This Is Why Electronic Voting Is a Bad Idea Right Now

The system of democracy is built on the rather more humble system of voting. And voting is built on the two fundamentals of anonymity and trust. This video explains why, right now, digital voting doesn't provide over of those two things well enough.


Tom Scott gives a pretty great run down here of the ways that electronic voting can fail us—and why, for now, paper might be our best bet. [Computerphile]


That was a whole lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. He hysterically ran through worst case and rather vague scenarios without any kind of necessity stipulated. You could make the same exact video talking about paper ballots.

"Would you be happy walking up to someone anonymous in a ballot box, or worse, calling a number on your phone, just telling them your vote — but they promise to keep it secret - and at the end of the election they promise to keep it secret. And at the end of the election, all those people sitting on their own, phone up one another in private and tell their results, and then that final person — who promises to count it all up accurately — announces who won? Because that's essentially electronic voting."

Yeah, that entire process is also essentially voting by paper ballot. I put it in a black box and someone promises it to take it somewhere else, where it's counted and could be arbitrarily discarded and I just take on faith that they counted mine, and they promise to deliver their results to another person who promises to deliver it to the person who is indeed in charge of tallying it all up and announcing who won: the secretary of state. Anyone remember Katherine Harris? Seems like electronic voting is no less safe than floating chads, are according to the rationale quoted above. In fact, electronic voting might've dodged the whole floating chad problem from the get go. It's exactly what Florida uses now.

I was expecting some actual computer science explanation, but instead all he's got are conspiracy theories.