Venezuelan Election Using Paper Trail To Verify E-Voting Is Accurate

from the a-step-forward dept

While some say that it's impossible to have a secure and accurate election using e-voting machines, having some sort of paper trail backup certainly goes a long way towards relieving the biggest fears associated with e-voting machines. While we don't yet have them in the US, Venezuela's national election this coming weekend will have a verifiable paper trail associated with each voting machine. After a person votes, the machine will spit out a receipt for the voter to review. They will then put the receipt into a box so that it can be counted (and also to avoid "vote buying" where the voter can prove he or she voted for a specific candidate). Not only that, but election officials are going to count millions of the votes and compare them with the e-vote totals to make sure they're accurate. They're not only going to take a small, self-selected sample, or only in specific cases where misuse is suspected. Apparently, they're going to audit over half of the machines by checking the paper ballots. That's pretty impressive and makes it that much harder to question the results of the election. Update: Some great comments left by people in Venezuela who point out why many are still uncomfortable with the e-voting machines and still expect fraud.
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  1. identicon
    Usuairo Desconocido, 28 Nov 2006 @ 7:25pm

    The problem is "how" are those audits applied. With some electronic votes not being audited (remember that they will count about 40%, NOT more than a half), they are pretty changeable; so it must be MANDATORY to count every paper vote, and they will not do that. To check the boxes days later is not an option because boxes can be changed; same thing when being counted in another place.

    So you may ask "if anyway you must count every paper vote, why an electronic system?" In my point of view, instant results and nothing else; and no warranties until the real count is done.

    Remember that electronic data is extremely easy to change without a trace, even with checksums and signatures... And if the ones with the encryption keys are the ones not being trusted...

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