[EM] Electronic Voting Bill of Rights?

David GLAUDE dglaude at gmx.net
Mon Nov 24 13:34:11 PST 2003

Eron Lloyd wrote:
> On Sunday November 23 2003 9:20 pm, Ken Johnson wrote:

>>The summing and publication of vote subtotals for specific geographic
>>regions (e.g. precincts or districts) is, in my view, a violation of
>>voter secrecy.

In Belgium, we are suppose to mix a minimum of 3 burreau before hand 
counting. The same way, with e-voting we need a minimum of 3 floppy 
before we count the vote.

One there was a problem with the electronic result of one burreau, they 
had to analyse (typical, you get expert, they discuss a bit, "analyse" 
and give you THE result that only them can invent). So they published 
the result of the city of Antwerpen for all burreau... except 1 (the one 
with "technical" problem!

Then a few days later they published the full result, as required by 
law!!! And that was it for the secrecy of the vote of those 1000 
citizen. So for the first time in Belgian history we knew that at that 
specific location in the city, there were X% voting for that "extreme 
right and populist party". It was a choc because apparently most peaple 
were thinking that in that area the number would be much lower.

So computerized election and e-voting are the ennemy of vote secrecy. 
This is already obvious since you give your vote to the computer and the 
one controling the machine and the compute programer that wrote the 
program. Anybody between me and my vote is a breach of the secrecy of my 

>>For example, someone might say "Oh - you live in that
>>district that voted 80% Nazi, so you're most probably a Nazi." What's
>>worse - having someone see my ballot, showing that I voted "Peace and
>>Freedom", or having someone conclude that I voted Nazi and my not having
>>any way to prove otherwise?

There is nothing to prove, vote is secret... but if 100% voted that way, 
you are in deep trouble with your secret. Actually if 5% vote like that 
you are already in trouble.

> An interesting idea, however it would be tough to approve because (1) Many 
> states mandate posting poll-level results after closing in their election 
> code already, and (2) many see poll-level results as another safeguard 
> against tally tampering between the time the polls close and the time the 
> full tabulation area recieves the figures.

I think it is very important to have some kind of partial result that 
can be hand recorded by election witness. In Belgium the interior 
minister is very happy to explain how we use téléphone, fax, and data 
communication to collect partial result. Actually in the election source 
code there is some code for X.25 communication (a european standard for 
connection oriented packet per packet data communication). But as far as 
I know it has been never used.

Now don't forget about local election... At the end of the day you will 
vote for your local council. So it is easy to know wich location is 
mostly on the left or the right side.

>>Nobody keeps track of my religion, race,
>>gender, etc. as part of the vote tallying process, and in my view they
>>shouldn't track my voting locale either.

Did you know that in Greece you have to vote (mandatory) at your place 
of birth (this could mean traveling more than 300KM, sometime by boot 
then train... and all of that with your own money.

At least in that country, it is possible to follow the voting habit of a 
population from birth to death... From a sociological point of view it 
might be interesting.

> In regards to your ideas of validation, I really have to think this over and 
> see how it would work. One thing I'm concerned about is the fact that ballots 
> can have 30+ "votes" on each, and in a county muncipal race like mine with 62 
> municipalities (each having it's own ballot in addition to any county races/
> referendums) and over 220 polling places amongst them, a lot rides on where 
> the votes come from.

There was a discussion about the need to publish the database of all the 
vote before publishing the vote result. That way it is possible to 
compute the election result independantly.

If I understand correctly the US election process, you have many (let 
say 100) question being asked durring the election day. Let say I want 
to be judge... but no one but me vote for me being judge... Obviously 
everybody will know I voted for me. If the database of vote is 
published, then all of my other secret will be also publish.

So publication of the database seems to be a big no-no. It might mean 
"no advanced voting methods".


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