[Fsfe-ie] E-Voting letter

Cathal Mc Ginley cathalmcginley at eircom.net
Thu Apr 8 23:26:35 CEST 2004

Ian Clarke wrote:

>Well, I know it isn't a popular opinion on this list, but I think that
>making the e-voting source code public is a distant second to voter
>verified audit trails and I am concerned that advocating the
>"nice-to-have" will only reduce our chances of getting the
>"need-to-have".  In effect, we are prioritising the narrow goals of
>advocating free software over the wider goal of protecting democracy.
My letter doesn't advocate a Free Software solution, it criticizes a 
non-Free Software solution, while also (twice or more) drawing attention 
to the problem of knowing that the program you've reviewed is the 
program being used.

Essentially, I agree with Jason Kitcat, of the free e-democracy project:

"Electronic voting is a bad idea - it's the inappropriate use of 
technology in the wrong place."

The full quote is here - http://www.evoting.cs.may.ie/opinion.shtml

The ICTE submissions summary lists 9 instances asking for source code. 
The possibility of an "open source" solution has been raised in an 
article in the Irish Times (mentioned by Éibhear). The possibility of a 
"false sense of security" with a compromise solution is certainly high. 
I thought there would be a place for IFSO to offer a solid critique of 
the problems of e-voting with private software, in terms of loss of 
freedom and threat to democracy, without actually explicitly advocating 
e-voting at all.

Just my 1.57513p

    -   C.

When we speak of free
     software, we are referring
     to freedom, not price.

-- 'found haiku' from the GPL

More information about the FSFE-IE mailing list