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Thread: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

  1. #1
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    [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/05/o...in-voting.html

    Using blockchain technology, online voting could boost voter participation and help restore the publicís trust in the electoral process and democracy.
    Read the whole article, but here is a section I think gives us enough to talk about:

    Hackers could still attempt to steal votes ó but theyíd have to do so one voter at a time, since there is no centralized database to hack ó and they couldnít recast those votes without the corresponding secure voter ID. And, because of the clear chain of custody, citizens could prove that their voting tokens had been stolen. The downside of voting over a blockchain is limited to a delay in the process; to address this, governments could grant each citizen a backup voting token as an added precaution.

    Blockchain voting achieves privacy for the individual and improves transparency for the system as a whole. Voting systems will be less costly, more efficient, and more accessible while eliminating most, if not all, opportunities for suppression, fraud, or sham charges of fraud. To be fully inclusive and ensure that citizens who lack internet access can still vote, paper ballots can remain an alternative.

    Several start-ups such as Follow My Vote and Voatz are developing blockchain-based solutions for online voting. At the Blockchain Research Institute, we studied the Cleveland-based Votem. Its clients, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame, deployed Votemís mobile voting applications successfully in selecting inductees. Votem authenticated each voterís identity, provided a chain of custody, and proved itself fast, secure, auditable, and convenient.

    Absentee ballots offer a perfect test for blockchain-based mobile voting in government. This is no small matter: Hundreds of thousands of eligible voters live or serve overseas every election, and they face high hurdles to democratic participation. They must remember to vote early, because tens of thousands of absentee ballots arrive too late to be counted. Concerns over security and anonymity decrease online submissions, even when theyíre available.
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  2. #2
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    Re: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    Limits: doesn't really address current concerns with voter suppression, since many of them are aimed at people least likely to have access to smartphones and/or PC's; the article hints that blockchain technology couldn't handle the number of data points incoming in a short time frame on election day; the unlocking mechanism requires giving fingerprint and/or retinal scan information on every voter in the country to the government (unless you trust that such data won't be sent on to the government, and if you don't trust government to run an election properly, why would you trust them with this?); as noted in the article, would require all 50 states to agree to adopt the same standards, and auditing would likely require federal oversight. There's also very serious issues concerning coerced votes. Example: abusive spouse forces partner to vote the way they want, watching the entire process to make sure the vote is cast correctly. Replace "abusive spouse" with any interested party (caregiver, employer) in a position of authority for the same result.

    It does sound like an excellent solution for absentee/overseas ballots, though. The coercion issue is the same with absentee ballots as it is with the blockchain, so there's no reduction in security; the system should be much better able to handle the lower amount of data; and it corrects the problems involving absentee ballots not being counted. It wouldn't be for everybody - I can't see this replacing absentee ballots in retirement homes, for example - but it could encourage absentee voting and thereby reduce wait times at polling stations on election day.

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    Re: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    Since the resultant votes would be public, you could just find a vote and say it was yours.

    Presumably they would still have in-person voting, but also, since you only need access to a computer, if you think someone in a neighborhood doesn't have access, you could just go visit them with a laptop/tablet/etc. and help them vote.
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    Re: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    Quote Originally Posted by Nadiar
    Since the resultant votes would be public....
    I was under the impression that while the blockchain is public, knowledge of each member of the blockchain could only be worked out by the government. If all the votes are public, this is a terrible system that should be thrown in the dumpster. Votes are anonymous for very good reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nadiar
    ...if you think someone in a neighborhood doesn't have access, you could just go visit them with a laptop/tablet/etc. and help them vote.
    The article talked about biometric authentication of voters. That sounds a little more involved than "Nana can use my phone on election day". It also opens up a can of worms with buying votes, if it is easy to register. The poor - the people most likely to not have personal access - would also be the most vulnerable to that tactic.

  5. #5
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    Re: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    Blockchain voting: Definitely extends the meaning of a 51% attack.

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    Re: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    considering how even postal ballots have been shown to have serious fraud over here, and the NSA and other "alphabet soup agencies" across the globe with the ability can and WILL alter electronic votes for their leaders' demands, I thoroughly reject this idea as being one of the most dangerous and dumbest, ever


    and anyone who thinks some of the "spooks" wouldn't do such a think...how the do you manage to feed yourself if you're that dumb?
    sorry to be so brutal, and I know a lot of folk join such agencies', or police or politics with benign intentions, but history proves such agencies always become monsters (or at least, some departments/leaders)

    with the computational and intercept powers now,
    with decades of privatization and bleed between Public and Private of our SECURITY FORCES (like duh?!)
    with France of example exposing years ago that ECHELON etc being abused for industrial espionage
    all the issues of electronic voting fraud and "strange peculiar goings on" in the USA
    And King Cheeto being Putin's "docking" bitch

    electronic voting?! are you fucking INSANE, whoever would support this?!

    I cannot vote anymore, even postal voting, cause of rigmarole, is too much stress I can do without, seriously.
    I'd like online voting, but I know it would be grotesquely abused.
    some folks have no idea how low the security forces will go to achieve their aims over here, from what we KNOW the scum have done and there must be vast amounts we don't.

    hey I accept some murky stuff is needed, even "termination with extreme prejudice", when it's absolutely and truly vital and it has oversight (not just cause it's convenient or fits the ideology or prejudices of some fuckwit in charge)
    but there's no way In Hell I'd trust a system that will always be so easy to tamper as remote voting.



    sorry for vehemence.

  7. #7
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    Re: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    Quote Originally Posted by Delores Mulva View Post
    I was under the impression that while the blockchain is public, knowledge of each member of the blockchain could only be worked out by the government. If all the votes are public, this is a terrible system that should be thrown in the dumpster. Votes are anonymous for very good reasons.



    The article talked about biometric authentication of voters. That sounds a little more involved than "Nana can use my phone on election day". It also opens up a can of worms with buying votes, if it is easy to register. The poor - the people most likely to not have personal access - would also be the most vulnerable to that tactic.
    The results would be public, not who voted. This is how blockchain works. Literally everyone that contributes helps validate everyone else's vote.

    Biometrics are finger print scanners or cell phone cameras. Typically biometrics are the easier step for people that have pre-registered.
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    Re: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    Quote Originally Posted by Nadiar View Post
    Since the resultant votes would be public, you could just find a vote and say it was yours.

    Presumably they would still have in-person voting, but also, since you only need access to a computer, if you think someone in a neighborhood doesn't have access, you could just go visit them with a laptop/tablet/etc. and help them vote.
    Or even a "Vote Mobile" that goes out certain places. Cell or Satellite data link to complete the connection. Really at its most simple could be a modified bus or 53ft semi trailer. Doubly so if Starlink becomes a reality it means fast satellite internet would be wide coverage.
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  9. #9
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    Re: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    Make it simpler. Voter ID/SS card reform. Make voting day a mandatory national paid holiday. Everyone gets to go out and vote. Retina and fingerprints at the door. No more absentee ballots for anyone.
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  10. #10
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    Re: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    So sick people can't vote, and people can't travel for any reason like... being in the military... death of a family member... birth...

    And also, since it's mandatory, hope you don't have to visit the hospital, or that there are any utility failures, because they're going to have to wait.

    Sounds like a great plan, glad it covers all bases.
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  11. #11
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    Re: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    Security vs convenience. I'll back security 100% of the time. But you could still do early voting with proper security. Have a few election places open for a week or two ahead of voting day so people could come in on their own time. As far as emergencies getting in the way, not really much difference there compared to now.
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  12. #12
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    Re: [Article] Itís Time for Online Voting

    Here's the thing I don't get.

    At least in Minnesota, we still have "fill out the oval" paper ballots with electronic scanners.

    In order to vote, all you need is a valid ID and proof of residence in the voting precinct (utility bill in your name within the last x number of days, 30 or 90 or something).

    You can also have someone vouch for you, and a registered voter can vouch for up to something like 5 people.

    Falsely vouching is a crime with heavy penalties.

    It's basically set up to allow EVERYONE to vote, but with enough safe assurances that noone votes twice.

    Minnesota also has voter assistance, so you can get picked up and driven in by someone on the day of (volunteers and election judges) if you're registered or pass criteria you get to vote, or someone will walk you through the process online or over the phone if you want to pre-vote or register.

    Aside from the SUUUPER slow video voting machines (of which there are generally only one or two at a precinct), hacking the ballot scanners would be nigh-on impossible as they're encased, air-gapped, and noone has the keys. They're literally hauled off on trucks and sit around, sealed and locked, in case there's a recount.

    It's one of the reasons Minnesota reports so slowly, often not until the next morning. Someone has to open the compartments with the scanned data storage, without being able to access the paper storage (IIRC, It's been almost a decade since I've seen one of these things work and they wouldn't show us much at all), and then load up all of the data.

    Nothing is foolproof, but I'd be far more worried about a website code vulnerability or a mobile OS vulnerability than I ever will be about the system we have here.

    If software developers would spend more time penetration testing their code, I'd feel more comfortable, but noone is going to want to invest the tax dollars for that.

    Most people who are advocating online voting want it BECAUSE there are so many more variables that the attack vectors for tampering are infinitely more likely to exist, crop up, be discovered, or written.

    Most government contractors for voting machines (lowest bidder!) have already PROVEN that their security is about as well-checked as your average "dub the dew", "send taylor swift to the horace mann school for the deaf", and "pitbull goes to alaska" polls.

    Expose that directly to the internet at large without requiring physical or proximity access?

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