Is it time for the voting process to embrace safe and fair technology?

#41
The Scottish Government wouldn't allow it - because they wouldn't be able to 'fiddle' the numbers. Everyone I know voted for Brexit - and yet Sturgeon and her cronies seem to think 'Scotland' voted against it? Bullshit - I think the vote was wrongly counted, and vote leave should have got a far higher number than it did.
Still it would be good if we moved into this century - it can't be that hard to have electronic voting, I'm pretty sure it's more than possible, but it wouldn't be beneficial to those that pull the strings, for democracy is an illusion and nothing more.
Right. Just because everyone in your circles voted to leave doesn't mean anything. And yes, Scotland overall voted in favor of remain. Of course that doesn't mean everyone voted to leave or remain.
 
#44
The stories that come out of the US during/after every election of machines not working, machines changing people's votes, machines registering the vote but not adding it to the tally etc leave me with massive reservations about any attempt to automate the process.

100% voter ID I am firmly in favour of. The only party where I live that objects to that is the same party that has a long history of voter fraud.
Not strictly about automation, more security of the voting system.

I feel the same and knowing how decent hardware performs I am sure there is a market for a product that actually works and has failover features that are similar to the ones used in critical infrastructure.
It honestly baffles me how a country that has produced NASA and the DoD black programs cannot ask the same of them when it comes to a fairly straightforward secure voting system that allows legal citizens the right to decide their future by removing the means for others to commit fraud.

Can't seem to find much information regarding "technical" talk on how those machines work and fail.
Plenty of pieces saying "they don't work, too easy to hack" but no solutions.
From what I can see it's a single console connected via a network (possibly an on site server), which is complete shite. Even a ten your old could design a method that has more ingenuity. A private company controls the data and the code, that's the second problem I can see.

Look at the state of this...



Anyways, sod the US system, the UK could do it way better.


From start to finish this is what I identified as a focus for fraud:

Identification - ID can be fraudulently acquired or used, As you say, dead people voting, A joke beyond belief.
I believe retina technology is the way forward for a responsible way of proving who you are. CERN use it. In fact, anything that is considered valuable uses it. Except for democracy.

Postal vote - How many hands and how many links in the chain for complete failure, way too many.

Polling stations - People marking a sheet, often unchecked and not vetted to a standard I would call acceptable. They could be politically biased/motivated too.

Ballot boxes - Having been proven to go missing or "delayed", closed with a plastic seal and handled by umpteen hands, dodgy as hell.

Counters - Did I mention politically biased, I put money on ballots being misplaced intentionally or otherwise.

I'll bet there are plenty more, A chain so weak it couldn't help drain a bath.

AI is going to be running just about every aspect of life and already is in ways people do not realize because once coded correctly it does not make mistakes and is probably the last vestige of nonpartisan decision making.
You can have engineers from around the who disagree politically, but cannot disagree on a code that is proven and transparent. Out of the hands of a private venture.

I plan on taking this up with some friends who are well versed on the security side, I wish I knew some folks who were at the top end of the AI learning curve.
Seriously it's going to happen anyways. Just a matter of when.
 
#46
AI is going to be running just about every aspect of life and already is in ways people do not realize because once coded correctly it does not make mistakes and is probably the last vestige of nonpartisan decision making.
You can have engineers from around the who disagree politically, but cannot disagree on a code that is proven and transparent. Out of the hands of a private venture.

I plan on taking this up with some friends who are well versed on the security side, I wish I knew some folks who were at the top end of the AI learning curve.
Seriously it's going to happen anyways. Just a matter of when.
This is a very naive view. There is no such thing as "AI" at this moment in time, just knowledge-based systems. The thing with these is, they have in-built the prejudices and assumptions of the data that is used to train them.

As soon as you use any form of computerised system you open up the system to invisible, behind-the-scenes alteration of data, that is harder to detect and easier for bad-actors to accept as correct, because "the computer doesn't make mistakes".

A paper ballot with appropriate checks and balances, as used in the UK, is very hard to corrupt in any significant fashion.
 
#47
This is a very naive view. There is no such thing as "AI" at this moment in time, just knowledge-based systems. The thing with these is, they have in-built the prejudices and assumptions of the data that is used to train them.

As soon as you use any form of computerised system you open up the system to invisible, behind-the-scenes alteration of data, that is harder to detect and easier for bad-actors to accept as correct, because "the computer doesn't make mistakes".

A paper ballot with appropriate checks and balances, as used in the UK, is very hard to corrupt in any significant fashion.
From the points I have made, I wouldn't say it's naive at all. If it is, it is as much naive as believing the current system works.
Seriously not all geeks are bad, the whole nature of opensource is anybody can examine the running code to find bugs, Put a bunch of vetted and qualified engineers in a room under a strict but well-paid contract with bonuses to find flaws and watch how fast your code becomes tidy, Wrap that up in the national security blanket and you won't have too many bad-actors applying for the job.
As far as altering/corrupting data, Take a look at blockchain technology, it makes the alteration of data damn near impossible.

https://www.ibm.com/blogs/blockchai...curity-what-keeps-your-transaction-data-safe/

I know, IBM doesn't have a stellar history of using personal records appropriately, it was the first link I found :)

I understand we live in a world of thieving and cheating bastards, sometimes called politicians, Not everybody wants to give them an easy ride, Including people in the IT industry who should want to make a positive change.

Seriously is there anyone here who works with the technology that I mentioned in the OP?
I am genuinely interested to hear your views ;)
 
#48
From the points I have made, I wouldn't say it's naive at all. If it is, it is as much naive as believing the current system works.
Seriously not all geeks are bad, the whole nature of opensource is anybody can examine the running code to find bugs, Put a bunch of vetted and qualified engineers in a room under a strict but well-paid contract with bonuses to find flaws and watch how fast your code becomes tidy, Wrap that up in the national security blanket and you won't have too many bad-actors applying for the job.
As far as altering/corrupting data, Take a look at blockchain technology, it makes the alteration of data damn near impossible.

https://www.ibm.com/blogs/blockchai...curity-what-keeps-your-transaction-data-safe/

I know, IBM doesn't have a stellar history of using personal records appropriately, it was the first link I found :)

I understand we live in a world of thieving and cheating bastards, sometimes called politicians, Not everybody wants to give them an easy ride, Including people in the IT industry who should want to make a positive change.

Seriously is there anyone here who works with the technology that I mentioned in the OP?
I am genuinely interested to hear your views ;)

Maybe I'm a pessimistic but

As far as altering/corrupting data, Take a look at blockchain technology, it makes the alteration of data damn near impossible [but not impossible].
Seriously not all geeks are bad,[some are]
Put a bunch of vetted and qualified [could still be currupt] engineers in a room under a strict but well-paid contract with bonuses to find flaws [more flaws you find the more money you get ]and watch how fast your code becomes tidy,[with more flaws to find ]
 
#49
Has any government funded IT project delivered a workable, and cost effectIve product in the UK? Ever?

So let's stick with paper ballots. And downgrade postal voting to previous qualifying levels. And bring in ID checks.
 
#50
I'm with Bugzy on this one. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Now where did I put that Che Guevara beret?
 
#51
Considering how much video evidence there is of US voting machines registering the wrong choice and how easy it is for authorities to make it difficult to vote using them (in one area with a high Hispanic population they allegedly delivered the machines without power cables, for instance), there's no way this should be considered for the UK. What we have works, for the most part.
 
#52
Because the paper system is more secure from tampering and outside interference than an electronic one is.
The Presidents for Life of dozens of African countries are in total agreement. :D

There is no logical reason that an electronic voting system could not work. We quite happily make financial transactions on secure electronic systems every day so the same security can be applied to voting surely.
 
#53
I can't understand why western governments won't embrace technology for safe and fair voting,
what like a ballot box.. where you either have to physically break into or steal a physical object or you have to actually bribe the staff.. both of which are much more detectable than a half decent hack
 
#54
Seriously is there anyone here who works with the technology that I mentioned in the OP?
I am genuinely interested to hear your views ;)
Have you read this?

https://people.csail.mit.edu/rivest/pubs/NASEM18.pdf

IMO the only place for AI would be as a 'first pass' attempt at scanning for fraudulent transactions. All hits to be passed to humans for checking.

Blockchain is susceptible to a 'majority attack' (aka 51%) and, as a 'decentralised ledger', doesn't provide any real advantage in what is still a necessarily centralised process. Is there a blockchain that can handle, say, 200 million votes in 12 hours? Bitcoin has currently max'ed at approx half a million a day and that is handled by a vast amount of compute power that has cost $billions to put in place. The 'non-repudiation' of bitcoin transactions is locked-in by the huge cost of subverting it. (Other altcoins have been attacked in just this way.)

Adding more 'technology', that fewer people understand, will not lead to increased trust in the system. There is certainly room for increasing the robustness of the present processes, but the introduction of changes needs to be managed as a cost benefit against a suitable threat analysis. The law of diminishing returns will kick in. Are people happy with a voting system that is 99% accurate for £x million spent per election? Is it worth spending a huge amount more to get to 99.99%? An otherwise totally trustworthy design can be attacked simply by rumour to spread doubt and dis-trust.
 
#58
You mean that the people you have regular conversations with (some may call them “friends”) have similar opinions to your own?

Holy cow, batman.

Most people I know voted to remain. That leaves us in a pickle, following your logic.
50/50 I my circles. And a few didn't vote for one reason or another.
 
#59
OP,
It is all well and good what you propose, but what would be the cost of "Retina" machines, bearing in mind that at General Elections, there are as a minimum 20 to 30 nominated election stations. As a minimum you therefore need 12,000 Retina Scanners, plus another 12000 token machines. Also remember that in some rural area's, the Polling Station is set up in a "Cafe" or even a "Caravan", so how would you ensure connectivity between machines and the "data-base".
 
#60
When you consider how long it is between each election, each system is one time use because by the time the next election comes round. The hardware and software will be obsolete so the costs will just rise.
 

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