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Thread: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

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    QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    And would such an option make you more likely to vote?
    Read more.

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    I don't see why not, sure the system could be hacked but seeing how companies are using big data from the social media companies to directly target undecided voters concerns and fears i don't see what difference a few extra thousand hacked votes matter.

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    Sure, why not - Even if Russia hacks us as well, it's not like their efforts will be any more skewed than our current system!!

    Maybe we'll get lucky and we'll one day end up with The Jedi Council in power.

    Yet voting at the 2017 General Election is one of those rare tasks where you actually can say "there isn't an app for that.
    Really?
    I find myself saying that a lot in life...!

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    TLDR: Definitely not! it is not secure.

    As @Ttaskmaster pointed out voting systems can be hacked by all sorts of bad people. Internet voting systems are especialy vulnerable becuase you don't just have to worry about the voting website (and it's database) but also the network, DNS and each user's OS & web browser. It is basically impossible to prove that an internet voting system is secure. Open source does not help much because you can't prove that the binaries running in all those different places match the source code that people can see.

    The article alludes to issues of turnout, but turnout is a symptom of low public engagement, and that is the issue that needs fixing, not the symptom. People justify not voting with common complaints such as their vote not counting, or all politicians being crooks, and to an extent they are correct, and their decision not to vote is rational. If we improved engagement by fixing the issues in the system then turnout would take care of itself. Back in the 1950's turn out at UK general elections was over 80% without the technology we are discussing and back then even postal votes where hard to come by.

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    If the government can find a way of making it at least as resistant as paper voting to Russian hackers (other hacker brands available) and general miscreants or fraudsters then yes, definitely.

    However I don't think it's the whole solution, voting should be easier in general, a regular Thursday is a stupid day for elections, it should be a Sunday. However I don't like the idea of compelling people to vote, people should only be voting if they have an informed opinion, we've seen enough of what ill-informed and narrow minded protest voting can do recently.

    The biggest issue for me is that unless you live in a constituency that has some likelihood of changing hands voting is largely a waste of time. Where I live (North East Hertfordshire) will always vote in the Conservative candidate, it could be anyone wearing the rosette.

    This is the 5th election at which I have been old enough to vote and for the first time I have nobody to vote for - every party fielding a candidate in my constituency has a deal-breaker policy I cannot support. Conservatives seem hell-bent on a terrible brexit and have vague policies, Labour think I'm borderline rich and should be taxed back into poverty, UKIP are racists, the Lib Dems want to allow every public place to smell like a pot bonfire and the Greens have been smoking too much already... British politics is a shambles at the moment.
    Last edited by peterb; 02-06-2017 at 05:41 PM. Reason: You know why!

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    Yes and maybe - although I'd hazard a guess and saying there are other parts of the voting system that need overhauling before online becomes available like proportional representation and a system to ensure you actually vote even if it is a non of the above type system.
    Old puter - still good enuff till I save some pennies!

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    Yes, Definitely

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    In theory, I like the idea.

    In practice however, I doubt that a secure enough method of doing so is likely to be possible.

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    Yup. Time to stop being in the stone age.

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    No absolutely not. Computerphile did an excellent video with Tom Scott on the matter, which outlines the reasons far more elegantly than I ever could. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3_0x6oaDmI

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunderas View Post
    Yup. Time to stop being in the stone age.
    Perhaps we should stop cooking food in ovens then, that's a stone age technology. Let's do stuff the modern way and microwave everything!

    New technologies shouldn't be applied to everything just because you can. It should definitely be tried, and electronic voting is being tried at large scales for less important things (TV Talent Shows, US Elections etc.) and it's clearly still got it's flaws.

    Maybe in thirty or fifty years when the technology has matured it'll be worth transferring the voting system onto it. Doing it right now would seem premature when there are no pressing reasons to.

    Anyone that can't take a 10 minute detour once every one thousand five hundreds days probably doesn't care enough about politics that you'd want them to vote.

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    The idea is nice in theory but it assumes that everyone franchised has access to a computer, so online voting would have to be in addition to any other method. Alternatively polling stations could have PCs for those voters who don't have PCs - but it might put off those who are not computer literate.

    Turning to practicalities...

    Online voting is used for some purposes, the electoral reform service offers online voting for professional bodies, using an authentication code e mailed or posted. Pisting a two part authentication code to a registered voter might be way of ensuring one person- one vote - the voter could log onto a constituency based website and authenticate using this code.

    A more radical approach would be using a national PKI system, but that would rely on some form of national identity card - and that didn't go down well when it was proposed (although I suspect the infrastructure is there - the only thing missing was the actual issue of the ID card) but while the concept of digital signatures might be familiar to the users of HEXUS, it may not be familiar to Joe Public.

    But the bottom line is the fundamental question of what is the advantage? Voting isn't difficult, if you can't get to a polling station, you can vote by post - it's not difficult.

    And as has been pointed out earlier, low turnouts aren't necessarily because voting is difficult, it's more likely to be lack of engagement with the political process.

    Of more use would be streamlining the vote counting process - machine readable voting papers would speed up the counting process and reduce the need for manual counting and return the successful candidate sooner - with the advantage that we wouldn't get the interminable analysis by the TV pundits on election night, reducing the spectacle to a more ndane process.

    Which would be a positive result.
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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    Yes. Simple as.

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    Good God NO !!

    Make it compulsory by all means, that would sort it out. But not online. sooooo many holes.

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    should the UK introduce online voting, and would such an option make you more likely to vote?
    Alongside other avenues of voting? If it was alongside polling stations / posting voting / proxy voting then perhaps. However with that said, I've yet to recall a government IT solution that has been delivered both on time and within budget, as well as properly designed.

    I'd prefer for our taxes to be put to better use, I'll be honest.

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    Re: QOTW: Should the UK introduce online voting?

    No, it would be near impossible to secure.

    It is not hard to vote you have from 7am to 10pm to vote and the voting stations are very close to your home, and if you are living away you can get a postal vote. There is no reason not to get off your backsides and vote.

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