Elections B.C. appoints Internet voting panel members

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      Elections B.C. has appointed five people to its independent panel on Internet voting.

      Chief electoral officer Keith Archer will chair the panel, which will study the opportunities and challenges presented by the potential introduction of online voting for provincial or local elections in B.C.

      The other panels members are Konstantin Beznosov, associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of British Columbia;Lee-Ann Crane, chief administrative officer for the East Kootenay Regional District; Valerie King, professor in the department of computer science at the University of Victoria; andGeorge Morfitt, former auditor general of B.C.

      “All panel members have a high level of independence and judgment which is essential as they consider technology, cryptography, Internet security policy, and electoral administration,” Archer said in a news release today (September 10). “I look forward to the expertise they bring and their participation on this panel.”

      In August, Attorney General Shirley Bond asked Elections B.C. to convene the panel.

      In a November 2011 report, Archer suggested B.C. legislators "consider providing greater flexibility to the Chief Electoral Officer to introduce, on a pilot basis, a variety of new voting technologies".

      Elections B.C. had previously issued a discussion paper on Internet voting in August 2011.

      That paper poses a number of questions to B.C. policy makers, including the following:

      • How can transparency and verification be built into an Internet voting system to ensure public trust in outcomes?

      •ƒ Would Internet voting be an additional channel layered on top of existing opportunities; would it replace one or more existing voting opportunities?

      •ƒ ƒ When during the election period would Internet voting be made available?

      •ƒ ƒ What would happen if fraud was detected on a large scale?

      ƒ•ƒ How would the system guard against multiple voting across various voting opportunities?

      ƒ•ƒ ƒ How would the system be structured to ensure separation between voter identity and voted ballots?

      ƒ•ƒ What methods would be used to provide end-to-end verifiability without sacrificing voter privacy?

      •ƒ ƒ How would an Internet voting system be observed?

      ƒ•ƒ How would the system be independently audited?

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      Are you kidding me.

      Sep 10, 2012 at 3:27pm

      Oh dear flying spaghetti monster, no!

      One, none of these issues can really be addressed properly by existing technology and two, three letters: ICM (which is the best example of what we'd be in for, i.e. a huge mistake wrapped in a massive boondoggle with citizens left completely copulated).

      Giving Up Democracy

      Sep 10, 2012 at 3:35pm

      File under 'abused technology' along with smart meters. This is flat out a bad idea - electronic voting is MADE for rigging. Surrender the ballot box and all is lost.

      Eustace Clarence Scrubb

      Sep 10, 2012 at 4:15pm

      When you can't control the politicians or the voters, then you control the counting.


      Internet voting is the final frontier for desperate and unscrupulous politicians. This will allow people to hold office to which they haven't been elected.

      Just Wondering

      Sep 10, 2012 at 5:16pm

      No thanks I'll go out and vote. I want to make sure the NDP get my vote as I feel these Liberals have to be stopped. I don't trust anything setup while the preasent people are in power to be on the up and up. After the lies I'll never trust them again, period.

      Ron S.

      Sep 10, 2012 at 6:10pm

      Here comes Crustys next election scam! Happened in SFU and her leadership convention. People of BC get ready for a revolution!


      Sep 10, 2012 at 6:57pm

      Internet voting is a solution in search of a problem. It contributes nothing of value to the electoral process and comes with a host of potential problems.


      Sep 10, 2012 at 9:36pm

      Nothing good can come of this. At polling stations the right to cast a secret ballot is strictly enforced by returning officers, poll clerks, and scrutineers. What happens to these safeguards with online voting? The opportunities are rife for voters to be pressured or otherwise coerced into voting a particular way by family members, co-workers, etc. How can you prevent it? There's no app for that!

      Tim K.

      Sep 10, 2012 at 10:15pm

      This is a very bad idea that has distaster written all over it. The only way this would be even remotely workable is if the internet voting were only available in designated polling with a paper printout of every vote (so election officials and political parties can monitor the vote and the count to prevent fraud). This of course would defeat the purpose of internet voting, the point of which I assume would be to either make voting more convenient and/or save paper.

      And with the BC Liberals in office, I don't trust the government not to put a bunch of restrictions on how this could go ahead, such as to prevent an acceptable implementation of it. If they require that the system allow voters to vote in their home on a website run by a private firm, there could be no guarantee that fraud of the kind that has happened in Ohio and other U.S. states would not happen here, or that it would be caught if it happened.

      James G

      Sep 10, 2012 at 10:40pm

      I do recall the efforts of Vision Councilor Andrea Reimer to introduce a similar option for municipal elections in Vancouver. Given the substantial voter fraud suspected in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election we must be wary of any attempts to introduce systems that make votes easier to manipulate. Left or right, let`s pass on this.


      Sep 11, 2012 at 9:30am

      Its about time we introduce electronic voting. To say it isnt "safe" is plain stupid. If banking can be done then so can voting. BTW...for those of you worried about "rigging" that is just as easy if not easier using the primitive paper method.

      Think about how easy things like recalls, or how easy the HST vote would have been if we could have just done it online.

      This is long over due IMO.