Blown To Bits

More on Voting

Monday, October 27th, 2008 by Harry Lewis

As we discussed recently, electronic voting is an extremely tough problem, because it requires voters to have confidence that their votes are being recorded correctly, and to be unable to prove to anyone else how they voted. The two conditions can be achieved with the aid of cryptography — in theory. But it’s also essential that the system be simple to use and works in such a way that the general public will have confidence that there are no scams embedded in the software somehow.

There is a nice article in Salon on a couple of fairly realistic voter-verifiable election systems, including one by Ben Adida, who worked with Hal at MIT and is associated with Harvard’s Center for Research on Computation and Society. There’s progress and reason for hope, but it’s also possible that a bad experience in the upcoming election with some completely unrelated kind of electronic voting machines could increase resistance for any kind of continued deployment of better-designed systems.

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