[EM] A quick, dirty, and somewhat obvious method for a secret proxy ballot

Paul Kislanko kislanko at airmail.net
Wed Nov 16 12:57:29 PST 2005

I won't respond to all of the following, but what I have to say was prompted
by the message
> -----Original Message-----
> From: election-methods-bounces at electorama.com 
> [mailto:election-methods-bounces at electorama.com] On Behalf Of 
> Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
> Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 2:33 PM
> To: scott at open-vote.org
> Cc: election-methods at electorama.com
> Subject: Re: [EM] A quick, dirty, and somewhat obvious method 
> for a secret proxy ballot
> At 04:14 AM 11/16/2005, Scott Ritchie wrote:
> >On Sun, 2005-11-13 at 19:28 -0500, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
> > > The obstacle is the tradition of secret ballot, 
> considered necessary
> > > to safeguard against coercion. However, it is my 
> suspicion that the
> > > dangers of open voting in a society functioning with rule 
> of law are
> > > drastically overstated, and, indeed, the use of secret ballot may
> > > allow more abuse than it prevents.
> >
> >It is entirely simply to have a secret ballot by delegable proxy -
> >simply keep the fact that someone is a proxy a secret!  It does,
> >however, require some level of trust in a software counting program.
... remainder snipped.

It may be we're making this too complicated, but as a somewhat educated
layman with respect to EMs and a very interested voter, I notice these
important points.

1) MY vote as an individual voter MUST be by secret ballot. 
I have very recent experience with just the knowledge of which primary I
voted in being used to strike me from the voting rolls for the general
election. There's "coercion" and many more forms of dis-enfranchisement. If
I were to vote for a proxy, I'd want which proxy I voted for kept secret.

2) But the votes BY the proxy MUST be be "public" - at least to the ones who
delegated their vote to them.
The reason? If I delegate X as a proxy, it is because I voted for "X's
proposed ballot configuration". If X's actual ballot is not available for my
review, then if my alternative loses the election I have no way of knowing
if it was because a majority didn't like it, or my proxy was lying when she
said she would vote my preference.

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