Electronic Voting in Victoria?

This is interesting news to me, it seems like we could be getting electronic voting in Victoria in time for the next state election.

This will be the first one being used in an Australian state. (I seem to recall it being done in the ACT, but they are a Territory, and not a state!)

Note though that the article says may become.

And this introduction as it states in the article, will only be introduced at 6 voting “super centres” which would be providing polling facilities for the disabled and non-English speaking members of the public. This will be introduced in 2006 for the state election.

Of course, there are those “issues” that always seem to come up (you know the ones, how can we trust a computer system? how do we know it hasn’t been rigged, and so on…).

My view is that this could be interesting. It does provide a new mechanism for those who do have some difficulties with English as well as for the disabled.

But then, there is absolutely nothing to stop this from being widely deployed at a later date.

Right now the voting system is all paper based. On the election day, people roll up at polling centres and fill in the numbers in the right boxes based on their preferences. Generally, voting day is quite an orderly event, handouts are handed out by the various political parties (though, I generally don’t accept any).

After voting, it’s back out, and continue on with the rest of the day. (I usually vote in the early morning to avoid the crowds.)

One thing I want to see though, if and when this does go ahead, is the e-voting system is provided to the public as open source.

This will put to rest the public concerns (if any, i’m sure there will be some) of any vote rigging and so on.

Opening up the full source code will expose any rigging or perceived advantages of one candidate/political party over another.

Transparency in this case is absolutely vital for it being accepted by the general public in Victoria.

Just did a bit of web searching and pulled up a link regarding the eVoting system in the ACT.

Some of the issues brought up in the above article are exactly the ones I’d like to see considered when deciding on implementing this sort of system here in Victoria. Actually, it would probably be a good idea for them to consider the system used in the ACT, rather than necessarily developing another one specifically for Victoria.

I’m sure there could also be other measures brought in to assist with the whole transparency issue.

Basically, the public needs to trust what they are using will not modify what the voter selected.

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