Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process


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Looking forward to this! Lady Crystal. Conqueror of the Cinnabar. Have I been an American citizen in — or a non-citizen in a Democrat-controlled district — I would not have voted for Trump either in the primaries or at the general election for the record, I would not have voted for Hillary Clinton either. They become the victims. Whereas it is a common trope in the tech industry that security is everyone s responsibility, the CISO is the one accountable and empowered to ensure that a company has a strong culture of risk management for information security, from the board room through to the front lines.

Stephen Elliott does not know what to think of American voters, this year s desperate and heated run for presidency, or the legitimacy of the political system. He doesn t know whether to love John Kerry or try to love Howard Dean or try, simply, to get excited about Politics. October 19, Listen Duration: Subscribe to our newsletters to get updates about Illinois Public Media s role in giving voice to local arts, education, new ideas. Although a wide range of electors uses it, the primary users of online voting are typically older, educated and wealthier.

From an administrative perspective convenience, accessibility and counting efficiency are cited as the main benefits to online voting adoption, while public outreach and education, negative media and potential for fraud are reported as the biggest challenges. The report concludes with policy recommendations regarding online voting use in federal elections for the short and longer-terms. The overarching recommendation of the report is that Elections Canada should actively research and test online voting in federal elections on a trial basis, and lay the groundwork for possible future development.

One of the most dramatic changes to our way of life over the past 50 years has been the widespread proliferation and use of digital technology. Through different mediums technology is increasingly embedded as part of our lives, modernizing our institutions, culture and way of life. A large part of this technological shift includes advancements and opportunities brought about by the internet. Today many people buy their groceries, pursue relationships through dating sites, conduct their banking, watch movies or shows, work remotely, and communicate using forums or applications that rely on the internet.

The internet is also transforming governments and the way we interact with them, creating additional participation channels and in some cases enabling the culture of government to become more open, transparent and accountable. While technology has influenced government in other areas, efforts to modernize or digitize electoral institutions at the federal level have been slow.

Aside from some smaller changes and the introduction of an electronic National Register of Electors, elections remain largely a manual process that are carried out on paper. Tasks such as voter strike-off at the polls, changes to poll books, the administration of oaths, the casting of ballots and ballot tabulation are done manually. If the internet can be used to promote transparency and accountability in other government institutions, can the same be true for federal elections? There are many ways to modernize elections and to integrate technology into phases of the election process, however, online voting is commonly cited as the voting reform that delivers the greatest potential benefits for election stakeholders and also carries the greatest risk.

Determining whether it is an appropriate policy change is challenging, as the same arguments for and against adoption of the technology are continuously repeated in policy debates. Use of the voting method by other jurisdictions has led to the discovery of new effects and challenges, which confirm or refute some of these arguments. Similarly, deployment of online voting in municipal elections in Canada provides insight regarding the types of impacts the voting method may have federally.

This report examines the feasibility of online voting for use in federal elections in Canada. Six sections are included. The first section outlines the methodology, defines online voting, and provides justification for the country cases included in the report. Third, the real and perceived benefits and barriers of online voting are briefly discussed. Potential strategies to mitigate barriers are included.

The fourth section examines the concepts of authentication and verification in more detail and discusses the possibility of blockchain technology to improve online voting systems. Fifth, an overview of practical experiences is provided. This begins with a brief review of online voting in Canada and follows with case summaries of online voting approaches in Estonia, Switzerland and the United States.

Finally, the report concludes with a series of concrete policy recommendations regarding the potential deployment of online voting in federal elections.

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The content of this report is based on a review of secondary sources and primary research. Sources include government documents, scholarly books and articles, technical reports, news articles and survey data. Primary research was carried out by way of semi-structured interviews and consultations with 32 officials 16 in Canada and 16 internationally who have expertise in voting technologies.

Those consulted include a diverse group of scholars, practitioners, lawyers, and government officials. Experts were interviewed in person, by phone or video conference and were asked questions about the legal, operational and technical considerations of online voting, how to mitigate or overcome barriers, thoughts about online voting at the federal level and recommendations, and about the future of elections in Canada more generally.

A majority of the interviews were guided by a questionnaire see Appendix 1 , however the specific questions that were focused on varied based on the background and expertise of the interviewee. Questions about mitigating security risks, for example, were better suited for computer scientists, engineers and practitioners, while government officials, practitioners and social scientists mostly addressed those about the administration of elections. In some cases, a full and formal interview was not possible and particular questions were asked based on the competencies of the interviewee and timing.

In the case of Elections Canada, a separate consultation was held using an alternate questionnaire which is attached as Appendix 2. All participants were informed of the nature of the research prior to speaking. The EVOTE-ID conference brings together experts, practitioners and government officials from around the world to discuss electronic voting.

Looking Forward To It Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The American Electoral Process

It is an interdisciplinary event, including contributions from those with social science and computer science backgrounds. The conference also includes scholarly and practical tracks, presenting findings of the latest academic studies and updates on practical electronic voting developments worldwide. The meeting included a discussion and update of the Council of Europe recommendations on electronic voting , which can be leveraged by Canadian authorities to learn from and build upon.

The Online Voting Roundtable was held September 26, at the University of Ottawa with the goal of contributing to the dialogue on electoral reform in Canada. It included presentations from technical experts, social scientists, Indigenous leaders and community members, and representatives from other countries to discuss the possibility of using online voting in federal elections in Canada. This event brought an Indigenous perspective to debates about online voting, which had previously not been highlighted. These events provided a rich and timely perspective on the latest online voting developments and the effects of using the technology.

They also highlighted which country cases are best for Canada to learn from. Other than online voting activity at the local level in Canada, use of the voting method in Switzerland and Estonia is the most established. Meaning, it has occurred there for the greatest number of binding elections, is used for votes at multiple levels of government, and is considered by politicians and citizens alike to be an established feature of election processes.

Furthermore, developments in these countries have made progress on technical considerations such as verifiability, developing solutions to meet this technical challenge. Finally, online voting developments in these cases have been in place since and respectively, providing a picture of the evolution of online voting approaches and systems, how they have responded to specific challenges, and effects or benefits that have been realized.

A third case that has followed a different development path but is of interest to voting modernization in Canada is the United States US. Early online voting activity in the US included a January state-wide straw poll of Republicans in Alaska, the March Arizona Democratic primary, an experimental project carried out as part of the Federal Voting Assistance Program FVAP as part of the presidential election, and the Michigan Democratic primary. Concerns about security and the technical risks raised by major voting reports in the US, however, slowed, or in some cases halted, developments.

The fact that the US has moved forward despite these identified barriers is an opportunity for Canada to learn about how these perceived challenges are being mitigated and derive any lessons learned that could be applied to federal elections here. Generally, online voting refers to the process of casting a ballot via an internet connection. It is commonly associated as being one type of electronic voting - a general term used to refer to many different types of voting that use information and communications technology in part or all of the voting process, which includes identifying the voter, the casting of the vote, and the counting of the vote.

For the purposes of this report internet voting is defined as systems where obtaining ballots, casting votes or counting votes in political elections and referendums uses an internet connection. There are different types of online voting that can be distinguished by whether they occur in a supervised controlled or unsupervised uncontrolled environment. Alvarez and Hall point to four types of internet voting.

These options offer more control for election officials and less accessibility and convenience for potential voters. Next, there is kiosk internet voting which denotes voting by internet from a computer at a location that is controlled by election officials, but is not an official polling place. Kiosks are typically located in public places that are considered high-traffic areas such as a mall, library, or local government office.

Finally, remote internet voting is the term most people associate with voting online. This method involves casting a ballot via the internet from a remote location, such as home, work or perhaps overseas. Remote online voting could occur on a number of devices such as a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or iPad, or mobile phone connected to the internet. This final online voting option offers election administrators the least control but provides the greatest potential accessibility and convenience for electors.

When people think of being able to vote online, they do not envision having to attend a traditional polling station and learn how to navigate new voting technology, but rather assume they will be able to vote from a remote location of their choosing using a personal device. For stylistic relief the report refers to online voting, internet voting and ivoting as one in the same.

Unless otherwise noted, these terms refer to remote online voting.

However, it should be pointed out that remote online voting from home or work would have to be offered in combination with online voting from central locations such as libraries or community government offices to ensure access and assistance with technical aspects. This latter approach could be considered a type of kiosk voting. Public support for, and willingness to make use of, the voting reform is necessary. This section reviews changes in voting patterns, reasons for not voting provided by those who have abstained from voting in federal elections, and public attitudes toward online voting and election reform.

While levels of overall voter participation have observed a general trend of decline, voter turnout in the advanced polls of those same elections have noted substantial increases. More Canadians are choosing to cast their vote in advance of Election Day and there is an increasing service expectation of advance voting that did not exist 30 years ago. In the 42 nd General Election, for example, To put this in perspective, turnout in advance polls was The same pattern is mirrored in provincial elections in Canada over the same time period and in other advanced democracies.

Response to this demand has resulted in more advance poll days, the addition of advance poll locations, and lowering or eliminating requirements to cast a ballot before Election Day. In New Brunswick, for example, electors can vote at any polling station in the province during the two advanced voting days. The requirement to complete a form to vote in advance was eliminated in New Brunswick in , while in Saskatchewan the election was the first where electors were not required to show a medical note or other proof to be able to cast their ballot in an advance poll.

While these changes may improve poll efficiency and reduce wait times, none of these modifications would have the same impact on voters as the option to vote remotely by internet, which arguably offers the ultimate voting convenience and reduction of voting costs by eliminating the need to travel to a polling station Alvarez et al. Steady increases in advance voter participation overtime could be a sign that Canadian voters want greater choice and convenience in the voting process.

Evidence from non-voters supports this line of thinking. A further Finally, This suggests that while apathy and lack of interest is still very much a factor in non-participation, situations of everyday life and health are the most frequently reported barriers electors face in attending the polls. While election officials cannot directly address political reasons e. If voting reforms can sufficiently address these barriers, presumably some of these electors could be motivated to participate.

Remote online voting is one possibility to make voting easier and more efficient for electors, but how do Canadian electors feel about the voting reform? Is there public support for the policy change and a willingness to use it? Persons that reported not voting in the federal election were slightly more likely to say they would vote online.

To put feelings about online voting in perspective with other possible changes to the voting process, respondents were asked whether they prefer online voting or other proposed electoral reforms such as a new electoral system or mandatory voting. Forty-two percent chose online voting, This opinion data illustrates that Canadians would like to see online voting introduced and a majority say they would use it in the next election.

What about voters that opt for paper ballots when online voting is available? How do they feel about online voting?

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A study carried out with Ontario municipalities asked paper voters whether they would vote online in a future election. Such strong preference among paper voters for the adoption of online voting as a complementary voting channel shows that they would appreciate and make use of an alternative voting channel in cases where casting a ballot may not be as convenient or accessible. While there is not comparable data from non-voters, generally Canadian studies of internet voters find that a certain percentage identify as having been a non-voter in previous elections where they were eligible to participate.

This group is typically modest. All of this tells us that Canadian electors are generally receptive to the voting reform. At the same time, there is increasing demand from voters for more choice and convenience in voting, and some of those who abstain cite reasons for not participating that could be addressed by changes to voting access and administrative procedures. Changes in uptake of convenience voting e. While online voting is not the only policy change that could address some of these issues and elections can be modernized in other ways, remote online voting offers many benefits to electors in terms of reducing voting costs, and enhancing access and convenience.

There are, however, important barriers to adoption. This section provides a brief overview of the primary benefits of, and barriers to, online voting implementation. It assesses whether the latest research confirms these considerations as advantages or drawbacks. It is important to note, however, that the implementation of online voting is highly context dependent and what delivers benefits in one jurisdiction may present challenges in another.

There are many real, and perceived, benefits and barriers to online voting deployment that often relate to election administration, technology or social issues Goodman, Pammett and DeBardeleben, These can be broadly categorized into benefits for two groups — voters and election administrators. Although there are benefits and challenges for candidates also, debates typically focus on items that affect those voting or administering the election.

First, proponents cite convenience and the principle of voting at any time as a primary advantage. Research in other countries confirms the prominence of the rationale, as Being able to cast a ballot from anywhere, at any time, and eliminating the need to travel to a poll location during specified hours, is the epitome of convenience voting. Being able to vote in the middle of the night from home, while traditional polls were closed, might be the added convenience for some non-voters to take part at election time, and a welcome change in a society where people increasingly feel they are busy and cannot take time out of their day to vote or forget to plan for it.

Forms of online voting that are not remote can add convenience, but not to the same extent. In addition to enhancing the convenience of voting, voting by internet also has the potential to improve voter access. While accessibility can be augmented for all, those who face the most barriers to participation would feel the greatest effects. Special groups of electors such as persons with disabilities, citizens living overseas or military abroad, members of Indigenous communities, persons living in remote areas, incarcerated electors, seniors with mobility issues or those living in long-term care facilities, and students away at school can face additional barriers to voting which could be reduced with the option to vote online.

In particular, for persons with disabilities who require assistance voting, special applicators can be used to allow these voters to cast a ballot independently providing greater privacy and improved equality of the voting process Goodman, Pammett and DeBardeleben, Likewise, mail ballots cast by voters overseas may not arrive or be counted until after the results of the election.

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Studies of online voting and overseas voters find the voting reform has been well received by expatriates in places such as Switzerland Germann et al. In Canada, interviews for this report indicated that online voting could bring about significant improvements to access for members of Indigenous communities living on-reserve, providing suitable internet connectivity was in place. Third, the premise of making voting easier causes some to suggest it can increase, or at the very least, counter declines in voter turnout observed in Canada and other advanced democracies Franklin, This shows that in a Canadian context the voting reform can positively affect turnout.

Changes to election rules at the municipal level, however, are often felt more strongly than at higher levels of government Kousser and Mullin, so we should be cautious about whether such an effect would materialize in federal elections. This means that some electors who have not voted previously voted for the first time, or on a more regular basis in the case of infrequent voters , because online voting was an option 4.

Despite the fact that internet voting is predominately used for reasons of convenience by committed voters, this evidence shows that it also encourages some electors to participate and may help retain current voters. Studies find, however, that young or first time voters are more likely to vote by paper than online Baldersheim, Saglie and Segaard, ; Goodman and Pyman, perhaps out of symbolism for their first time participating. Online voters are typically older, educated, wealthier, and report voting in the past Goodman and Pyman, Tracking voting histories and age at the municipal level in Canada finds that some young people are motivated to vote when online ballots are offered, however this group is modest.

In fact, in the municipal elections in Ontario paper ballot use was higher among those under the age of 44 while those over 45 years were more likely to vote online. Overall, improved voter engagement can be a benefit of remote online voting, but there should be an expectation that any hoped for increases would be modest. The proportion of rejected paper ballots is typically about. This can occur as poll workers work long hours with the counting happening at the end of what might be a hour day, and because of subjective interpretations of markings on the ballot.

Although these amounts are small, the franchise could be improved by the inclusion of these votes. Additionally, online voting systems can include an option that allows electors to spoil their vote. In some countries, such as France, the option to spoil your ballot is enshrined in the constitution. With regards to election costs, there is no certainty that online voting will inevitably bring the cost of elections up or down.

Cost is dependent on the approach employed by election authorities and influenced by factors such as the number of voting methods offered, length of the voting period, and the process that facilitates voting online e. Whether the system is developed in-house or supplied by a technology vendor could also significantly impact the upfront cost of online voting adoption. Municipal e. These changes to the quantity of paper voting locations does not typically affect voter access to polling locations or wait times since when online voting is offered as a complementary voting method in municipal elections in Canada is the preferred ballot type Goodman and Pyman, With regards to ballot tabulation, proponents argue that online voting offers immediacy of results.

In the case of Cape Breton Regional Municipality in , for example, the process to tabulate the ballots and issue a report took about 30 minutes. In other municipal elections, however, technical issues have delayed results.

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This delay was cited as necessary to ensure the quality assurance of election results. While there can be tabulation efficiencies realized from online voting and other electronic counting devices, they are not guaranteed. In places with voting systems where ballot tabulation is more intricate, or the composition of the ballot papers are much more complex, online voting presents added appeal.

This is not as much of an issue in Canada given our single member plurality system and relatively simple ballots. In cases where a thorough election evaluation or auditing procedure was not in place previously, the advent of online voting often can strengthen this process by prompting election authorities to rethink these processes, thus enhancing accountability. Finally, reduced environmental impact is expressed as a benefit since fewer paper ballots are required and taking into account emissions saved from not traveling to a poll location.

While elections have been slow to modernize, banking online and other transaction-based activities cannot be compared to online voting given that a key premise of their operation is the acceptance of risk Wallach, To maintain the integrity of elections, the same approaches to managing risk are not applicable. We should also expect modernization to be relatively slow, and deploy online voting as a complementary voting channel and not as a replacement of paper ballots. Overall benefits such as convenience, access, greater voter privacy and reduction in spoiled ballots are well established.

Modest improvements in turnout are also documented in a Canadian context, albeit for municipal elections, as well as the attraction of some non-voters to the voting method. While young people vote online, many prefer to vote by paper and it does not hold the benefits for youth engagement that were once thought.

Finally, items such as cost reductions and efficiencies in election results, notably near instant tabulation, are context dependent and not always guaranteed. Opposition to online voting, or hesitancy to pursue it, is based on several principal barriers. Discussions about barriers have evolved as we have learned from trials and use in regular binding elections. Through this process some previously identified barriers have been discovered to not be significant obstacles and other new barriers have emerged. Those items presently identified as being barriers to online voting adoption are explored here with possible solutions or strategies of mitigation incorporated into the discussion.

First, a popularly mentioned social barrier to online voting is digital literacy and the potential limits a digital divide may impose on electors and their ability to vote online. Digital literacy refers to technical competencies and information literacy with computers or other digital devices and the internet Mossenburg, Tolbert, and Stansbury, When online voting is first introduced research confirms there is a relationship between digital literacy and online voting. The digital divide refers to having access to an internet connection, the quality of that connection and digital skills and knowledge van Deursen and van Dijk, Likewise, the argument goes that those with experience using the internet would be more inclined to vote online.

Persons with higher incomes and education levels are more likely to have personal computers or devices with good quality internet connections, and the technical skills and knowledge to use them. Furthermore, the ability to access good quality internet may be easier in urban areas than rural ones. Instead of promoting equality of the vote, the digital divide can exacerbate pre-existing socioeconomic cleavages in society and have negative impacts on inclusiveness and representation.

Though this is less of a concern that it was ten years ago given improvements in internet penetration and wi-fi coverage, it remains an issue in some more rural places in Canada, notably in northern areas and Indigenous communities. In Canada, municipalities have addressed internet access issues by providing online voting stations in popular public places such as the library, community centre, or local government office.

Staff at these locations are trained as Deputy Returning Officers to assist electors with voting. Another concern is that older electors are less inclined to vote online since some of them may have lower levels of digital literacy than young people. It is a myth that older electors will not vote online even with limited experience.

Municipally in Canada, the average age of an online voter is 53 years, and those over 50 are the biggest users of the voting method. For comparison, the age of the average paper ballot voter in the same elections is 44 years old Goodman and Pyman, Another barrier, which relates to both social and technical issues is ballot secrecy.

On the social side, remote online voting can allow for ballot secrecy to be compromised if voters do not cast their ballot in private.

This could occur in situations where someone helps another family member vote or has others present for the act of voting. Voting by internet in an unsupervised environment also increases the possibility of fraud or coercion. Additionally, pressure from a head of household can occur in situations where a dominant family member wishes to influence and control the vote.

Voter coercion is said to occur more frequently in religious groups Ibid. Finally, concerns about campaign workers going door-to-door with iPads and possibilities for undue influence, notably for groups that may be more susceptible e.

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Electors can cast as many online votes as they like leading up to Election Day. This allows voters to change their vote if they find themselves in a situation where they feel pressured or coerced to vote for a candidate who is not their true choice. There is no internet voting on Election Day in Estonia, so a final possibility is for a voter to visit a poll location and cast a paper ballot, which will override their online vote.

This strategy works well for Estonians, however, overall remote online voting is not strongly coercion resistant. Canadian municipalities have addressed the possibility of fraud by educating electors about the penalties associated with this activity, and in some cases, passing legislation to strengthen penalties to act as a deterrent. No current internet voting approach can guarantee coercion is prevented in an unsupervised setting.

An additional concern is keeping the votes private before and after the ballot is transmitted. Some computer scientists argue that while there are techniques for protecting privacy at certain points, this is not possible the entire time Epstein, ; Fitzgerald et al. To keep the votes private proper encryption is required from when the vote is cast until it is decrypted and counted. Ballot secrecy is one of the top barriers to online voting implementation Epstein, Yet, in some countries online voting works well because other unsupervised voting, such as voting by mail, is widely used and accepted 10 If other unsupervised voting methods are customary online voting is more easily accepted.

Seventh, authentication is another barrier that must be sufficiently overcome to adopt online voting. It refers to the process of confirming voters are who they say they are. It also ensures that those who are voting are eligible to do so and that no one elector can cast more than one ballot Gritzalis, The latter approach is not considered sufficiently secure by many experts given that it is easier to compromise. Requiring registration to vote online, carried out in person or online and with a second mail out that provides the voter with additional credentials is considered to deliver improved authentication.

In Canada, the absence of a universal form of electronic identification makes the possible adoption of the Estonian model unlikely. The approach employed in Switzerland is more relevant based on contextual circumstances and existing infrastructure. Auditability of voting must be maintained with online voting. Those who can audit an online voting system may be different than persons who could assess a paper-based scheme given that technical knowledge may be required. A critical part of system auditability, which can present additional challenges to ballot secrecy, is the verifiability of the vote.

The issue of verification has been present in computer science and engineering debates for some time Gritzalis, but emerged in practical online voting debates sometime after the first few phases of initial deployments around the world probably because as the number of online voters increased so did the associated risk. The idea behind verifiability is to act as a mechanism to ensure the accuracy of the election outcome Benaloh et al. From the outside an election might appear to have been properly conducted and produced an accurate outcome, but there is the possibility that errors and fraud could go undetected.

To mitigate this online voting systems can be made verifiable. There are two types of verifiability — individual verifiability and universal verifiability. The former is based on a voter being able to ensure their ballot was cast as intended and recorded correctly 12 Universal verifiability or end-to-end verification E2E is considered to be the gold standard in terms of verifying election outcomes. This concept is discussed in greater detail in the technical section, below. Although initially online voting systems did not employ this technology, approaches in Estonia and Switzerland have recently undergone a significant transformation to ensure elections are verifiable given that this principle is seen as pivotal to maintaining electoral integrity and accountability of election outcomes.

Security threats present a significant barrier to online voting use in elections and referendums. There are a number of potential strategies to mitigate security threats at this stage. Anti-virus software, for example, can detect and stop malware, but no program can guarantee discovery of all fraudulent software.

Without it, there is no secure connection between a device and a website or server. Public education that encourages security conscious thinking is another potential solution to promote awareness and encourage electors to use TLS and employ anti-virus programs. While a vote is in transit, it is susceptible to third-party attempts to view, intercept or modify data. Additionally, verification can alert voters or authorities as to whether votes have been tampered with or compromised.

Finally, at the point of the election server a number of threats can occur such as Denial of Service attacks DDoS , server penetrations, insider influence or tampering by a state-level actor see Table 1 for descriptions of these threats. DDoS attacks can be mitigated through dynamic or hidden website addresses, but these can be confusing for voters.

Another strategy is to make the voting method available for a longer period of time and not on Election Day. This can spread out use and avoids the high voter traffic on the day of the election Elections BC, A number of large Canadian cities such as the City of Markham and the City of Greater Sudbury use this approach for online voting in local elections. Verification mechanisms are a means of ensuring the election is not tampered with, but cannot prevent all attacks.

Although there are many risks with traditional election processes, if one in-person poll using paper ballots is compromised the entire election would not be affected to the extent possible with online voting. Modification of votes and potentially election outcomes can occur on a larger scale with online ballots. In Switzerland, authorities sought to lessen this risk by limiting the availability of online voting to a specific percentage of the population with the thinking that if fewer people voted online, the system would be less desirable to compromise. Since making the move toward E2E, however, Swiss authorities plan to allow online voting for all eligible electors in all elections and referendums where universally verifiable technology is used.

A list of common security threats associated with online voting systems that are not present in traditional paper voting at the polls where ballots are counted by hand can be found in Table 1. Such security vulnerabilities and possible breaches have the potential to negatively affect public trust in elections. If an election, or part of an election, was compromised because results were delayed or tampered with, there could be a loss of public faith in electoral institutions and processes. It is difficult to predict this impact. At the Online Voting Roundtable some experts suggested that a security breach in a binding election might not affect public trust too much since Canadians have come to expect a certain degree of risk in anything carried out online e.

To promote public faith in elections if remote online voting is introduced or any other electronic-based vote casting or counting technology there needs to be strong transparency and scrutiny of the process, especially if an outcome is challenged. Depending on the type of system used, notably if online voting technology is developed in-house, cost of development could pose a barrier to implementation.

Prior to adopting online voting, or any voting reform, parliamentarians and policymakers must think carefully about what they would like to get out of such reform. Identifying clear requirements is an essential prerequisite to a focused trial or pilot, and successful deployment. Updating administrative aspects such as procurement policies is needed to ensure potential vendors and their proposals are adequately vetted. Modernization of procurement needs to happen regardless whether online voting is used or not, as electoral innovation occurs in other aspects of elections.

At a basic level this could involve simplifying procurement processes and moving them online. More specifically for voting, it may involve reweighting selection criteria such as the number of points awarded for proposed project cost, technical standards, and perhaps the involvement of independent experts, such as computer scientists, in the selection process.

The introduction of new voting methods often highlights cracks in traditional paper-based voting. This has been documented at the municipal level in Canada and in the recent PEI plebiscite on electoral reform. In the PEI plebiscite, officials searched online to find date of birth information for names listed on 20 returned voter cards by visiting sites such as Facebook. They were able to obtain birth date information for one of the electors. Engaging stakeholders early and often is important, as well as ensuring the voting system is explained simply and the parameters of voting communicated clearly e.

Getting the message out through marketing and communications can be time consuming and costly but it is needed to ensure uptake of the voting method and promote trust from stakeholders. In some areas, however, privatization is not necessarily a bad thing. Initially testing the technology using a vendor system could save money and time in working to develop a suitable model for the jurisdiction. Furthermore, in the case of Switzerland where two voting systems are used — one that is developed by cantonal governments and another that is supplied by an international firm — the use of two approaches is seen as an advantage in the event someone tried to compromise one system, the entire election would not be affected since the voting schemes are entirely different.

These dual systems are explored below, in the case study. Political participation in groups, such as attending a poll location with a group of friends or family, supports personal networks that taking part in activities alone does not Putnam, Continuing to offer poll locations with paper voting, and offering polls where online voting is available can mitigate loss of the voter experience. Support from elected representatives and buy-in from government officials is necessary for the successful adoption of any policy change.

Without the political and administrative support to introduce online voting we will not see it used in elections. According to interviews with officials, Austria is an example where there is insufficient political backing for online voting. Overall technical barriers such as authentication, verification, ballot secrecy and auditability need to be managed based on available technology and contextual circumstances, threats to security present additional challenges. Political will is another barrier that can be difficult to overcome if support is lacking.

Digital literacy is less of a concern for use, though connectivity could be an issue in some remote areas, notably in the north and Indigenous communities. Finally, older electors vote online, calming worries about members of older cohorts being reluctant to use voting technology. Other possible barriers seem to have been addressed in online voting use elsewhere. However, correctness of the list is likely improved at the federal level. In addition to the technical considerations discussed in the previous section, added discussion on the advanced technical elements of online voting is warranted, notably verification, and the potential for new technologies to transform the online voting landscape.

This section briefly discusses authentication and verification before moving to a discussion of blockchain technology and the likelihood it will benefit the development of online voting systems. Authentication and verification are two key concepts in online voting systems that are important to get right.

The approaches used for each of these can depend on the context in which online voting is being used. For example, in what kind of election, the institutional and cultural features of the jurisdiction, and the type of principles that guide elections, such as whether ballot secrecy is highly valued. This approach is used in Switzerland Chevallier, In Canada, this process must be thought through carefully. She talked about fixing the tax code.

She said double taxing Social Security was wrong. She said her opponent, Bill Nelson, was an empty suit. She asked the audience to think about the challenges. Could you imagine what would have happened to our economy if John Kerry had been elected in ? She was starting to make me sad. I could imagine both of those things. Then she switched to fear. Tax relief. She said our taxes are still too high. She said we have to protect our borders. We have no idea where they are. She may have recognized that she was headed down the road to some deeply offensive racist commentary, so she pulled herself back.

And so we have to make sure that we are protecting our borders. But she assured everyone she still wanted Mexicans to come in and work in tourism and rebuild the houses after hurricanes. She also said it was important temporary workers be just that—temporary. I drove with Katherine between Inglis and Gainesville. I asked her point blank about the election of I just had to act with extraordinary integrity.

But she pledged to spend it all on her campaign, and Democrats are more than happy to let her part with her money. Many of her original staff have quit the campaign already, seeing what a long shot she is. The people replacing them are not true believers, and they are also not top-level movers and shakers. Her campaign manager came in from Illinois and her field director flew in from Missouri.

This is the B team. Which is fine. People have to eat. Here are some things about Katherine Harris. She was raised rich. Her father owned a bank, and his name is on buildings all over Gainesville. He died just last January, and the word is that she never took the time off from the campaign to mourn. She speaks easily, from memory, a long list of Republican talking points delivered with conviction if not understanding. She connects with a room. She seems to genuinely like meeting new people, and she loves attention.

She has more energy than a coke fiend with an uncut supply of Colombian. Someone should have told her not to do that.

Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process
Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process
Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process
Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process
Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process

Related Looking Forward to It: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Electoral Process



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