The Electoral Reform Dream Paper

The Electoral Reform Greenpaper has mostly received coverage for the two particularly stupid proposals that are raised: lowering the age of franchise and replacing the paper ballot with electronic or — much worse — internet voting.

Robert Merkel points out at LP that there is an almost universal condemnation of the latter idea by IT security professionals. Probably because creating a system that satisfies security, integrity and the secrecy of the ballot is impossible.

By “impossible” we don’t mean “expensive” or “highly impractical”. We mean impossible. It simply cannot be done. The requirements are mutually exclusive.

Of course the green paper covers much more than wishful thinking from non-security professionals, including voting systems, legal arrangements, AEC structure, enrolment arrangements and so forth. They’re asking for submissions up until 27 November. Here’s mine (PDF).

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