Monday, November 10, 2003

The London Free Press is running a story about Ontario's Internet and telephone voting options. I'm surprised by the amount of media coverage this is getting; it's a municipal election, after all. Heck, even the Slashdot community is throwing in their two cents.

Of course, boosting voter turnout is the focus of the London Free Press article. Security and privacy requirements get a paragraph:
Church [the president of CanVote Inc.] said the system uses security measures based on world standards for financial transactions like those used in online banking or credit card transactions.

Has anyone considered the possibility that the security and privacy requirements for financial transactions may differ from those for on-line and telephone voting? Limited liability plays a big role in the security of financial transactions (in North America, anyway; I understand the U.K. is a bit different). Would it play any role in on-line voting? It isn't like a voter can point to an unbalanced cheque book at the end of the month when something goes wrong. I read about Elections Canada's interest in this system, and I find myself doubting whether these questions have been asked, let alone answered.
Federal Government House Leader Don Boudria planned to observe the system in action tonight as ballots are tallied.

"As minister responsible for the Canada Elections Act, electronic voting is of particular interest to me," Boudria said.

"Voting electronically addresses issues such as time and distance that sometimes prevent people from voting."

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