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Good or Bad?.  One of the closest contests in US history  Florida was the pivotal state  Neither Democrat Al Gore nor Republican George W. Bush had.

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Presentation on theme: "Good or Bad?.  One of the closest contests in US history  Florida was the pivotal state  Neither Democrat Al Gore nor Republican George W. Bush had."— Presentation transcript:

1 Good or Bad?

2  One of the closest contests in US history  Florida was the pivotal state  Neither Democrat Al Gore nor Republican George W. Bush had a majority of votes in the Electorial College.  After a Florida recount the vote was:  Bush: 2,912,790  Gore: 2,912,253  Difference of 437 votes

3  Hanging chad  Butterfly ballot

4  Stylus used to punch a hole in the ballot next to the candidate’s name  Sometimes the stylus didn’t punch the hole cleanly, leaving a tiny piece of the card hanging on the ballot  This was referred to as the “hanging chad”  The automatic vote tabulators typically would not count the ballots with hanging chad  A manual recount had to identify ballots with hanging chad that should have been counted

5  Votes may have mistakenly punched a hole for Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan instead of for Democratic candidate Al Gore  This confusion may have cost Al Gore the election

6  Many states replaced paper-based systems with direct recording electronic voting machines. These systems were not connected to a network  Others have suggested that voting be conducted via the Internet  Used in 2000 Alaska Republican Presidential preference poll  Used in 2000 Arizona Democratic Presidential primary  United Kingdom has used on-line voting in local elections since  Estonia is first country to vote online in local and national elections

7  Let’s weigh the benefits vs. risks of online voting in a presidential election

8  People who can’t get to the polls could vote from home  Votes could be counted more quickly  No issues with hanging chad or erasures  Cost less  Eliminate risk of having physical votes tampered with  Over voting for too many candidates could easily be prevented

9  Gives an unfair advantage to those who are financially better off. What about the Digital Divide?  The system that authenticates the the voter also records the ballot. Some fear loss of privacy.  Chance of vote selling is increased since the person selling their vote can now be monitored.

10  A server hosing an election would be an obvious target of a DDoS attack.  Security depends upon the security of the home computers  Virus could change a person’s vote  Backdoor Trojan could allow a person’s vote to be observed by an outsider  Attacker could fool voter into connecting to a phony site to vote and steal the voter’s credentials

11  Utilitarian analysis adds up the positive and negative outcomes to determine whether online voting is a good action or not  Consider the possible outcome, the value of the outcome on each affected person, and the number of people affected  One benefit – people would not have to travel to polling place and wait in line. Estimate that about one hour is spent in voting  Average salary in US is $18 per hour  About 50% of adult Americans vote  Time savings would be worth about $9 for every adult  DDoS may prevent voters from casting their votes  There is potential for great harm if will of voters is not followed  This potential harm is reduced because a) probability of DDoS attack is low, b) probability of DDoS attack being successful is low, and c) probability of a DDoS attack changing the outcome of an election is low.  These probabilities may vary considerably from one expert to another, so this evaluation can tip one way or the other

12  Focus is on the importance in the will of each voter being reflected in that voter’s ballot  Integrity of each ballot is paramount  Eliminating paper records in order to save time and money or boosting voter turnout is wrong from this perspective

13  A web-based system would make it much easier for hacker to taint the process on a wide scale  A web-based system would have no paper record to verify the intent of the voter  Online elections have already been tampered with  Any election system that relies on the security of personal computers managed by ordinary citizens will be vulnerable to fraud  Lots of interest on Internet for OnLine Voting. See


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