Sunday, March 05, 2006

Say "no" to email and fax voting

Colorado legislators act to weaken secure elections. Through Senate Bill SB-062, Colorado legislators and election officials intend to permit voting by email and by fax.

If "limited" email voting were available to anybody, I believe that the “equal protection” clause of the law would permit others to gain access to the voting method. Can anybody guarantee that this would not happen?.

In any event, there are many elected officials who have experienced an election win or loss due to a very small number of votes. The point being -- EVERY SINGLE VOTE IS IMPORTANT, AND WE CANNOT SACRIFICE ANY. These officials should understand this. Elections are getting closer and closer. Every ineligible vote counted is a way to disenfranchise an eligible voter – by cancelling the eligible voter’s choices.

Also, for those who would vote for this bill I ask, “how can it be verified that the person voting by email is the specific person who is authorized to vote the ballot? The bill does not address this major defect. Consequently, email voting credentials will instantly have significant value.

Email voting credentials will be sold by voters who don’t care about the election contests. They will be bought by those who are able to collect these credentials and sell them (in a block) to the highest bidder. It will be like selling your user-ID and password to your internet account. Nobody will know if it is you, or your friend, or some miscreant who is logged into your account. Think of the power an individual will have when he says to a candidate, “I can offer you voting credentials for 15,000 votes if you will give me …”

I can see the buyer’s sales pitches now -- Your voting credentials are your ticket to this gigantic “let’s not vote” party. Come one, come all. Leave your credentials at the door.

Or better yet – donate your voting credentials to “worthy cause”. Worthy cause has a deep pockets donor who will make a $20.00 donation for every set of valid credentials that we give to him.

FAX voting has its own set of concerns. As with absentee voting, voters can be intimidated and there is nobody to see it; return envelopes can be signed by the eligible voter and turned over with the un-voted ballot FOR A PRICE; and signatures can be transferred from other documents or simply forged without concern for detection – since the person forging the document is never seen. To my knowledge, there is no evidence that signature verification accurately authenticates that the person who signed a ballot is the eligible voter.

Does anybody believe that those outside of our country would not take advantage of this gigantic opportunity to influence American elections?

SB062 is a step toward election chaos. Those voting FOR the bill will show their lack of understanding of why verifiable security is mandatory, and should be kept far away from future election system matters.