Is Electronic Election Democratic ?
News from the front in Mai 2003...I am now web master of http://www.poureva.be/ and actively doing something against usage of computer for election process. This include distributing documentations and speaking on the radio about it. For more information get to that web site (in french unfortunately).
As in any use of Electronic, there are risk. In Belgium we use computer for the election. However, Belgian have never been informe of the possible danger of ussing computer for such an important thing for democracy.
In Belgium we continue to use computers for voting. A few people started to raise awareness about this problem. It did reach the level of beeing discuss on TV at a good time. However it seem's that nothing changed and the voting system is far from beeing an Open Source program. To make it more frightening, let mention that Belgian Automatic Teller Machine network operator was involve in the election process because their helpdesk was used. Democracy and Bank don't work well together.
There is in Belgium, one organisation wich is trying to raise awairness concearning the Danger of Electronic Voting. This association is called "Pour EVA"="Pour une Etique du Vote Automatisé". At the last big election where the european one. So the it was brought to the European Parlement that Belgium was ussing such technique. I know no other country having gone so far in electronic voting, so please contact me if you have information concearning your own country status.
To tell you the truth, the Belgian experiment (on large scale) is a mess. Electronic voting was suppose to be fast and relyable. At least it is not fast and we had to wait way to long compare to manual counting. System failure where numberous all over Belgium with helpdesk unable to face the peak. Old peaple where scared by the system (even when trained in advance). Once you voted, no way to make sure your vote was right, counted, ... Also, it seems a shame to have so many already old PC being use once every few year (and for one day only). The only benefit is that you don't have to waste a lot of paper.
So make your mind... Do you want electonic voting in your country? What if Austria start to use electronic voting. Will trust the election result? What if someone get into the system (just a hacker).
Do you belief in Democracy? Do you belief in really secure computer program/system without bug, glich or powerfull operator/hacker being able to break into the system?
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