[EM] Electronic Voting Bill of Rights?

David GLAUDE dglaude at gmx.net
Sat Nov 15 01:38:01 PST 2003

Ernest Prabhakar wrote:

> On Nov 14, 2003, at 1:55 PM, David GLAUDE wrote:
>> I think that before any electronic system get introduced, you need to 
>> carefull set the goal and define what democratic election are.
> I actually think that this is an excellent point.    We may disagree 
> about how easy a technical solution is, but I think we agree that we 
> need to explicitly state what the requirements are.

The point is that the requirement are and should be technology 
independant. There is no reason why you would apply a different standard 
for electronic voting than for traditional (paper) voting.

> Has anyone put together an "Electronic Voting Bill of Rights" to specify 
> what criteria should be required of electronic voting systems?  If not, 
> I think it would be awesome if electorama could draft and ratify 
> something like that.   Touch-screen voting seems to be a hot issue, and 
> it might generate some good publicity.

Strange goal that you have. You want publicity... rather than the 
protection of democracy.

> I'm sure many people here have their pet list, but I haven't seen 
> anything systematic.  Mine would include things like:
> 1.  MUST enable potential recounts

It is important to know what a recount mean. In Belgium we do recount 
the magnetic card (in case power is lost in the computerised magnetic 
card ballot box)... or we get impossible result. But this give us no 
garantee since we have no proof that what is on the magnetic card is the 
voter intent.

Also the word potential is risky. What should be done is to make some 
full recount (in random locationç and partial recount everywhere else to 
detect hardware/software failure (or worst). If partial recount go 
wrong, then full recount is required.

The recount must be technology independent, imagin a recount made using 
the recount program from the e-vendor. "Print me one more time the 
result, they ask for a recount."

Also we must recount something that was voter verified (without 
technological help).

> 2.  MUST be developed in an open process, allowing external accountability

All software and procedure MUST be open for review by all the citizen 
(transparency). So source code, reference compilation, hardware 
specification, sample content of booting device/encryptiong 
key/initialisation data. The source code must be writen in standardised 
non-proprietary language for wich refence open source implementation exist.

> 3.  MUST allow me to verify that my vote was entered and counted correctly

In a technology independant way.

> 4.  MUST NOT allow other people to verify that I voted a particular way

MUST respect the secrecy of my vote.

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list