Wednesday, November 17, 2004

In Future: Vote Early, Vote Often!

The electronic voting systems used in the recent US elections have been coming in for a serve concerning the lack of verification they provide (confidential systems closed to independent scrutiny, links to GOP etc.)

While I don't think the degree of rigging was particularly high (or the Democrats and > 49% of the American voters would be having conniptions), there is clearly an issue of public accountability here.
Who do you trust - for a voting system that's clearly fair and above board?
It occurs to me that this is something that's begging for an open source initiative!
Update (Nov 17): A quick Google turns up this year old 'Wired' review of eVACS, which is (hoist swaggies) an Australian product. Who sez America is democracy's last, best hope?
While e-voting may be full of furballs at the moment, think about the ease of voting it could provide to the voter, and take a look ahead.

How often do you get to exercise your democratic rights? Once every three/four years? OK, maybe that's still too frequent for some! But really, Is that truly democracy?

If ease of voting (and assessment) was available, people could vote on a wider range of issues.
Maybe they could vote on the bills being passed.
Maybe (sotto voce) they could do away with government?
(it's OK, all you Home Security lurkers, this is a speculation on evolution, not revolution!)
As an interesting example, the Brazilian firm Semco has, over the past 25 years, been experimenting with a level of corporate democracy that is unheard of. They seem to be doing pretty well, too. If 'true' democracy can be made to work at that level, maybe it can scale up to a national level, as well.

If parliament and the judiciary are one evolutionary step onward from tyrrany and the divine right of kings, perhaps it's time to contemplate one more.


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