted neighbouring nation, being in that part
of the world myself. This surprise ought to get obvious: young, potential and willing
countries out into the newfound freedom, can amaze with particular results.

Go, e-stonians, show trick once again!

Tune to Network 23 (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788251)

I'm reminded of voting in the MaxHeadroom world where viewers tune to the channel of their candidate at voting time.
 
But seriously, this seems like a well intended idea with an amazing amount of problems. The most obvious is that the phone company's computers and networking gear have many places to intercept the record of how you voted.

Re:Tune to Network 23 (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788411)

> I'm reminded of voting in the MaxHeadroom world where viewers tune to the channel of their candidate at voting time.

Ah, Episode 2.3, Grossberg's Return [maxheadroom.com] !

Cheviot (CEO): "Murray... Carter! What the devil is going on here? A false story mounted on flimsy evidence, my top reporter exposed as a shyster, a senior producer accused of criminal incompetence, and a major politician publicly accusing this network of character assassination... good grief!"

Although I was thinking of Episode 1.6, Blanks [maxheadroom.com] ...

Carter (Reporter): "I'm afraid our link's gone down."
Ronald (Political aide): "Just as well."
Simon Peller (Politician): "Oh, not so, Ronald. Mr. Carter is merely doing his very well-paid job, while the appearance of dispute is essential to the networks's... ah, electoral democracy, eh, Mr. Carter? May I call you Edison?"
Carter: "No. And I don't like the word 'appearance'... Mr. Peller."

...and I don't like the word 'fiction', at least when it's applied to Max Headroom.

There are reasons why this show has never been released on DVD. Usually at least one reason per episode. 20 minutes into the future turned out to be 20 years into the future, but they got every sociopolitical trend correct.

Re:Tune to Network 23 (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788461)

Forget about trying to figure out if you are voting for the opposition party or not.... what about intercepting those votes and getting them changed on the way to being counted?

Checksums can help to detect some interceptions and modifications.... but that is only a partial and imperfect solution. Other cryptographic techniques can be used for both preventing people from finding out what your ballot has been cast as, or to modify your vote. Even that has some strong limitations and would prove to be impossible to completely secure over a public network where the fate of the government hangs in balance.

Elections are the one activity that must be several orders of magnitude more reliable and secure than even military or even financial transactions.... not the other way around. Just because you can more or less reliably transmit a credit card securely doesn't mean the same system can be trusted for an election.

Re:Tune to Network 23 (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789649)

Wasn't this country IT infrastructure allegedly shut down by Chinese hackers a few months ago ?

No signature. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788275)

No vote.

Tried this in the UK (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788317)

We tried this in the UK, but for some reason the votes were still being counted 3 hours after the results were announced.

Re:Tried this in the UK (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788417)

> We tried this in the UK, but for some reason the votes were still being counted 3 hours after the results were announced.

I guess SELECT DISTINCT SIM_ID FROM VOTE_TABLE is slow...

Re:Tried this in the UK (1)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788975)

I blame the poor counting skills on a poor British primary education. :-P

Re:Tried this in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20789613)

Yea folks, we have the technology, we can deliver the vote ten minutes before the people go to the polls. We can't even name a cat [bbc.co.uk] without fiddling the results.

iVote (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20788323)

Will all those wiseguys who bitch about Apple taking a tough line on hacking iPhones apologise when the security of their voting is compromised? I bet they'll find some whiney technical excuse instead of taking responsibility themselves. Hey, guess what? The freedom of GPL 3 gets in the way of your voting right. Yes, that's right. If you're a GPL freedom nutter you're just throwing away your right to exercise your freedom. Talk about an own goal.

ARE? (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788333)

"The ever technology forward nation sometimes known as 'E-stonia' after recently performing the world's first national Internet election are already leaving e-voting behind.

Are? The nation are blah blah blah...? That can't be right.

Re:ARE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20789125)

They're still talking like a pirate. They Arrr leaving e-voting behind.

Re:ARE? (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789143)

a nation is a group of people so are is perfectly acceptable.

Re:ARE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20789561)

a nation is a group of people so are is perfectly acceptable.

Then shouldn't that then be "a nation are a group of people..." ?

[Captcha = impeach ... hint, hint.]

Technical issues aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20788343)

The idea that someone could vote from a cellphone really scares me. Part of the process is to make someone go out of their way to do so. At least for myself. Which is why I never vote. Since I don't pay enough attention to politics in general the fact I have to go out of my way stops me from doing so. No it isn't perfect, but I think it helps weed out the chaff.

no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (2, Insightful)

AllAboutVoting (1141555) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788355)

A major problem with both mVoting and voting over the internet is that the 'secret ballot' is sacrificed. It becomes very easy for this create problems like the US had in the 1800s.

For example, your boss can tell you to vote while he is watching. If you don't vote
the way that he wants he will fire you.

For this reason I am against internet voting and mVoting.

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (3, Interesting)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788395)

For example, your boss can tell you to vote while he is watching. If you don't vote the way that he wants he will fire you. ...and in Estonia, this is solved by allowing you to change your vote as many times as you wish until the election day, and on that day you can still drop traditional ballot which overrides the e-vote.

http://www.vvk.ee/elektr/docs/Yldkirjeldus-eng.pdf [www.vvk.ee] has description of their system. Considering the confidentiality aspects, read especially pages 9 and 13.

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

AllAboutVoting (1141555) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788657)

Ah, excellent. In my "copious free time" I'll be sure to read that over. This may somewhat defuse my concern about the lack of a secret ballot. I can still imagine problems like being coerced to prove how you vote shortly before the deadline. And, of course, voter id problems like your boss demanding that you give him access to use the system so that he directly votes for you and locks you out.

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

AllAboutVoting (1141555) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788797)

Other problems could exist in how voters figure out how to login to vote. Risks like: Phishing, digging through peoples mail, etc...

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

omfglearntoplay (1163771) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788403)

Along these lines, I've seen corporations where an executive sends an email to the whole company encouraging ppl to vote a certain way. This obviously bothers the living crap out of me, but I'm curious as to how others feel about it. They aren't watching over anybody's shoulder, but it just seems wrong to me to put any pressure on the workers.

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788511)

I've seen corporations where an executive sends an email to the whole company encouraging ppl to vote a certain way
 
I've worked at a major hospital network where the 'advocacy' office would email everyone before elections urging us to all vote for all Democrats because they were more likely to boost Medicare/Medicaid spending. The emails would go on to talk about the organization budget in general and heavily imply there may be layoffs if there wasn't more revenue coming soon.

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (0, Flamebait)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788595)

In Soviet Russia[1], you watch over boss[2]

[1] on topic, Estonia used to be part of it.
[2] In theory, anyway. Worked out well, didn't it?

Sadly, you've got to second guess the moderetards these days.

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788485)

A major problem with both mVoting and voting over the internet is that the 'secret ballot' is sacrificed. It becomes very easy for this create problems like the US had in the 1800s.

While that is a very good point, there is something even more basic.

Estonia is now considering voting from mobile phones using SIM cards as identification, dubbed 'm-voting.'

Did you catch that? A mobile phone. As it stands, people in the states think that requiring a photo ID (obtainable for free everywhere) as being an unreasonable burden on the poor, minorities and criminal aliens (which is a crock anyway, since the photo IDs are free if you don't already have a driver license or other government ID and illegals should not be voting anyway). How do you think those people here would react to the idea of using a cell phone for ID?

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

teknognome (910243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788777)

Photo IDs aren't obtainable for free everywhere. In Maryland, for example, there's $15 fee to get a state-issued photo ID (http://mva.state.md.us/AboutMVA/FEE/default.htm [state.md.us] ).

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788891)

I stand corrected.

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789685)

Well, in that case, the easy answer is for the Federal Goverment to issue free id voter cards to all registered adults.

C'mon, if Mexico can do it [ife.org.mx] you can do it

(Disclaimer: linked site is in spanish, but you can see the id card design)

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790065)

Same in NY, it's either $10 or $15 for a non-driver ID card here.

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

AllAboutVoting (1141555) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789047)

Given Zarhan's reply, I suspect that voters can vote in multiple ways including over mobile phones. So you would have to argue that having the option of voting over the phone means that other methods are made less accessible which creates a cost barrier to the less well off. I don't really buy that.

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789237)

> For example, your boss can tell you to vote while he is watching. If you don't vote
> the way that he wants he will fire you.

Your boss can always force you to take a picture of your traditional voting process to prove what you have voted for. Traditional voting is not more secure than internet voting.

Re:no secret ballot = vote buying and coercion (1)

AllAboutVoting (1141555) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789717)

>Your boss can always force you to take a picture of your traditional
>voting process to prove what you have voted for. Traditional voting
>is not more secure than internet voting.

You have a point. Taking it further, you can covertly videotape your whole voting session.
(On the other hand, of course, you can fake a photo or video of a voting session.)

So technology has reached a point where maintaining a secret ballot is becoming difficult.

But it still meaningful to talk about whether systems maintain a secret ballot since:
  • There are differences in degree. Voting at a polling place is a controlled environment where suspicious activity would be more noticeable. There is a big difference between a boss watching each employee vote from his office and the boss making each employee videotape their voting session when they go to a polling place.
  • There are differences in whether the voter consents to have their vote visible to others. A vote who takes a photograph of their ballot is taking an active role in collecting evidence for the vote buying or coercion. A voter who votes in the presence of their boss (or just from a computer at their workplace) is taking a much more passive action.

Estonia, NULL POINTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20788357)

Yeh, their elections are as good as the voting in the Eurovision song contest so I'm not surprised that they'd allow telephone voting.

Sounds impossible to remain anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20788365)

You still have to have a voter registration database so only one SIM per person can be valid, and it seems like it should be easy to trace a SIM back to a person.

I like the idea, but I think this would make a huge single point for abuse.

Your call is very fucking important to us (-1, Flamebait)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788441)

I just spent 30 minutes on the phone to the payroll 'dept' (outsourced) of the company I work for. After about the 20th security question just to TALK TO A HUMAN BEING I was told to go do whatever I wanted to do on the website instead. When I mentioned that I needed to setup a payroll deduction I was met with the audio equivalent of a blank fucking stare. But hey my call may be monitored for quality.

You have GOT to be fucking kidding me.

Phone voting? You're serious? We might as well not have elections.

Re:Your call is very fucking important to us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20788491)

You live in Estonia? No? Then what the hell does your comment have to do with this story?

Great for those who have cash, I guess (1)

zullnero (833754) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788455)

But for those who cannot afford cell phones or cellular service, it kind of leaves them out of the voting process. I'd have a hard time calling a country like that "Democratic" or even a Republic.

Re:Great for those who have cash, I guess (1)

Korveck (1145695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788593)

They did not say all voters must vote with their mobile phone. It is just another option for some voters. If you actually read the article, only 3.5% of voters used the internet to vote in last election. The other 96.5% still voted in person.

Re:Great for those who have cash, I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20788677)

But for those who cannot afford cell phones or cellular service, it kind of leaves them out of the voting process. I'd have a hard time calling a country like that "Democratic" or even a Republic.


What part of "can also vote traditionally" don't you understand, zullnero?

Re:Great for those who have cash, I guess (1)

francisco.colaco (1163443) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789055)

Considering that the particle demo means the land owner classes (not slaves nor serfs) in ancient greek, the term democracy (the power of the owner classes) may fit here very well.

Which democracy does give voice to the poor? Does anyone remember the film Zapata?

Francisco

Personally, I like Oregon's vote-by-mail system (1)

Snarfangel (203258) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788471)

Your address is verified when you receive the ballot, you can take your time looking up all the ballot measures in the voter's pamphlet, and it's convenient. It's as secure as an absentee ballot, and if you really wanted security, it's easier to get poll watchers from every campaign to one central location than to every precinct in the state.

Voting that causes brain cancer! (1)

caffiend666 (598633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788531)

Yes! Just what we need, voting that is dependent on the level of infrastructure you pay to support, causes brain cancer, lowers your sperm count and your IQ! As if the conspiracy theorists don't have enough to talk about already. So, do people with cheap unreliable cell phones petition to have government provided cell phones in order to ensure the reliability of their voting? Or, how about petitioning that the radio towers in their region aren't reliable so therefore the vote was flawed and biased against them? So, could people who don't think a region would vote the way they do put up radio interference to prevent voting in that area? Closed source voting machines are nothing in comparison to closed hardware voting machines. Or, your five year old gets a-hold of your cell-phone for you and votes for Barney. After hurricanes, would people not be able to vote? People getting a-hold of the numbers around the voting numbers and phishing them. Is it just me, or is this just yet another voting method which is biased to rich, consistent, and forward thinking people? A voting method which kills you in the process, lovely.

Re:Voting that causes brain cancer! (1)

sakonofie (979872) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788967)

So, do people with cheap unreliable cell phones petition to have government provided cell phones in order to ensure the reliability of their voting?

And the people without cell phones are disenfranchised. It is all going according to plan.

Estonia is a Beacon of Progress (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788547)

It is really quite ironic that among the people who have most taken the message of the late economist Milton Friedman [wikipedia.org] to heart are the people of Estonia (formerly a totalitarian socialist state) and they are now reaping the benefits of forward thinking and sound economic and government policies. There have been hurdles and difficulties to overcome along the way...yes, but compared to some other European countries, were the flawed remnants of socialist ideas persist like three day old fish, Estonia is moving ahead rapidly while other European nations, particularly France, seem to be stuck in first gear. Estonia is a study in contrasts, between the failure of socialism and the success of the free market and between the freedom of limited government and the oppressive nature of high-tax nanny state socialism. If this type of initiative succeeds then it will further burnish the credentials of Estonia and reaffirm the correctness of the ideas of the late Milton Friedman.

Disclaimer (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788587)

Premium text messages costs apply typically $.99 per vote
Can vote upto 10 times
Premiums may be used to defend your candidate against solicitation charges.

Gonna be tough to read that at the bottom of the cell phone screen but there's always a price to pay...

Countless Problems (1)

anarking (34854) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788619)

Problems: Stolen cell phones, Multiple SIM cards, and even LESS of a paper trail than we have now! Verizon and other cellular carriers have been at the whim of the Department of Homeland Security for a few years now, having turned over millions of call records for domestic American citizen calls! Why don't we just do away with elections done by the people altogether and have DHS and the pentagon elect our officials for us! They practically already do... remember the yellow button on the e-voting machines that were made in Venezuela and serviced mid-election by Venezuelan nationals?

Stick to ballot voting! Just make a National Voting Day!

? speechless ? (1)

FonkiE (28352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788675)

how can one be sure WHO actually votes here?

Norway is in the stone age (1)

viking80 (697716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788715)

Just voted in Norway. All paper and apparently manual counting. This surprised me since USA have used punch cards for at least a quarter century, and now is mostly electronic.

And BTW, a lot of cheating and errors with the old way, so maybe we should not demand perfection for the electronic systems.

Re:Norway is in the stone age (1)

Firemorph (738907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789631)

They actually use OCR for counting most of the vouchers.
This is what made a lot of trouble in some parts of Norway when one found a bug in the software used..

The digital results are however manually checked against the lists.

Mystery iPhone update causes M-Voting accident (1)

skeptobot (1125355) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788727)

People's Fascist Party leader Lek Bolokov won Estonia's national elections on Monday with an unexpected %451 percent of the total vote. When the leader of the 4 member fringe party was asked if he was surprised to have won the national election Bolokov replied with a cryptic "In Soviet Russia government brick YOU".

Txt voting! (1)

CoffeeIsMyGod (1136809) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788757)

So if I wanted to vote for Estonia's Res Publica party I would just txt I VT 4 RPub PLZ FTW to 18 00 U2 CAN VOTE?

how about leaving computers out of the deal ? (1)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788805)

voting with pen and paper is thouroughly tested.

computers either sacrifice the secret (digitally signed ballots) or make manipulation easier (anonymous ballots).

when nearly every hacker you meet is against something like this, you should know how things should go. politicians who propose this stuff are corrupt.

Well... (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788861)

I say we shoot first and ask questions later.

Wait...I thought this was an RIAA post...

considering Russian hackers (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788919)

DDoSed the entire country of Estonia because they moved a stupid World War II era statue [theregister.com] (ehem, i mean dearly important statue, dear any Russian hackers reading this comment), what Estonia is going to get from this scheme is Lenin being elected their next president, coming in second place will be Ivan Drago from Rocky IV, and coming in third place will be Boris Badenov from Rocky and Bullwinkle

voting should be on paper. even mechanical voting is too susceptible to tampering. electronic voting? cell phone voting? are you kidding? yes, simple paper ballots can be messed with too, but anything more technological than simple paper ballots merely introduces more attack vectors... orders of magnitude more attack vectors the more unnecessarily technofetishized you get, such as with electronic voting

democracy is too important and voting is really striaghtforward. there is no need to make it more complicated than scribble a mark on a piece of paper and dropping it in a box, especially when you risk the generla public losing confidence in their own government. all countries, no matter how technophilic and rich, should vote with paper ballots

stupid, bad idea Estonia

Lawyers. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788933)

Does it ever bother anyone that in Canada and the US Presidents and PM's tend to be lawyers? Have you noticed a lot of the house, senate, etc.. are also lawyers? Notice as well that so many laws come out that benefit no one except lawyers? Maybe we should try biasing society away from electing people who a vested interest in making things complicated. Maybe we should try voting in ore Science related professionals and engineers. Look at other major nations, China's run by a PHD engineer, Russia is run by a former Spy/Assassin and India's run by a PHD economist. I guess technically Putin is a law scholar but he's a law school grad who could kill you with his bare hands, dispose of the body, and then have lunch.

And the US has? Dubya...

Re:Lawyers (better or worse?) (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789185)

No, not really.

At least in Canada they vote with paper and pencil.

And they have this newfangled thing called a budget surplus.

So, it doesn't bother me.

Besides, look at the last non-lawyer we "elected" in the US: he has an MBA and his initial are GWB.

Re:Lawyers. (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789405)

Do you REALLY think Dubya runs things ???

That's a great idea (1)

LOADLETTER (932994) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788963)

Phone companies are such honorable organizations, we should have no second thoughts on this

People are still overawed by technology (3, Insightful)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20788995)

"We're going to give all our votes to some guy you've never met, who will count them with nobody else watching, and whose answers we will trust completely. You'll never see the original votes again, but if you want a recount he'll be happy to tell you the same numbers twice."

"What! That's outrageous! Why the possibilities for corruption are so..."

"The guy will use a computer."

"Oh, well, that's okay then."

The concept is disturbing... (1)

MattTierzero (1159531) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789015)

An even bigger concern than our voting choices becoming public is the vulnerability of the personal data used to identify us in that voting process becoming 'hackable'. It's also worrisome that such data would be gathered by a company that won-out in the government contract bidding process, a process which looks pretty scary to those outside the DC insider/lobbyist beltway.

When only people with mobile phones can vote (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789171)

Then we gun-owning landline owners will start the revolution.

skips the problem (2, Insightful)

waitasec (1163825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789421)

The problem with evoting is that computer systems are, as any /.r knows, an easy lay. Anyone here going to say that he or she can design a completely secure voting system, post it on here, and not find it cracked by next login? The privacy concerns are trivial compared to concerns about the manipulation of data. Yeah ok, I voted through my cellphone for deregulation of the cellphone markets - let's make them put their money where their mouth is. And I lost. I must be in the minority! God bless Democracy. May it rest in peace.

Since when did democracy need to be convenient? (5, Insightful)

blubadger (988507) | more than 6 years ago | (#20789547)

I'm serious. We know from experiments in Estonia and Switzerland and elsewhere that e-voting is convenient. M-voting will probably be even more so.

We also know that there are fundamental, perhaps irremediable problems with voting electronically and remotely. In particular:

  • Security: In a complex system, the potential for undetected fraud multiplies exponentially
  • Transparency: The right of the voter to check how a poll is conducted is somewhat compromised by a need to understand source code (this reached court in Switzerland)
  • Identity: It's obvious and also applies to postal voting, but how do you know who is really voting on that remote device?

Is democracy like shopping on Amazon, to be judged by its convenience and efficiency? Or is it something more important, and precious, than that?

I think that if people take democracy seriously, they should slow down and ask these questions a bit more. If it means a few more years of voting the boring manual way, perhaps that will be for good reasons.

Re:Since when did democracy need to be convenient? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790055)

Why should one place MORE trust on paper voting than on electronic one - have you ever been able to check AFTER the results are in if your vote is intact and the same as like it was during voting time? With electronic vote you can do it in no time and without no hassle (and still be the only one able to see the actual vote value binded to your person).

8shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20789873)

So if they go from E-voting to M-voting ... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20790163)

... will their name go from E-stonia to M-stonia as well?

a';DELETE FROM candidates WHERE name LIKE '%Bush' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20790299)

Electronic voting is fun!
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