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Resolution on voter verifiable e-voting

I don’t understand

Electronic voting is being rushed upon voters around the world with little regard for the risks and the costs to our democracies. In Europe, the UK and Denmark are holding e-voting trials as part of the 2004 European elections. France, Spain and Ireland have also held trials. E-voting is already established in Belgium and Switzerland. The European Commission is looking at introducing e-voting across the EU, and the Council of Europe is developing guidelines for elections involving e-voting.

We feel that voters and candidates must be able to feel certain that voting intentions are accurately recorded. If any doubts do arise then all stakeholders must be able to verify and audit all aspects of the election.

We fully support the appropriate and careful use of technology to solve problems and make our lives easier if the risks have been fully accounted for. Thus we endorse the following statement:

“Computerised voting is inherently subject to programming error, human error, equipment malfunction and malicious tampering. Due to the opaque nature of the technologies involved, which few understand, it is crucial that electronic voting systems provide a voter-verifiable audit trail. By this we mean a permanent record of each vote that can be checked for accuracy by the voter before the vote is submitted, and is difficult or impossible to alter after it has been checked. This must be achieved without compromising the secrecy and integrity of the ballot thus, to prevent vote selling or coercion, the vote records cannot be kept by the voter. It must be noted that such an audit trail is only useful if it is used regularly for recounts to verify the electronic result. Without a verifiable voting system every election is open to allegations which will raise doubts over the results that administrators will be unable to disprove. However an audit trail alone is not sufficient – all aspects of the voting process need to be made secure. Providing a voter-verifiable audit trail should be one of the essential requirements for any new voting systems.”

To further explore the problems with electronic voting, examine the free e-democracy project’s learn section.

We can no longer take the conduct of our elections for granted, give those in charge a message by supporting us, endorse the statement…


© 2003 the free e-democracy project/foundation for information policy research

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