A crucial principle which should be applied to discussions: scrutineering. At present, we can be confident that elections in voting stations with booths are fair and uncorrupted because people of all sorts, with many different interests (laypeople) are *capable* of credibly scrutineering the process. As soon as you go online, credible scrutineers drops to a tiny, specialised sliver of tech experts. Who are, therefore, easy to co-opt/corrupt/bribe/bamboozle. 1/2

In Germany, where they know a bit about how democracy can be corrupted, they have set a very powerful (& sensible) precedent, that electronic & are *unconstitutional* - that is *because* laypeople (and voters!) cannot scrutineer the process. We need to think about this very carefully, and I think NZ should follow their lead in principle (even without a formal constitution).

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@lightweight The first part of this status made me laugh much harder than it should have.

@lightweight The reference to Germany's democracy being uh, corrupted.

@emsenn ah, yes. Perhaps a slight understatement... although we're seeing almost exactly the same pattern happening in the US right not.

@lightweight as I am head of an polling station in Germany since more than a decade, I support that. I love control of many eyes for every vote, the double check of manual counting and the decision process for votes that do not match the 100% clear vote, that tries to identify the intention of the voter. After that, the pre-results are handed over to a central office by phone. They also process the individual results and do a check. Then the ballots and protocol are stored.

@vilbi thanks for letting me know! We're dealing with a lot of people here in NZ who think that online voting is the secret to improving voter participation. I believe they're quite wrong...

@vilbi in a proper voting system, trust is achieved not by removing vested interests (which is impossible) but by ensuring a diversity of interests, so no individual person or group needs to be trustworthy for the result of the election to be worthy of trust!

@lightweight @vilbi Actually I think they're right - it will probably improve voter participation.

The cost is that it will also increase participation by non-voters.

@yojimbo @vilbi indications internationally are that, at best, only improves participation temporarily, and yes, the involvement of additional parties is glaringly indeterminate.

@lightweight it could rise the number of votes, yes. But is voting, like going to a demonstration or attending church not a ritual that shows active participation, interest... So I love the first voters & kids, getting my candies, talk with my neighbours, thanking voters for their participation. Beeing there to aid people to understand the sometimes complex ballot papers. Aktive participating in forming new Representation for the citizens...
Electronic is cold, paper is warm ;)

@vilbi @lightweight Voting is more a duty, a contribution to society than a privilege, given how small the influence of individuals is.

Being seen to go to vote may well increase participation. IIRC they even found that in a study.

And every citizen needs to be able to check the system to ensure people trust it and respect the outcome.

And if they will trail it we will invite Quux :-)

@lightweight I guess you heard that thing on the radio this morning too, "ooh online elections are perfectly fine to use, other places do them all the time" ...

@yojimbo Yep. Warwick Lampp *wrote* (almost single handedly, I understand) the online voting system. Based on everything I've heard him and his boss say, the thought of that is horrifying.

@yojimbo the fact that RNZ didn't make his vested interest extremely clear to listeners is very troubling.

@lightweight Yes, I was just going to say the same thing. There was a very strong implication that his comments were in some way "official", or that his business was part of the real elections process. A shame that "election" isn't a protected term for business/trading names I think.

@yojimbo yes. This document also suggests collusion between LGNZ officials & and Election Services (the redacted bit could be *very* interesting) where they appear to have suggested it'd be worth those businesses' while to build systems... and LGNZ now feel an obligation to use them. That's both dodgy & dangerous.

@lightweight I submitted a formal complaint to RNZ.

I believe you breached section 8, "Balance" with the introduction of Warwick Lampp, a management representative of a private company who sells services relaying to online voting. He was described as "the chief electoral officer at". This is a phrase that seemed to invoke an official government title and imply that he was an integral and senior officer of the Government. The company's own website lists him only as "Business Development".

The introduction could have said "chief electoral officer at, a private business that sells online voting systems that are not currently being used in the local government elections" in order to fully explain his position.

As a representative of a private company that has a vested interest in seeing an increase in online voting, his comments about the suitability of online voting for local government elections were strongly biased, and this bias was not sufficiently explained or accounted for in the piece.

This may also have breached section 9, as being inaccurate and misleading; as the assumption that "chief electoral officer" holds an official position was not corrected, and his bias was not described to the audience.

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