RE: ELECTION: problems/solutions

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Tue Nov 14 2000 - 00:53:09 MST

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote,
> I think the solution is twofold: First, Internet voting; second, Internet
> revoting.

This is not as easy as it sounds.

Firstly, this would skew voting toward computer-literate voters. Not
everyone has a computer. We would have instant access in our homes, while
noncomputer users would have to go and vote at a polling place as usual.

Secondly, computers are not secure enough to do voting. Real computer
security is hard to achieve. There have been too many errors with
commercial sites for me to trust all voting precincts to get it right.

Thirdly, computers are not reliable. There have been too many outages and
lost data to trust this. Imagine if all ISPs in all counties had to be up
and working on the same night, and that all network pipes had to have enough
bandwidth to not lose any connections or packets.

A more direct and reliable system would actually be postal mail, cable TV,
or telephone voting. Or maybe a combination of all, so if any system was
down another could be used.

These methods also prevent the media from monitoring the results. I know
people blame the media for our current mess. But I'm glad they alerted the
nation to the fact that the reported numbers in Florida didn't match what
people claimed they were voting.

Harvey Newstrom, Security Testing Manager, Fiderus
Phone:321-676-4894 Tollfree:866-FIDERUS Mobile:321-258-4809 FAX:321-676-5707
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